Friday, March 27, 2009

Find Your Way Home: The Women Of Magdalene Speak

image Find your way home is a book written by the women of Magdalene.  What makes this tiny book unique is that it is written by former sex trade workers and it speaks of their struggles to get off the streets.

The book speaks about the healing process and their path back to loving themselves after having some of the most unimaginable experiences. 

Though there is a strong religious undertone to much of the writing, I sense that for these women it provides them with a sense of comfort and love that has been missing from their lives. 

Often when it comes to sex trade workers allies speak and we do not get to hear their experiences first hand.  Part of what attracted me to this novel was getting to read for myself their thoughts.  The testimonies are honest and raw.  They function as a source of hope.

Magadelene offers a variety of services to these women.  Chiefly they learn that despite the fact that the world has cast them aside that they are still valuable, intelligent human beings, worthy of being loved.  They are able to stay in the residence for two years and in the meantime they receive counselling, and job skills.  When many of the women leave they are able to move into apartments and have already secured employment.

This worthwhile project is supported by Thistle Farms which is a business created to support their worthwhile work. 

image Thistle Farms is a non-profit business run by women who have survived lives of violence, prostitution, and abuse. “Thistle Farms products are hand-made by the very women they benefit. All proceeds go back into Thistle Farms and the residential program, Magdalene. Into every product goes the belief that freedom starts with healing and love can change lives.”

If you are interested in finding out more about these women or the remarkable program run by Magdalene, you can check them out at their new blog, The Voices of Thistle Farms.  Just like the book it will be filled with their testimony of healing and hope.   I have have many books on my on my bookcases and many blogs in my reader, but these women have touched me in a way that few have.  Please take the time to read their stories.  In listening actively to their voices it affirmed my belief that there is hope for us all.

Finding Home
by the women of Magdalene
Home is a woman I know well.
Her presence comforts me.
Her windows, like eyes, allow me to look out without fear.
I am safe with her.
Her clothes carry the scent of homemade soap
and fruit from the orchard.
A soft, delicate, melodic voice.
I am here. I am here.
Just call my name. I am here.
She reaches out to help all.
Takes thistles and turns them into flowers.
Browns. Reds. Greens.
Different shades of orange.
She has special treasures just for me.
I love her for being here just for me.
The smell of cornbread she cooked.
The smell of flowers welcoming you.
Wearing comfort like a tiger wears stripes.
She was conceived in love and peace.
She will live long and teach many.


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