Matthew 25 Ministries
City of Refuge
Where All Things Are Possible
The residents in Matthew 25 Ministries’ City of Refuge range in age from 19 to 92. Opposite ends of this spectrum often bring unique challenges.
Whenever someone asks me what I do with my time, I tell them that a lot of my time is spent volunteering at Matthew 25 Ministries. Most certainly, the very next question they ask is “What’s Matthew 25 Ministries?” When I explain what we are all about – I usually get this reaction; ‘Why would you want to do that?’ Some friends have walked away. Some have been curious to learn more.
Given that I have been asked at least a hundred times ‘why’ – I thought that I’d better stop and really think about why I volunteer at M25M. The answer I came up with goes back three years ago when I gave a Kairos (prison ministry) talk on forgiveness. I came away with the understanding that if God forgives someone, how can I not also have forgiveness for that person? That idea has stayed with me. It is also the reason I volunteer at M25M.
Here’s my thinking on why I volunteer. Having served their sentences, convicted sex offenders face an increasingly hostile world when they are released. Our society wants to forget them – not forgive them. There are a host of restrictions and requirements that they face. If it were not for M25M many of the men and women living on Muck City Road might be back in prison.
When I first heard about M25M, I realized that here was a real-world expression of the lesson I learned at Kairos about forgiveness. After nearly three years of involvement, I see even more clearly the positive impact forgiveness has on helping our men and women regain their healthy self-esteem. Our campus is centered on Christian forgiveness. That’s why I volunteer at M25M.
We are blessed to have you as a supporter. Thank you.
I worked hard my whole life and I thought I was doing fine. Most of my life had gone well, but I was not thinking correctly and it was a wake-up call when I was arrested and had to go to prison. The time in prison gave me time to think about my life and where I went wrong.
As my release from prison grew close, I started trying to plan the rest of my life. I did not know what I was going to do because of my age and charges. I did not think I would be able to find a job that would support me and my wife, and also the unknown time of probation and therapy. When my wife said I could not come live with her, I did not know what I would do.
I worked with a lady a prison that was helping me find a place to live - she told me about the great things Matthew 25 Ministries was doing for inmates like me. My hopes began to rise again. So many doors had been shut for me that I was very troubled. But the ministry opened its doors to me and gave me a chance to face the coming changes. A chance to have a place I could afford and have the time to work on me so I might be able to salvage what was left of my life.
Because of the ministry and its help, I now see a way - I have the hope and the time that I can improve myself and not have to face all the troubles of doing that and also having to make a living. The ministry has helped with all the necessities: a place to live, food to eat, church services, therapy, and transportation to all the requirements of someone just released.
Having helped so many in the past, the people who work with the ministry know when and where to get all the needs handled. These things would have been overwhelming had I not had the help of the ministry and the people who work hard to help the residents. With the help of the ministry and its support staff, I have the time needed to work on myself and that gives me hope of being able to put my life back together with a safe environment to live in.
I don’t know what the future will bring, but I am very grateful to Matthew 25 Ministries for all that it offers. The environment that the ministry offers gives great peace of mind. It shows in the residents, and was a pleasant surprise to find the many friendly people that live here.
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