One of the lovely ladies at my church has been working in Cambodia for several years now, working with the less fortunate, helping minister to many in the slums, the sick, the poor, and to inmates in prison. She has helped change the life of these inmates, raising the money and building a church for them, and she is now working towards building the training centre. You can read more about her journey in Camodia HERE and ALSO HERE.
Many people have asked my why? Why should we help these people? They have obviously broken the law, they are obviously in jail for a reason, so why should we help them?
“I was naked and you clothed Me, I was sick and you visited Me with help and ministering care, I was in prison and you came to see Me.”... ...“Truly I tell you, in so far as you did it for one of the least of these My brethren, you did it for Me.” (Mathew 25: 36 & 40)
This quote from the Bible tells us why, as Christians, we should step out and help those who so obviously need it.
"I'm not a Christian" I hear you say, "so I don't have to do what some 2000 year old book tells me". You're right. You don't have to. Neither do I. Even as a Christian I can choose to turn a blind eye to the needs of the less fortunate. I can choose not to obey God. But I choose to obey, because that is my free will choice, I WANT to follow my Saviour.
I choose to, because God has asked ME for a reason.
I was once an addict. I was addict to drugs, both illegal and prescription. I was not a nice person. I did stupid and reckless things. I could have lost everything, and almost did. I deserved to. Some of the things I did, I could have ended up in jail. It was a miracle that I didn't. I was blessed. Blessed with a supportive family, friends and understanding workplace. These women, they don't have that. Their families disown them because of the "dishonour" or they simply cannot afford to support them. Their friends don't want to know them anymore, and they rarely have the luxury of a job, let alone a job when they are released.
With the support of my family and friends I slowly turned my life around. Thanks to our Government, I was able to go back and re-train, get new valuable skills, and get a better job to provide for my family.
I was given a second chance.
And that is what this is really about. Giving these women the opportunities they need to turn their lives around. To give them their second chance. Their government provides minimal help. If families are unable or unwilling to provide for these women, then often they have nothing when they are released. No skills, no self esteem, no hope.
I am not here to judge them, I am here to help raise some money to give them a chance. A chance to learn new skills that will get them work when they are released.
Do I think everyone who utilises the facility will be forever changed? No. I am not naive. But, I do think that some will, and that makes it worthwhile.
I have posted before, my church is involved with many projects, both in Australia and overseas. I help not only with this project, but with collecting much needed supplies for an Orphanage in the Philippines, I help with a local organisation helping the youth of Australia, Red Frogs. My point here is not to "toot my horn", but to say, I am doing what I can to make a difference in this world, one small cause at a time.
So, you can CHOOSE, as God gave us free will, to help, to support, to make a difference to these women's lives. But you don't HAVE to.