Love Never Fails : If we want to change our world, we have to make the change

Wendy

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

Love Never FailsThis 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.

21 Comments on “Love Never Fails : If we want to change our world, we have to make the change

  1. I am beyond words, humbled and flattered that you would write about me. Thank you so much Kari. I greatly appreciate this and I hope that WE as a group of caring Human Beings can develop a program to help people walking out of the prison system.

    In my book, you will see that we are not bad people, but people who have had lack of choices and made decisions based on the struggles we have faced in our lives. When we believe that no one cares about us, it changes us as a person and the same goes for when we believe that someone cares…… it changes us.

    Peace, Love and Lots of Laughter,

  2. Such a timely topic and smart writing. I agree, we can be the change we want to see in the world.

  3. I love this. I wholeheartedly agree that a support system like this would be so important to those who have been through the corrections system. I am really interested in reading Wendy’s book!

  4. I think you’re right that if we want to see change, we have to be willing to take some action. One of my friends I met through church runs Protect the Children, and talks to parents about protecting children online. I went to one of her workshops and it was very good.

  5. I can’t even tell you how much I love this! I am forwarding this on to friends in our church who have and heart and vision to do just this! So glad I found this post today (via our 31days fb group!)

  6. I dealt with a young man released from prison, but he could not find true freedom for drugs. He committed suicide and left a young son and my daughter. My daughter is on a downward spiral, but not landed in prison yet. I wonder if this young man could have gotten real drug treatment and given chances where would he be today? There are programs, but you have to pay to get into them. You have to pay your probation officer even if you don’t have a job. I wonder if people realize this? It is complicated and getting out of chains of prison is a tough road for many. There are so many road blocks; people don’t like to hire convicted criminals even though they are on probation trying to put their lives back together. No easy answers. The best thing to do is to encourage our children not to go down the road of criminals to begin with.

    • Oh Mary that is really hard and I’m so sorry you’ve had to deal with that. I don’t have the answers, but I know God cares and sees and knows and is with you. As a mother, trust you did the best you could and remember that you are not responsible for your children’s choices, only they are. It’s hard to let go of control, but don’t let regret take you down in its spiral. Praying God reveals his heart for you and your daughter and that you feel held in the safety of his arms.

  7. LOVE.THIS. Now I am thinking outside the box. I have a heart desperate to help and encourage women. Because I am blind, with no way to get around, thinking outside the box is a MUST. Thank you so much for sharing Wendy’s story!

  8. There is a quote that we need to be the change that we want to see. It is too easy to assume that someone else will step up and be the person to take the next step. I know I desire to be more like Wendy in my own life, but seem to let fear hold me back instead of jumping right in. Thank you for inspiring me with these words today.

  9. Thank you to everyone for your comments and insight. Feel free to reach out to me on FB: And Life Continues. I will be happy to speak with any of you. Have a great day, Peace, Love and Lots of Laughter,

  10. What an awesome story… and a fantastic idea! Things like the have incredible potential to change the society we live in. You both have a heart of gold!

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