Mitzie Chapman: The Overcomer

Over the next four weeks, we will introduce you to our ReProgram students and share their stories. All stories are written by our intern, Holly Prine. 

mitzie1
Mitzie and Ransom Ministries Executive Director Matt Armbruster discuss Mitzie’s vocational plan.

Mitzie Chapman is an overcomer. Her journey has not been easy, but she wears her tragedies as armor rather than shackles.

As a child growing up in Los Angeles, Mitzie was abused by her father.

Despite this early trauma and some poor decisions Mitzie made in her young adulthood, she decided to pursue a degree in nursing because she wanted better for herself.

This in itself was a hurdle to overcome—when Mitzie was in primary school, she struggled because of a learning disability, and her teachers wrote her off. Mitzie, refusing to be defined by her past, completed her nursing education. While it was difficult, she never stopped believing in herself and her dreams.

“Sacrifice,” Mitzie says, “is a requirement for obtaining what we desire.”

mitzie2
Mitzie and her Champion, Jodie Johnson, get to know each other at the Student-Champion meet and greet, Jan. 19. Each ReProgram student is assigned a Champion, who meets with them once a week for encouragement and accountability.

In 2007, Mitzie lost her beloved mother to cancer, and she found herself in a downward spiral due to her grief. In her brokenness, she lost her focus. She fell behind on bills and lost her house. In an attempt to collect herself, she journeyed south to move in with her brother, who lived in Lucedale, Mississippi. When she was stable enough, she moved out of her brother’s house and found a place of her own in Prichard, Alabama.

All was looking up until she lost everything—again—in a house fire.

“But He knows the ways that I take; when He has tried me, I shall be as gold.” -Job 23:10

Mitzie allowed the physical fire to refine her spiritually and chose to praise God instead of blaming him for her trials. She understood that the more we acknowledge and process through our pain, the less painful it becomes, so she pressed on. In efforts to pay her bills, she humbly took a job at Checkers, even though taking commands from people 20 years younger was not easy. She knew she had to be proactive, even if that meant working in fast food. Mitzie eventually began working in the sheet metal industry, but after being laid off, she struggled to pay her bills and lost her house. Then, her brother died and her car was stolen.

When we met Mitzie a few months ago through the Clean Machine, her positive attitude was magnetic. Although she currently lives in an abandoned home with no power or water, her bubbly, persevering personality still shines.

“Suffering makes us look more like Jesus,” Mitzie says. “So I will trust in His goodness and learn to trust the transformation process.”

Mitzie is halfway finished with Ransom ReProgram. Upon completing the course, she hopes to return to nursing.