I just wanted to write and let those that read this blog know about an experience I had in the Ringwood Court (outer Eastern Melbourne) recently.
One of the guys we have been supporting and journeying with for many years now, had to attend court once again for breaching his parole and re offending. His last 7 times in court had resulted in 7 custody sentences, and his Lawyer did all he could to show the Magistrate that this young man is making every effort to break this cycle and find another way of doing life.
Over the past 12 months or so, it has been amazing to watch this young man, begin to connect with the guys in elishacare, and our time spent on the streets in Croydon really helped this man feel accepted and apart of this community. He then started coming to a regular meal we have together every Tuesday night, and listened to us sitting around after the meal sharing our life, our faith and how Jesus invites us deep into this relationship with him. The more he came, the more he embraced this love and you could see his walls coming down week by week.
His next massive step was to come on his first ever camp with this community, and again priceless to watch the guys love this man unconditionally.
Back to court to finish this story......
What really touched my heart this day, eight of the guys that have become friends with this man turned up to court, not because they were asked to, or felt some sort of obligation, but because they had become apart of his journey, and really wanted to do all that they could to show support and love.
I had a chance to take the witness box, and talk about how he had made some incredible steps towards this new life, about how he had so many new friends, friends that believed in him, friends that have turned up in court today to show their support, and even had a chance to say how many of these new friends had come from destructive lifestyles themselves and that had found freedom.
It was so moving to listen to the Magistrate wind up this hearing, saying how the support shown by the guys today, and the community of elishacare, had really touched him and that he encouraged this man to continue this journey. He then went on to say that he would normally have to give a 15 month sentence for this re offending, but would today only give him two months, and again he thanked those that had given of their time to support.
He was led away, we all gathered our emotions and thanked Jesus for what had just taken place.
Some of you may be saying "but he still had to go to prison", and that is where we will continue this journey with him.
Love you to be praying for him, and us, as we share the privilege of loving one another.
elishacare seeks to help restore hope, value and purpose to broken men and women in the community
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