Last summer and fall, I did a series called “Questions You Can Ask a Missionary.” I answered the 12 questions listed in an article on the Paracletos blog. These questions address the most common stressors that missionaries feel.
In case you missed any of the posts, or as a way to review what I already wrote (especially in light of us transitioning from Allendale over the next six months), here is a list of those questions and answers:
Last time, I described the work done by Lee Ozley and the staff and residents of Allendale Correctional Institute (ACI), as outlined in his book 95% What If… . The Character-based Housing Unit (CHU) is now 2 years old, and has recently expanded into its second dorm.
The vast majority of men in prison made mistakes that (honestly) any one of us could have made, if we made just a few different choices in life. But we cannot dwell on what has been done in the past, but on what we need to do now.
And what we need to do now is help provide these men (and men and women in prisons like it all across this country) the skills, encouragements, and tools they need to become constructive members of society. The burden is on us.
Programs like the CHU are proven to make a difference. The inmates (or “residents,” as they prefer) want to learn and to improve their lives. Most incarcerated men want to improve their education level, learn how to lead and respect others, and learn how to better manage their money.
With programs and educational opportunities, the prisons will have less recidivism violence, saving money on staff and housing in the long-term. Who doesn’t think that’s a good thing?
Last month, I had the pleasure of taking part in “The Greater Good.” This event, hosted by the University of South Carolina, was intended to help college students understand the benefits and challenges of working in the non-profit sector.
As part of the three-person panel, we were asked questions from the moderator and audience. The three of us gave our insight for all the questions asked, but we took turns who would answer first.
I came from a slightly different perspective since I don’t per se work for a non-profit. However, I guess I qualified to be on the panel because we do a bunch of stuff for no money! (And I did work for a church for four years, so that counts, too.)
I wanted to share my answers (and some of the wisdom from my co-panelists) to some really good questions.
I started working in Allendale in January 2011, and we started raising financial support the next month. Because I have only had part-time jobs (anywhere from one to four at any given time), we have needed additional support for these three years that we have lived in Allendale.
My month of “reduced” blogging is done, since I was working on my novel (almost done!). Now that most of that writing is done, as well as football season, I hope to catch my breath a little this month. Thanks for giving me that leeway.
I did want to follow up with a poll from last month, where I asked you to give Just One Word that comes to mind when you think of poverty. Thanks to the 112 people who contributed.
As a prompt, I gave 9 choices of words that I felt were most common. Of those 9 choices, the most common selected were:
- hopeless (20.5%)
- weak / powerless (12.5%)
- money / wealth (9.8%)
Almost half of the people who took the poll choose “Other” and wrote in their own words. The top write-ins were:
- sad (4.5%)
- poor (3.6%)
- despair (3.6%)
- hunger / hungry (3.6%)
Thanks for taking the time to think through this issue!
Earlier this month, I asked if anyone would consider donating copies of the book The Mentor Leader. I was overwhelmed at the response.
I asked for 20 copies, and people offered to help quicker than I could check my email and Facebook messages. Wow!
In fact, the response was so great that we have more books than I asked for. And that doesn’t include the money that I was sent in order to buy additional copies.
So here’s the new plan: