Meet Manahel Al Alaiwat
As the leadership of Hope Prison Ministry, we are privileged to have DeeDee as the Program Director for our Internships program. We asked her to compile a short bio for herself, but she was too humble in the description included below. This woman is a professional of the highest calibre with a deep heart of compassion for our students behind bars. She could be making considerable money in the corporate sector–indeed was on a leadership track at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Bahrain–but chose to give all of this up to serve as a missionary. If you come to visit our ministry as an intern or visiting church group, you will consider yourself blessed to work with her.
Name: Manahel (DeeDee) Al Alaiwat
D.O.B: 26 November 1988 – Nationality: Bahraini
I was born and raised in the tiny but beautiful Kingdom of Bahrain. Though it is a Muslim nation (as much of the middle eastern nations are), God finds His way in. He found His way into my heart early in 2006. I knew I wanted to serve Him with my life, but had no idea how.
The following years were far from smooth, and there was much to learn and overcome. Six years later in 2012, the time was finally right to leave my job and “go”!
Before this poignant moment in my life I had completed my A-levels (British curriculum) in Art, Economics, Biology and Mathematics and gone on to complete a diploma in Hospitality Management. I then worked for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Bahrain for the next few years.
I joined Youth With A Mission in Worcester, South Africa in April 2013, and spent most of the subsequent 2 years there. It was through the YWAM outreaches that I was introduced to Hope Prison Ministry, and had my very first experience of what God was doing behind bars. I joined Hope prison Ministry full time in May of 2015.
Every day in prison ministry brings the unusual and unexpected. It is challenging and confrontational, and causes me to constantly question my wholeness. This is for me the most frustrating, but also the most gratifying aspect of the work I have chosen to do. Choosing to look at the brokenness of the world, hear it echo within my own heart, and take hold of the opportunity to bring hope into those same areas.
Since joining Hope prison ministry, my entire worldview and perspective on life has shifted. I have grown so much as a person, and grown in my relationships as well. The prospect of seeing the lives of others change in the same way excites me. I know the teams and individuals we host here in South Africa will leave changed, and their lives will create a ripple effect wherever they go. It is my privilege to walk this journey with them.