Bonnie was born in Newport News, Virginia in 1949, to James and Dorothy Stoup. She is the oldest of six siblings. Bonnie and her family grew up on the … More...
To fulfill Christ’s commission to bring the gospel to every heart in every dark corner of the world by fulfilling the command set forth in Matthew to provide food, clothing, shelter, treatment and hope for those sick and in prison, for the young, old and those left in the highways and hedges of life with no hope.
Ministry Vision and Plans
Fishnet Ministries International has always had a broad-based ministry to teach, preach, promote, establish, and conduct charitable works. FMI has maintained its ability to operate as an interdenominational entity and this has enabled us to partner with the following groups to meet the needs of the incarcerated and their families. These groups provide various services through the only faith-based treatment program in our state, the Total Life Recovery Program (brochure enclosed). This program was opened in July, 2003 and is approved through the Attorney General’s Office.
Keiki O Ka Ania- Provides parenting and the SPAFT (Supporting Parents as First Teachers). This is the first in prison preschool program that allows the mothers to interact with their children with a lead teacher on a weekly basis. They also provide mentoring for the children of incarcerated parents and support for the caregivers. They also sponsor two Kid’s Days during the year.
WIN (Women In Need)-Provides Domestic Violence classes and we partner to find safe places for the women to parole out to as well as clothing. We are also working to establish a transitional home and work furlough program.
Girl Scouts of America-Has started the Girls Beyond Bars Program for the daughters of women in prison and this will allow the mothers to interact with their daughters on a monthly basis as part of the troop. (available to entire prison population)
Restorative Justice Circles-These circles allows for the reunification of the offender’s family and victims and plans for a positive future for reintegration into society.
River of Life-They are working to open a work furlough program and met with me as a consultant and came in to visit the women in the TLRP. Their Board will be coming in to visit the women’s prison to listen to their feedback on what really helps them once they are released.
At the present time, I am a member of the task force for Children of Incarcerated Parents mandated by Senate Resolution 126. Hopefully we can facilitate the desperately needed recommendations to change the face of our prisoners and their families. According to the latest statistics, seventy percent of these children go to prison.
Our vision is to continue this vital networking and to maintain and expand the existing programs that have not been available to offenders in the past. This next year we will work to start a mentoring program for the women in prison. We want to include more of the general prison population that meets the required protocols.
In our annual board meeting, the decision was made to assess the ministry in every area of operation and to acquire every possible training and access all available resources to help us operate our ministry with excellence. The Capital Compassion Fellows Program was an avenue we decided to pursue.
Fishnet Ministries is now our sole vehicle of support to allow us the opportunity to fulfill God’s call in the areas He has ordained for us to pursue. Finally, we desire to extend our ministry into the various areas listed below.
As chaplains to provide for the spiritual as well as physical, and material needs for the incarcerated and their families. To include mentoring for the offender while in prison as well as outside in the community.
To provide programs to address the needs of the Children of Incarcerated Parents, and for the caregivers.
To be able to establish in house prison treatment programs as well as outside residential treatment programs to address any and all addictive, compulsive behaviors (drugs, alcohol, eating disorders, gambling, money etc)
To establish transitional reintegration programs in residential housing for offenders paroled/released back into the community. This will include men, women, and juveniles. These programs would deal with the need for jobs, education, childcare, housing or any area associated with helping offenders be successful in transitioning back into society.
To provide food for the hungry, homeless, and disadvantaged through food distribution, soup kitchens, and any other means to provide resources and food for the hungry.
To provide clothing, essentials, jobs, affordable housing, mentoring and support to the homeless, incarcerated, elderly, children and teens. These services would include but not be limited to counseling, training, and teaching of basic life skills, communication skills, domestic violence, and sexual abuse.
Finally, our biggest challenge and goal is to effect change in the body of Christ to realize the problems we face as servants of the Most High. The solution to the problem is not to treat the symptoms, but to get to the root of the problem, sin and indifference. The Church must realize the power and the consequences of Proverbs 24:11-12.
When the average age of young girls being arrested and tracked down as runaways is now twelve and a half years old and the reason they run away is sexual abuse, then we must be about our Father’s business. The increase of young girls going into detention has increased ninety-eight percent since 1999. This is just a small example of the horrifying statistics regarding the incarceration of our population.
The Church must be where Jesus is and He is where the sinner is….we think He is in our comfortable churches, but He leaves the ninety and nine safe in the fold, and He is in the highways and the hedges where the socially unacceptable dwell. As Bonhoffer said, “When Jesus calls us to be His disciples, He says come and die.” Our Master calls us out of our cocoons, where hopefully, we can be accused as He was….a friend to publicans and sinners.
Statement of Faith
We believe the Bible to be the inspired, the only infallible, authoritative Word of God.
We believe in all the basic doctrines of historic Christianity and accept those areas of doctrinal teaching on which, historically, there has been general agreement among all true Christians.
We believe that there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His vicarious and atoning death through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension to the right hand of the Father, and in His personal return in power and glory.
We believe that the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ and, during this age, to convict men, regenerate the believing sinner, and indwell, guide, instruct and empower the believer for godly living and service. His fullness, power and control are appropriated in the believer's life by faith.
We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost; they that are saved unto the resurrection of life and they that are lost unto the resurrection of damnation.