"An Inside Perspective"

April 2003


My Dear Family in Christ,

Ever precious greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! Tracy is young and impressionable, a witty girl of 5 who loves to laugh. She doesn’t laugh long. She is born into a broken home in a drug infested neighborhood. Her father and mother are struggling with the sin of addiction, and their lives are enslaved in the pursuit of the elusive ultimate high.

Tracy is caught in the crossfire of a relationship bound by the idol of addiction. She feels like a burden to her parents, as if she has no value to them. She is secondary to all they seem to treasure. The house they live in is constantly filled with people indulging in drugs, alcohol, and sexual fornication of the basest sort.

As Tracy grows into a young women, she is sexually abused regularly by her father. If she tells anyone of his nefarious deeds, she is threatened with her life. Paridoxically, this is by the only man she thought she could trust. She feels dirty, useless and unloved, and these feelings lead to a deep bitterness toward men in general. She longs for true love and affection but struggles to believe that such a love even exists.

Now a little older, Tracy begins to frequent the bar scene. She meets a woman who really seems to care and to understand her. This woman is a lesbian and Tracy is lured into a lifestyle where men are the enemy and women are King. At first, she "feels" she has found the love she needs but once again drugs and alcohol now permeate her lifestyle. She has jumped out of the proverbial frying pan and into the fire!

In the course of her life, Tracy is caught in a drug raid and within minutes her life is turned upside down (as if it is not already!). Now she's handcuffed and on her way to jail. She is charged with possession and sentenced to 2 years. She is given a bar of soap and a 2 inch toothbrush, and then thrown into a cell with a gnarly looking, no tooth have’n, woman named Butch! Fear rises in Tracy’s heart as the other women yell sexually-laced cat-calls toward her. She begins to cry, she is broken. Tracy is "without hope and without God in the world."

During Tracy’s first year behind bars, she wanders into a Bible study and sits down in the back. Sister Debbie, the "church lady" with the black book, seems to be talking only to her. She’s talking about a Savior on a bloody cross, about forgiveness and hope. Could He, did He, die for me? Tracy is convicted of her sin and goes to talk with Sister Debbie, through whom God, Who is rich in mercy, saves her and fills her with His Spirit.

Tracy is now 26 years old. She has lost everything, and those whom she thought had loved her are now long gone. But now she has a new inner glow and her whole countenance is changed. Now she can’t wait to go to Bible Studies, and she hangs on every Word that the "church lady" says. Sister Debbie spends the next year personally discipling her on a weekly basis.

Tracy’s 2 year sentence is now up. She is delivered from drugs and lust and is walking in the freedom of Christ, her Lord. Tracy is a "new creature in Christ" but she has no home, no family or friends, no money and no car. Her release day is here and the jail gives her back her dirty clothes that she came in with 2 years ago. They hand her 8 dollars for bus fare and put her on the street. Tracy’s anxiety is great, what should she do now? She is downtown with no where to go. Life is going on all around her and no one notices her plight. She remembers the "church lady’s" loving words, "Call me if you need me, here’s my number." Sister Debbie is home working in her office, the phone rings and it’s Sister Tracy! Sister Debbie jumps in the car and goes to get her.

What do you propose that Sister Debbie does with Sister Tracy now? Hard question, right? How about she brings her over to your place and you put her up for a month or two until she gets a job and a car and eventually an apartment? You always have leftovers laying around don’t you; how about that extra bedroom with all that junk in it that you don’t really need? Most say, "Oh praise the Lord that God has saved her! Sister Tracy is such a wonderful new Christian...but not in 'my' house. What about this and what about that? Don’t ‘they’ have ‘places’ for people like her? I’ll pray about it."

Beloved, I’m not trying to be harsh here, but I am trying to make a point, and to let you hear the heart of this Ministry. We have thousands of stories like Tracy's, men and women alike. These people are the Lord’s redeemed, and we have a responsibility to them. We are looking into many housing ideas, such as Calvary Chapel’s "U-Turn-4-Christ". We feel called to meet this need. Will you help? We need a house for these women! Please, hear Tracy’s heart through Paul,

"Do you look at things according to the outward appearance? If anyone is convinced in himself that he is Christ’s, let him again consider this in himself, that just as he is Christ’s, so we are Christ’s."

Joyfully in Jesus,