Sarah Conner is the Director of Programs at H.I.S. BridgeBuilders, including the Bridges of Hope employment preparation service. For the body does not consist of one member but of many. 1 Corinthians 12:14 (ESV)
Restoration is an effort of the entire body of Christ.
It is a beautiful thing when organizations and people work together to help someone find freedom from poverty. Jane’s is a story of cooperation, of many members operating together to bring about restoration.
Jane was born in the United States, but moved to Nigeria at age 2 to live and be raised by her grandmother. Following her grandmother’s passing, then 16 years old, Jane and her sisters moved back to the United States.
Living in foster care for two years, Jane attended and graduated from Cornerstone Crossroads Academy, a partner of BridgeBuilders that provides self-paced high school education for at-risk students in the Dallas area.
After her time at Crossroads, Jane turned 18 and aged out of foster care. She moved into Our Friends Place, another partner of BridgeBuilders, which provides stable housing for women ages 18-24. It was at Our Friends Place that Jane found a transitional place to live while she sought out work and continued her post-high school education.
At the recommendation of her principal at Cornerstone, Jane came to visit us at BridgeBuilders for job placement services. Immediately I felt a connection to Jane and her beautiful smile. She had overcome so much already and still maintained the sweetest demeanor.
Over the last two years, we’ve developed a relationship beyond the walls of BridgeBuilders. This last Christmas she stayed with my family and we served together on Christmas Day in Bonton. We’re truly each other’s sister now.
Through BridgeBuilders, Jane worked with Community Staffing Services, yet another friend and partner, placing Jane in a job as a steward at the Texas Spice restaurant at the Omni Hotel in Dallas.
For two years, Jane has worked faithfully at Omni, washing dishes and providing assistance to the chefs, while managing a 90-minute public transportation trip from her home to work. Every day, three hours of Jane’s time is spent on the bus.
Enter Bonton Motor-Works, a subsidiary of BridgeBuilders. Daris Lee, a graduate of the BridgeBuilders program, runs Bonton Motor-Works, selling cars at affordable prices for people just like Jane.
While working at Omni, Jane has saved money faithfully, enough so that she was able to buy her first car…from Daris…with cash and the biggest smile.
What was once an hour and a half commute has been cut to 30 minutes. But it’s about more than time. It’s about Jane, a sweet spirited, hard working woman, partnering with BridgeBuilders and our friends to move from a life of poverty to a life of flourishing and opportunity.
Many members, working together, causing restoration to come full circle. This is our goal, to mobilize the church, to work with our partners, and to empower our graduates, to alleviate poverty and promote flourishing in our community, one family member at a time.