My name is Carmella Klotz-Cooper. I am twenty-two years old. I have three children, but my oldest, Kimberly, never took a breath outside the womb, but she is with Jesus. I have a son named Calum. He will be five in February, and another daughter Leoni – she is three. I am currently going through a divorce. His name is Mathew, and he is incarcerated at SCI Albion. I was reborn and gave my life to Jesus on May 7, 2017, and I was baptized on July 6, 2019!
I grew up in a family of witches. I don’t think I ever heard the name Jesus unless it was followed with cussing. My life was very hard. I grew up in abuse – physically, emotionally, mentally, and sexually. I was molested and raped from the age of six to nine by my two older cousins, then again from ages ten to twelve by my great uncle who then impregnated me with my daughter Kimberly. My mother and stepdad knew, but never stopped him, and even encouraged him.
My mom hated me from the moment she knew I existed. She tried to abort me with drugs, alcohol, and fighting, but the Lord had plans for me! She ended up dying of cervical cancer ten years ago on December 19, 2009. I met my biological father Keith on December 26, 2009, but I have only seen him in person six times, since he is always in prison.
I was in and out of the foster care system, and my grandmother Tina (dad’s mom) welcomed me with arms open. But I started acting out, so I was put into psychiatric hospitals for self-harm and suicide attempts. Next came a group home for expectant teen mothers, which is where I met my husband. The home was Christian based (God made himself known to me/introduced me to him). I started going to churches because I had to, but I was angry with God for the life I was given. But God just kept tugging on my heart.
My husband started becoming abusive to me, not physically but emotionally, mentally, and also sexually. I wanted to go to church, but he didn’t, so we didn’t.
That’s when I found out my son who was two at the time was being physically and sexually abused by people we were living with. Out of anger and hurt I followed my husband and friends and committed my crime. I wish I didn’t do it, because it hurt people. I should have let the law handle the situation, and I’ll always pray for their healing, but I know I needed to be sent down.
I regret my crime, but I don’t regret coming to jail because it opened my eyes and slowed me down so God could finally get through to me. If I didn’t come to jail, I don’t think I would have truly accepted the Lord and become the woman I am today. Coming to prison has allowed the Lord to do great things. He has been healing me of things I didn’t even know were hurting me, and I learned who I am. I learned to love myself and all the people who have hurt me in the past. I just praise God that the old me has died, and I love the Lord so much.
This is a quick version of my testimony. Thank you for listening, and once again for including me in your ministry. May the Lord Jesus Christ continue to bless you. Happy New Year!
You can send your encouraging comment to Carmella at this address:
Smart Communications / PADOC
Carmella Klotz-Cooper / PA6146
SCI Cambridge Springs
PO Box 33028
St. Petersburg, FL 33733