Ripple of Us
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Saint John, NB
Ripple of Us is a call to meaningful community with an understated but far-reaching impact for men who have been incarcerated. We provide the framework for small, manageable actions that ripple beyond our view. This is the mission statement and call to action that is the core of this ministry.
Fall 2023 Update
We all love to hear a great story. As soon as I walk through the door, my granddaughter Lennon has all kinds of stories! She adds every little detail, and she insists that you hear every bit, and if you lose focus, she will quickly pull you back on track. If my wife is with me, she then tells each story all over again.
I have learned that many are not as eager as Lennon to share their stories. There are some details of one’s story that may be difficult to speak aloud, or maybe they, like Lennon, have tried to tell their story, and those around them may not have been focused. Not all have Lennon’s determination to be heard. Sometimes people grow quiet as they simply fear no one truly hears the details of their story. I have sought to be intentional, to sit and listen and be present in the stories of those around me.
One man that I am in contact through our federal reintegration program, Bob*, has been sharing bits and pieces of his story for the past several months. Over time, as Bob became more trusting, he shared more and more. Some of his stories are entertaining, but most speak of great pain and suffering: the loss of relationships and the shame created by the consequences of life choices, interwoven with the use of drugs and alcohol as a means to escape pain, only to create more shame. He began to allow me to share with him about the One who can forever change the direction of one’s story. He has come with me to church and we often share a coffee at a local community coffee house. He has given his life to Jesus and is intentional about digging deep into his faith. He now excitedly shares his stories with me! He will tell me with great delight about an aspect of faith that he recently learned of. His fresh “faith find” gives me renewed hope. It is fun to see his excitement and be excited with him. And deeper still it reminds me of how amazing God’s goodness is and how I take for granted the things that I have known for a long time.
The same way that John the Baptist approached his ministry to make Jesus more visible and pointed people to Jesus, that is how I want to approach the ministry that God has given me. It is my passion that whatever I do would be a clear lens through which people would see Jesus.
*name changed for privacy
“He must become greater; I must become less.”
John 3:30 (NIV)