Updated on October 10, 2015
Updated on October 10, 2015
Meet Wendy Barnes. She is a woman of extraordinary strength and determination. Wendy is a survivor of sex trafficking. She has been in jail. She’s been the struggling single mom who is trying to put her life back together after incarceration. (Read her book “And Life Continues” for more of her story.) Earlier this week, I sensed God putting something in her heart that he will eventually put in her hand. I have that kind of confidence, even though Wendy openly struggles with Christians, the Church and its people.
Earlier this week, I read this on her Facebook page:
“If we want change in our world….. We have to make the change.
For each person being released from jail or prison, no matter the amount of time he/she was in jail or prison, there needs to be a support system assigned to that person.
At least 4 individuals that will CARE about that person and help them through the process of being released and establishing a life that will not land them back in jail.
1. A Probation Officer who CARES about them. This is very rare in our corrections program. I understand why….. and it needs to change. This person would assign mandatory volunteer time to the individual. The person must volunteer to work somewhere at least 1 hr a week.
2. A ‘Job Expert’. Someone who will meet with the individual twice a week to go over their plan of action to gain employment. Have resources of places that will hire them with a record.
3. A ‘Treatment Facilitator.’ Someone to act as an accountability person – requirements to go to AA/NA/Anger Management/Parenting Classes. Someone who will go to the meetings and classes WITH the person to help them through it.
4. A Social Worker to help them with housing and all the areas of life that that are not covered from above.
This is what needs to happen to make our world a safer place and to create a ‘community atmosphere’ in our world. Only question left is……….. Is our taxes going to pay for these individuals or are we going to volunteer to do it?”
My response: “Powerful. Praying God raises up people like you to grow something like this. We don’t need a government program, we need people who care.”
Wendy’s reply: “That is totally true…… HMMMMMM, maybe I should take the steps to start it. If each person being released from jail was met with 4 people standing there waiting to help them…….. You got me thinking outside the box….. thank you.”
There are two things that I love about this exchange: 1. Wendy isn’t part of a church or a Bible study. She’s a human being with a heart for people, and if you think God only uses those who profess to be Christians, you’re wrong. 2. Wendy understands that change starts with her, not with someone passing a law or dedicating tax dollars for a yet-to-be-implemented program. She gets that people transitioning from incarceration to freedom need to be surrounded with people who care; with people who show them love.
Thanks Wendy, for showing me this week how
Love Never Fails
This is the 12th post in my series Love Never Fails for the Write 31 Days blogging challenge. You can click here to go to my introduction page and find links to all the posts in the series. Also, if you’d like to receive these posts directly in your inbox, just enter your email address in the bar to the right. I promise to never share your information.