gloryLIFE

 

For some years now, Brad and I have known that, while what we do behind the prison fences matters, it’s what happens when women leave prison that is critical. Most women do not have a place to go home to. In many instances, “home” is where their troubles began. Sadly, home is not always synonymous with safe or good. As a result, women often choose halfway houses during transition, yet many times these facilities are just like prison without the fences. Not only are they sorely lacking in adequate resources, but they are critically missing what the women need most: a family. A real family.

And while Brad and I recognized this, we just couldn’t fathom what it meant for us. With over 5000 women released annually, what could we possibly be able to do? The task didn’t just seem daunting; it felt impossible. So we did what most of us do when we reach that point. We let fear and uncertainty grip us, and we did nothing.

But after several years of prayer, God began to burden my heart more strongly.

One, Trae.

I’m just asking you to make a difference with one.

Start there.
Trust Me.
Watch Me move mountains.

And so we have.

We’ve started with one. One woman who spent over 18 years in prison. She had no family to take her in and no place to call home. She’d never seen a cell phone or surfed the Internet so the likelihood she could navigate her way alone seemed impossible.

The TDCJ rules don’t allow us to take her into our home, so we asked God for a place nearby where we could encourage and help her. He provided a room for her to rent. We asked God for transportation, and a new bicycle arrived. We asked God for a job, and she had part-time employment two days after her release. And we asked God to surround her with a “family” … people who would love her and care for her; offer rides to parole meetings and church; invite her to spend time with them; provide groceries, clothes, a lunchbox for her job, and so much more.

There is not a need God hasn’t met yet, and here’s what I know. There. Won’t. Be. One. { 1 Thessalonians 5:24 }

One, Trae.
I’m just asking you to make a difference with one.
Start there.

And we have. But she will have more needs as she begins this new chapter in her life, and there are 4,999 more women like her. And that means God has more work than is humanly possible for Brad and me. And while I have to confess that I hate asking for help, I am reminded of a story in 2 Kings 4 where a woman was in need. She asked the prophet Elisha for help…

Elisha replied to her, “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?”

“Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a small jar of olive oil.”

Elisha said, “Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few. Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side.”

She left him and shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. When all the jars were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another one.”

But he replied, “There is not a jar left.”

Then the oil stopped flowing.” { 2 Kings 4:2-6 }

With that story, God reminded me that if will take more than the jars I have. It will take ALL of our jars. I am not the Church. We are the Church, and when we work together, ALL the needs will be met. That’s not my Pollyanna attitude rearing its head, that’s Biblical truth. “All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. { Acts 4:32-34 }.

We have to trust God on this, and so I’m asking you to share jars with me… baby-food size, pint size, quarts and gallon! Heck, even rusty old pails and plastic buckets will work, too. Whatever you can share will be a blessing!

So how can you share?

That’s the exciting part! Through the help of friends who are way smarter than us, we are planning to form a non-profit organization. We’ve formed our Board of Directors and have begun all the legal and tax paperwork. I’ll be sharing all those and many more details soon, but you can help now:
  • Pray for us! We need prayers for wisdom and guidance, as victory over fear.
  • Pray for yourself! Ask God to show you what part He has for you to play in this ministry. I can promise you that He has one.
  • Pray for God to multiply! We’ve started with one woman, but we know God has a much bigger plan. Pray for others to become involved so that there are no needy persons among us.
Sometimes God asks you to do things that are so big, you can’t even wrap your head around them. But when God has captured your heart, you’ll say yes and trust Him for all you don’t know and can’t see. I call it deep water. In over your head. Gasping for breath. But confident He won’t let you drown. That’s where I am at now. Just taking the next breath and believing God for every single promise in His Word. He said “immeasurably more than all I could ask for or imagine,” and I believe Him. { Ephesians 3:20 }
That’s the GloryLife. It’s not carefully curated so that it appears perfect and polished. Quite the opposite, it is messy and imperfect yet grace-filled and merciful; it is low and last yet abundant and fruitful; it is broken and poured out, yet fully redeemed and restored… all of that so there will be no doubt who deserves the glory. That’s the life Brad and I want to lead. That’s the life God has for you. It’s also the life God has for our one and each woman who will come after her.

Will you join us in GloryLife?

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