Happy shopping! Place your order by 12/15 for standard shipping and 12/19 for priority to ensure delivery before Christmas

Sanctuary

by Bingran Zeng December 03, 2013

Sanctuary

Shelia, Dorinda and I had a great intro meeting with the six new residents of Magdalene on the Inside. We talked about our first meeting with the first residents of Magdalene in 1997 and how we could never have imagined how that community could grow and blossom. The conversation flowed easily between past fear and shame to future hopes.  Women teared up most as they described what it means to be open to healing. We began with writing the word "sanctuary" and as we talked one of the women sketched a beautiful thistle under the word.  

There is so much work and we all made a commitment to dig deeper than the taproot of a thistle to get to the roots of what lead to the streets and the foundation of love. Everyone also committed to not talking with other inmates about what a woman says in the circle and what bonding with one another might look like. We told them that they were now considered six new residents of the program, that they would get a small stipend and that we would write to them and have a place for them when they were released.  There is so much work ahead and we need volunteers to help with things like the Christmas party Shelia has planned and scrapbooks for Christmas.  Clinicians from the Rape and Sexual Abuse Center are coming to help weekly and residents will write to them over the next few months. The program is planned for three nights a week for two hours at this point. We are brainstorming about how we can make some arts and crafts to be used to help raise money for this prototype for community inside prison. I remember the first time we had a conversation about it was after visiting a women's prison in Texas when we saw a women that had deep ruts in her cheeks and tears flowing like a stream through them. It was a visual of how lonely and scary a place it can be and we talked afterwards about what it would be like to try and create a sanctuary with a very small group of women inside. I love that its coming to life.  

 

By Becca Stevens

@revbeccastevens 

 

Bingran Zeng
Bingran Zeng



Also in Community Blog

Meet Ericka: Professional, Board Member, Thistle Farms Graduate

by Melanie Reitz November 10, 2016

A 2003 Thistle Farms graduate, and now member of Thistle Farms’ Board of Directors, Ericka Monroe has a clear message for women coming into Thistle Farms: You can do it. In 2001, this is the message she received from Becca Stevens, and it has guided her ever since.  Ericka came to the program having spent four years on the streets. She was sure she wouldn’t stay, but, as she got to know the women around her, she realized there was something different here.


Read More
From the Streets to Accounts Manager: Chelle is Living Proof

by Melanie Reitz October 12, 2016

The growth Thistle Farms has enjoyed in the last several years has kept Chelle Waller, survivor-leader and Accounts Manager, very busy. As a 2005 graduate, Chelle has seen a great deal of change since she first began. “At one time, we were only about 5 women working here, just at one little table,” Chelle recalls. Now, Chelle manages the accounts payable process for a company with a $4 million budget.
Read More
We Are Not Alone: A Blog from Becca

by Becca Stevens September 19, 2016

On Thistle Farm's third trip to visit the Ikirezi community, Nicholas told me that our ecommerce partnership was important, not just because of the added economic value, but because it was a reminder that he wasn’t alone in this work. What he meant was that despite the overwhelming obstacles one faces in justice work out in the fields, we can overcome our times of loneliness and heartbreak if we work together.
Read More