Michele & Regina
Michele first met Regina in March of 2013 when she was matched to be Regina's mentor through Texas Reach Out. Michele was first drawn to the ministry after she learned that her nephew was about to be released on parole. She wanted to be the hands and feet of Jesus and care for someone in a similar position as her nephew, in the way she hoped someone would care for him. What resulted was a true, Christ-centered friendship. “Jesus has been our bond of salvation, we both needed a savior,” said Michele.
The two spent much of their time together “rediscovering the beauty and fun that God put in the world for us.” Michele would cook with Regina and her roommates at the Ruth House, have picnics at Mt. Bonnell, and explore Zilker Park’s Botanical Gardens. It was about getting to know each other, and having fun as they became friends.
The two speak very highly of each other. Says Michele of Regina, “She is one of the most persevering people I have ever met.” Regina has worked hard to overcome the many obstacles facing men and women when they are released from prison.
Michele helped her through these challenges, even helping Regina relearn how to drive. “We would practice in cemetery parking lots—less traffic, you know?” she laughed.
Regina, who was baptized while incarcerated, says she has learned a lot about the character of Jesus from her relationship with Michele. Regina is a woman who loves the details of life, which has grown her appreciation for all of God’s provisions in her life—particularly for the people He has sent to her, including Michele. “Michele has shown me the character of Jesus, and how He really does care about His people. You know in the bible where it talks about how Jesus always reached out for those in need…you don’t see it so much in people. But Michele really reached out to me.”
Michele realized; “I have got to be okay that I am not it for her, and that Jesus has a plan. I am just this friendly co-traveler, doing my part in the big picture. I’m not the savior.”
Though Regina has graduated from the Texas Reach Out program, she and Michele remain friends. They are both members of Grace Covenant Church and get to catch up on Sunday mornings. The experience has taught Michele that “if we don’t behave in ways that show the Spirit in us, then our faith doesn’t really mean much. I don’t always know what Jesus is calling me to do but I should just act in obedience, be open, befriend a lonely person and see what happens! It’s about trusting that He put us together for a reason and trusting Him to unfold that as He pleases.”