Many men come and go through the doors of our sites each year. It is our sincere hope that they leave a changed man even if that change may be considered insignificant or unnoticeable by most. We work hard to plant seeds of change and transformation. Sometimes those seeds are harvested in the short-term, but we also believe that the light of Christ shown during their time here sticks with the men in the long-term and continues to knock on the door of their soul day after day (Revelation 3:20). However, in the end it is the will to change and the power of the Holy Spirit working in these men that catalyzes new life. It is our hope that in all we do here at Damascus Way, little slivers of Christ’s love slip through the cracks in the barriers and walls that men put up around their hearts and minds. Many men who come out of prison come with a resistance towards change, skepticism towards Christianity or disinterest in exploring their own wounding’s or how they’ve wounded others. It isn’t easy to open up, and men in particular have been encultured with this idea that vulnerability is a sign of weakness. One of our goals is to shatter this myth by demonstrating that openness about our faults actually signifies integrity, honesty, strength and maturity. In incorporating a spiritual assessment tool during a resident’s first few weeks at Damascus Way, our Reentry Coordinators strive to engage in all these areas in order to help the men explore their spirituality and their past. In doing so, we hope to give space to the Spirit to unlock doors the men have kept locked, often for a long time. All the men that come through our doors, do so at various stages of reconciliation, with themselves and with others. Some are ready to be open and honest about themselves. Others need time to grow and open up. However, when a resident has the right mindset and the willingness to succeed, Damascus Way is without a doubt the place for them to do so. This brings me to the resident I’d like to spotlight today, Chris!
Chris has been with us since nearly the beginning of this year and has been an incredible presence in our Golden Valley program. He works hard many days a week at a consistent job. Chris has succeeded in landing an important and integral role at his job in the culinary world. The long work hours do not detract from his presence at the Golden Valley site, as he consistently maintains a presence here, engaging in friendly conversation with staff or other residents. Chris has good rapport with those who know him and is a very likable guy. He offers to help out around the house whenever possible and contributes to the strong sense community and responsibility that defines the environment here. Chris makes an effort to engage in community events hosted at our Golden Valley site to show his gratitude for those who support the work of Damascus Way. Chris also speaks highly of how our program promotes success. In fact, when staff were speaking with him just this week, he joked that, “If you don’t succeed here, you’re doing something wrong. This places sets men up for success in every way.” Chris is a curious and engaging personality, who enjoys talking about theology with staff, helping others and his stylish work apparel, which staff enjoying pointing out each day in good humor.
We are so blessed by residents like Chris!