Posts tagged 72-Hour Fund
Changing Trajectory

Webster defines trajectory as the path of a moving body through space; a taken course, a path. All of us are on a certain path or course, i.e., our trajectory. Some of us are on a paved, super highway, cruising along at 75 MPH. Others of us seem to be on an elliptical route, circling back to old friends, haunts, mistakes and never breaking free of the endless loop. Many men and women in prison wonder just how they ended up doing 20 to life after what seemed such a promising start. More than a few prisoners know exactly how they got there; many suffering abuse from uncles, parents, or spouses, and medicating those pains with drugs and alcohol. Since over 95% of men and women in prison eventually are released back into society they and we should consider how to change a path…a trajectory for those getting out.

ChangesAt Doing HIS Time Prison Ministry, our Colorado based (Denver) 72 Hour Fund seems to have discovered a way to do just that. Our 72 Hour Fund offers ex-offenders help within the first days and months after a Colorado inmate is released. Over the last five years DHT has assisted over 1,500 men and women ex-offenders. Of those 1,500 only 13% (195 souls) have returned to prison! The recidivism rate average for the State of Colorado is 50.4% (756 souls) The 72 Hour Fund statistics astounded us. What could DHT be doing that has changed the trajectory…the path…of these ex-offenders?

DHT consulted a few friends and a sociologist and they offered the following analysis. First, they said, contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t take a great deal of assistance to significantly alter the orbit of someone. Second, specific to DHT 72 Hour Fund, because DHT was a dedicated "prison ministry" ex-offenders feel welcome and loved, not judged, the minute they step into the office. They likened it to an AA or Al-Anon meeting where no one has to explain why he or she is there. Third, the acceptance of offering help to ALL ex-offenders regardless of faith status or crime, the women and men feel love and acceptance in a way that many had never felt in their entire lives. Fourth, by having 72 Hour Fund provide real time, tangible "face and hands of Jesus" provision, i.e., steel toed work boots, shoes, belts, classy interview-worthy women’s outfits, winter coats, food, backpacks and identification assistance (SS card applications, birth certificates) that HOPE was restored.

The take away for all of us is that even though you might not have a 72 Hour Fund in your state, you could have one! We will share the DNA on how to run one…on the cheap. But the most important lesson is that it IS possible to change a life’s trajectory. C’mon people…make it happen in your neighborhood.

Resurrection: Why Wait?

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT

 ResurrectionAs we contemplate Easter and the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, most of us take comfort in the fact that someday…after we are dead…that we, too, will be resurrected like Jesus and spend eternity in His presence. This is true…BUT…we do not have to die to experience the Resurrection…it’s available to us right now…TODAY

Webster’s dictionary defines resurrection this way, “the act of causing something that had ended or been forgotten or lost to exist again, to be used again, etc.”

 At Doing HIS Time Prison Ministry we see resurrection almost every day. When an ex-offender comes into DHT 72 Hour Fund and tries on new cloths, receives a hug from our ex-offender staff or walks out with luggage filled with new shoes, a winter coat, almost new shirts or blouses, dresses and a purse, they are transformed…”resurrected” into a new life of purpose, hope and love. We know this because less than 20% of every man or woman who feels God’s love through DHT 72 Hour Fund, goes back to prison after three years. The power that changes these hearts is Jesus. The delivery system that brings Jesus to these souls is the Holy Spirit working through DHT 72 Hour Fund.

 Pastor Rick Warren writes:

 “Can a butterfly go back into a cocoon after it’s come out as a caterpillar? Of course not. It can’t happen. Once the caterpillar becomes a butterfly, it is what it is — a butterfly. When you become a believer, you’re like that butterfly — you come out of your cocoon. It may take you some time to fly spiritually, but once you become a new creation in Christ, you are what you are. You are a new creation. So what does it mean to become a new creation in Christ? The moment you believe in Christ, there’s a spiritual metamorphosis — everything changes! This is a matter of faith and not sight. The greatest step of faith we can take in our lives is to believe what God says about who Jesus is and accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.”

 Can’t say it better than Pastor Rick…