Restoring Dignity

dignity statue

Photo by, Andrea Vorvick

 

Can you imagine living through shame of what you’ve done, spent time away from society behind bars–in a prison of concrete and your betraying thoughts–and then, finally, the day comes for you to be released from your sentence…Out into life…With only what may be left of your dignity and your personal belongings?

Now what?

We would like to introduce you to Julia Satter.  She and her husband, Stan, attend Grace Chapel.  Julia {as well as Stan} have had a heart for the women {and men} of Coffee Creek and has spent countless hours with the women there.  But something else was clearly needed.  The women needed help, after they got out.  That’s where Julia came up with the idea of the pre-packed rolling duffle bag for the women–So they can leave behind their past life and leave with a bit of hope and dignity.

Here’s what Julia had to say about the rolling duffle bags:

“I was hoping for a response from a recipient of a rolling duffle, but my experience is that they are in too much shock during their release from the gate. Their issues are a little more life and death than, “Oh what a nice rolling duffle bag.”  Remember that 85% of the women experience some type of mental illness, and they have probably been awake all night and now they are launching into the great unknown on a bus that they are catching at 5:30am with multiple bus connections ahead.  They are so vulnerable to relapse to the familiar. If they arrive at a bus station with a cumbersome and heavy box of personal items, they are a target for those who would prey on their vulnerability.

I believe the rolling duffle bag protects them from being a target during their journey to their home community.”

Here’s where Grace Chapel Steps into this need:

Coffee Creek is the only women’s prison in Oregon and is here in Wilsonville.  Every year, ladies are released from the prison after their sentences have been served.  They will return to their families.  When they leave, they will board a bus–most often with their belongings in a cardboard box–and then travel for hours to get home.

We can support these women by providing them with one of the duffel bags that Julia was talking about.  Inside the duffel bag will be basic supplies to help them get home in safety and with dignity.  You can “sponsor” a bag for $35.

On Saturday, May 28th, you can come {and even bring family members} to Grace Chapel and pack the duffel bags.  It is from 9-11am.

If you feel led, pray.  Pray for these women as they are released.

Pray that God will provide an encounter with Him. 

Pray that someone will be Christ to them.  To show His love to them.

Pray as you feel led. 

If you’re following the May Justice Reign Prayer Calendar, the prayer for today is:

“Pray for overwhelming provision for those who do not have enough to eat.”

StanThis is NOT Julia.  She sent us a picture of her husband, Stan.  Silly Julia!

Stan and Julia are long time Wilsonville residents.
They’ve attended Grace Chapel since 2000, and they’ve been Prison Fellowship volunteers at Coffee Creek since it opened in 2001.

 

 

 

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