ReProgram: finding God-given purpose

Ransom_ReProgramLogoIt’s the last week of our third Ransom ReProgram class. We are so proud of our students, who have worked so hard and persevered through tough roadblocks to get where they are today. As of today, 12 students are graduating on March 24, and three of them already have jobs! 

But the most powerful aspect of completing Ransom ReProgram isn’t about getting a job — it’s about learning to embrace your identity in Christ.

As we have gotten to know each of these students over the past eight weeks, we’ve learned how special God made each of them and have seen the labels the world has placed on them melt off as they realize the unique gifts and interests God has placed in their hearts. It’s so important to us that each student leaves knowing who God made them to be — not what the world has told them they are. 

We recently attended one of our students’ graduations from Home of Grace, a Christ-centered drug and alcohol recovery program. Each woman walked in carrying a large poster board with their old identity written on it: “Bound by the chains of sin and addiction,” “Imprisoned by fear and addiction,” and then picked up a new poster: “Freed by the blood of Jesus,” “A new creation.” We loved this visual picture of the life changing power of a relationship with Jesus.

At ReProgram, we seek to help our students discover even more about their new identities: what am I good at? What are my interests? What makes me tick? What is my purpose? What am I created to do?

So often the world reserves these kinds of questions for people who seem to have it all together, but we want our students to have access to hopes, dreams, and the tools they need to walk in obedience to God’s call. This is the only path to true, deep healing. A job might last for six months, but a God-given passion lasts a lifetime.

People who have struggled with addiction, crime, or poverty are not disqualified from redemption. They can be used for his glory in so many beautiful ways. We are missing out when we silence their voices, talents, and ideas. 

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This is the beautiful rainbow that showed up before our students first met their champions.

Mandy, there is a elderly person out there who needs your soft voice, gentle touch, and attention to detail. You will be an incredible caregiver and CNA.

Marques, the dogs and cats of Mobile will be better off having you as their caretaker, and their owners will rest assured knowing you are caring for their pets. Your passion for animals is a gift from God.

Caitlin, you are a great mommy and will be wonderful in the world of customer service. Your humor and fun personality will make someone’s day!

Haley, you will be the most fun, loving cosmetologist. What a great career for someone so passionate about making others feel good about themselves!

Leslie, we can see you being a caring counselor for others who have walked through what you have been through. Whatever you do, we know you will do it with grace and humility.

Sam, you are already doing a great job in construction, and we pray God will give you what you need to also achieve your goals of becoming a personal trainer! God will use you in mighty ways to help others.

Ellis, your humble, gentle spirit has been such a blessing to us. Your awesome attitude paired with your work ethic will make you a great hire for any company!

Stan, you have a servant’s heart. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in the restaurant business or working on computers —  you will serve others with joy!

Brian, you are a man of few words who works hard and does what he says he’ll do. We know you will be a dependable driver and will love being on the road one day!

Ray, what a journey it’s been. We are so proud of your dedication to make things right and walk into the life God has for you. Your sweet spirit will be a gift to your employer!

Hargrove, it’s been great to see you grow and embrace the truths we’ve learned in class. We know you will continue to grow and be a great employee.

Shaun, we need more brains like yours! You will be a great computer repairman!

This message isn’t just for our ReProgram students. Every believer has gifts, passions, and purpose. Don’t ever believe the enemy’s lie that you aren’t important. What has God called you to do? 

Ransom ReProgram is an 8-week job skills training program that seeks to provide participants with support services to overcome barriers to employment, helping them move out of dependency and into personal responsibility and self-reliance. ReProgram utilizes the Jobs for Life curriculum, an internationally-recognized job training program that boasts an 80 percent success rate. Participants are paired with a mentor and are taught spiritual principles about work and relating to others. For more information, visit RansomMinistries.com or contact site director Molly Broders at molly@ransomcafe.com.