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Thread: Criminal Restitution

  1. #1
    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Criminal Restitution

    This is both! A prayer request and a praise...

    A man stopped by my office this morning and asked if he could talk to me about restitution. He had heard me speak at National Day of Prayer, and said he thought I looked like somebody he could trust.

    He's a businessman - a plumber - who apparently is doing pretty good financially, and has recovered from a life of drugs, crime and bad decisions. He learned plumbing in prison as part of a "trades education" program. Another local plumber helped him get set up in business, knowing full well he would probably be a competitor in the future. The business that helped him is part of our "Jobs for Life" program, and they have helped other former inmates reenter society, usually hiring them as plumber's helpers, or recommending them to other local businesses.

    Anyway, this man (We'll call him Joe -- Joe the Plumber! ) wants me to set up a spreadsheet to list the crimes he committed, the value of the things he stole and the property he damaged. We'll need to get some of this info from the PD and SO, and I think they'd be open to that under the circumstances. He gave me $1,000 to open a bank account for him - kind of an escrow account - from which to pay restitution, so the victim wouldn't have to feel award about dealing directly with him. I never handle church money, or money at church, so my ministry coordinator will handle the bank account, accounting, and distribution of funds. I'll contact the victims and arrange the restitution.

    Where the victim might not accept the money, Joe wants that money donated to our Church in the victim's name. He said, "it was never my money in the first place".

    I'm loving this idea! I'm loving this GUY! He's guestimating that he owes close to $75,000 in total, and wants to make good on all of that, but it will take time.

    I have to admit, when he first started talking to me about restitution, I thought maybe he meant reparations. (Yeah, Joe is black) He's obviously not looking to 'get' - he wants to literally "give back".
    Every problem is the result of a previous solution.

  2. #2
    Oops....... mossrose's Avatar
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    You have the most amazing opportunities in your ministry, brother!

    The Lord is using you in so many ways, and I for one am grateful beyond measure that you are here to share and inspire us with these encounters.

    Thank you!


    Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

  3. Amen Cerebrum123 amen'd this post.
  4. #3
    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mossrose View Post
    You have the most amazing opportunities in your ministry, brother!

    The Lord is using you in so many ways, and I for one am grateful beyond measure that you are here to share and inspire us with these encounters.

    Thank you!


    The congregation seems to be very happy with my involvement in the community - the previous pastor pretty much hunkered down in his office all day. I had one lady, a couple years ago, try to launch a "the Pastor is NEVER in his office" campaign. She mentioned that at a ladies' Bible study, apparently hoping to stir up opposition, and one of the ladies responded, stealing my numbering format....

    A) Lost people and sick people don't hang out in his office, and
    2) Jesus was never in HIS office!



    Thanks, moss, you're too kind.
    Every problem is the result of a previous solution.

  5. #4
    Oops....... mossrose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cow Poke View Post


    The congregation seems to be very happy with my involvement in the community - the previous pastor pretty much hunkered down in his office all day. I had one lady, a couple years ago, try to launch a "the Pastor is NEVER in his office" campaign. She mentioned that at a ladies' Bible study, apparently hoping to stir up opposition, and one of the ladies responded, stealing my numbering format....

    A) Lost people and sick people don't hang out in his office, and
    2) Jesus was never in HIS office!

    That lady and you are absolutely right.


    Thanks, moss, you're too kind.
    Nope.



    Securely anchored to the Rock amid every storm of trial, testing or tribulation.

  6. #5
    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Amazing story.

    I hope he can keep it up. That's a big goal to achieve.

  7. #6
    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sparko View Post
    Amazing story.

    I hope he can keep it up. That's a big goal to achieve.
    Got a phone call just a few minutes ago from Chris - the owner of the plumbing company who is helping Joe - and Chris told me that Joe told him that he (Joe) stopped by to talk to me.

    Chris does the plumbing for our Church, and, like I said, I know him from our Jobs for Life program.

    Joe and his wife had JUST gotten back together, so when Joe ran this idea by Chris, Chris insisted - "you better check with your wife, first!" Apparently, Joe did, and his wife is thrilled, and even anxious to make sacrifices to get this behind them.

    Chris is this big burly guy with a big black beard - looks like a real toughie, but I could tell he was pretty much crying on the phone when he was telling me about this. Apparently, in a few cases, there's court-ordered restitution, so that's what Joe wants to focus on first, then go to the ones where he has no legal obligation.
    Every problem is the result of a previous solution.

  8. #7
    Troll Magnet Sparko's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cow Poke View Post
    Got a phone call just a few minutes ago from Chris - the owner of the plumbing company who is helping Joe - and Chris told me that Joe told him that he (Joe) stopped by to talk to me.

    Chris does the plumbing for our Church, and, like I said, I know him from our Jobs for Life program.

    Joe and his wife had JUST gotten back together, so when Joe ran this idea by Chris, Chris insisted - "you better check with your wife, first!" Apparently, Joe did, and his wife is thrilled, and even anxious to make sacrifices to get this behind them.

    Chris is this big burly guy with a big black beard - looks like a real toughie, but I could tell he was pretty much crying on the phone when he was telling me about this. Apparently, in a few cases, there's court-ordered restitution, so that's what Joe wants to focus on first, then go to the ones where he has no legal obligation.
    yeah a former criminal just starting out will need a lot of luck and work to both be able to take care of his family and pay restitution. I will pray that God will make this happen for him.

  9. #8
    tWebber
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    Great news!

    I'm also glad that not all the plumbers are named Joe.

  10. #9
    See, the Thing is... Cow Poke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikewhitney View Post
    Great news!

    I'm also glad that not all the plumbers are named Joe.
    Chris's real name is Joe but I didn't wanna

    :DRAT:
    Every problem is the result of a previous solution.

  11. Amen mossrose amen'd this post.
  12. #10
    tWebber
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    Wonderful story!

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