Your responses have been recorded and we have good news: healing and restoration are possible for both offenders and victims.
When a crime is committed, our justice systems find and convict the offender, then lock them away. It’s how we have attempted to keep our communities safe for centuries. We call this justice. But is it working?
The world’s prisons are getting more full, but the streets are not safer. Victims are left with feelings of helplessness and fear.
There has to be a better way. And there is.
If you have just a minute more, we like to share the story of Zenab, a woman whose life transformed through the Sycamore Tree Project: Justice and Peace®: Justice and Peace.
Zenab lived through the kind of events you read about in thrillers. She was attacked and stabbed in the back by a serial killer. Imagine the fear, the pain, and the years of recovery for her to overcome a moment like that and feel safe again.
“I was one of 47 victims and I was fortunate enough to be one of the 17 he didn’t kill.” The fact that she survived became a blessing that she shared with fellow victims to help them heal.
But through the Sycamore Tree Project: Justice and Peace®: Justice and Peace, Zenab was able share her story with prisoners too and to show them the true impact of their offenses.
She helped them understand deep down the pain and the hurt that crimes cause. She told them that if she had the chance to talk to her attacker, “What I’d like to really say is ‘You hurt me in ways that words can never describe.’”
“I would like my offender to say to me that he’s sorry and he will never do anything like that to anyone ever again.”
The Sycamore Tree Project: Justice and Peace®: Justice and Peace helps victims of crime experience true healing by confronting what was done to them and gain the strength and confidence to forgive, like Christ forgives, with mercy and grace.
It also provides opportunities for victims like Zenab to help offenders understand the full impact of their crimes so that they too can be restored.
For offenders, true redemption comes when they confront what they have done, realize the pain they have caused, and ask for forgiveness.
Rodrigo, and so many others, know that, “If you are an offender some people will just say ‘You deserve to die in jail. You deserve to rot in jail.’” But how is that correction? How is that justice? What good does that do?
Through the Sycamore Tree Project: Justice and Peace®: Justice and Peace, by bringing together victims and offenders, both lives are restored. And the lives of the prisoners are redeemed.
Victims get to tell their story to the people who need to hear it most. Prisoners come to realize the true impact of their crimes, not only on the victim but on their own families and loved ones. They realized that they no longer want to stay in the same cycle of pain, fear, and hopelessness.
There is power in hearing from victims that their lives are still worthwhile. Restoration comes from hearing, “Whatever you’ve done, you’ve committed, when you come out, there’s still life. It’s never too late to begin from scratch. It’s NEVER too late.”
In that moment, the walls fall down and restoration begins, and offenders begin to turn toward seeking forgiveness and hope . . . “I would like to ask forgiveness of everyone I have wronged.”
When they do, they share with us the transformation that begins, “On the other side of forgiveness you will find joy.”
And it’s not just the victim and the offender that are healed through restorative justice, but there’s a ripple of restoration through their communities too. Because both victims and offenders come home restored, and their relationships outside of the circle of crime are restored as well.
It’s when you invest in stories like these that real lives are transformed through the Sycamore Tree Project: Justice and Peace®: Justice and Peace. If you can join us in this ministry, you will bring true justice and peace where there’s anger and sorrow.
You’ll help prisoners experience the amazing grace that Christ gave to each of us through His suffering on the Cross and His resurrection. You’ll help them discover the hope that radiates through ministries like the Sycamore Tree Project: Justice and Peace®: Justice and Peace – that it’s not too late to seek forgiveness, make amends, and change their lives.
Will you restore prisoners’ lives and rebuild communities—for good—with a gift right now?