Category Archives: Turning One’s Life Around

The Pastor Opened Up a Farm, to Teach the Inmates to Plant the Produce So They Have a Viable Way to Make a Living After Their Release

A preacher, with the work of God, in helping to reform the inmates who are released, giving them a set of viable skills that they can make a living off, so they are less than likely, to return back to their former ways of life, a life of crimes, off of the Newspapers, translated…

The pastor from the Ming-Der Rehabilitation Center of Tainan Penitentiary System Hu was once a successful businessman, after his failed ventures in business, after he hit her all-time low in he life, she went into the seminary school, and started spreading the gospels to the inmates in prison, saw a lot of how the drug addicts failed in getting cleaned up, she’d set up the “Yong-Hsin Home Happy Farms”, to help the reformed inmates have a viable way to make a living, he’d stayed at the far all day long with the released inmates, from the beginning of the program, there’d only been one individual and now there’s, ten, the Yong-Hsin Home Happy Farms became a halfway house for the released drug addicts, where they get to set up their own means to make a living for the rest of their lives.

Hu had the ups and downs in working in business, due to owing too much in debts in his business ventures, he’d lost support from his own families, became severely depressed, originally wanted to commit suicide to end his own life, he was, saved, and, made a miraculous complete recovery, he’d believed, that God saved him for a reason, and gained a whole new lease on life, in his family’s encouragement, he went into seminary school, and started spreading the gospels in prison regularly.

the photo of the man, setting up a halfway house for the released prisoners, off of UDN.com

台南監獄明德戒治分監傳道胡子琳(左)為毒癮更生人打造中途之家。記者吳淑玲/攝影

He’d preached to the Ming-Der Rehabilitation Center of Tainan for over a year, and stayed with the addicts, and understood why many of the cases why they’d failed, primarily due to how after the inmates releases, they’d wanted to return back to the society, but lacked the environment that served as a middle ground.

He’d selected a farm as a halfway house for the reformed, released convicts, and stayed with these released inmates twenty-four seven at his farm.  He said, that the halfway house acts to help an unsteady sapling, with the four sticks on four sides, the ropes, steadying the young sapling, to have it set its roots down in the stable environment, then, it can grow on its own to become, stronger.

Hu told, that the primary produces of the farm were mangoes, vegetables, and all of the released inmates at the beginning told him that they couldn’t plant it, and now, they’re, sweating along, growing the foods that they’re consuming, he bore witness to how the reformed inmates are, getting their lives back on the right tracks step by step.

Hu Supervised the Released Inmates to Get Certified.

It was three years ago when Hu started up the Yong-Hsin Home Happy Farms, recently, he’d set up the “Take Me Home Workshop” in Yongkang, Tainan, selling the handmade buns with feelings, the traditional Chinese buns, and dumplings made by the inmates who’d been released from prison, helping those addicts who are trying to stay clean to have a stable sources of income, and the skills, to start off a business of their own.

“Guo”, who’d been successful in getting cleaned, had perfect skills in making the dumplings, he’d only worked odds and ends from before, thought that he couldn’t be successful, after a little over a year’s training and learning, he’d become, a certified professional.

Another released inmate, Yang already, passed his level C certification in baking, at first he’d told, “certification for me?  Not possible!”, Hu asked the instructors to train him in his baking skills, and, forced him to take the skills certifications exams, “the pressure had been, enormous, but, in his pushing me, I actually, passed, I’m, encouraged by the man completely.”

And so, this is the wonderful thing this man is doing, for the released inmates, because they lacked the skills, and had been in prison for, many years, they are normally, detached from the rest of the outside world, and, this workshop served as a halfway place, a transitional place for these reformed, released inmates to acquire a skill that they can live off, to help them better support themselves, so there would be less of a chance, they’re to, return back to their former lives of crimes.

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The Drug-Dealer Turned into a Program Against Addiction Hero, Started His Business to Help Those Who had Been Released from Prison

How this dealer turned his own life around, and is now, helping others who are like him when he was younger, using his example as a what-not-to-do of sorts for the younger generations of offenders, off of the Newspapers translated…

The assistance of C.E.O. of the Fujiang Human Resources Agency, Jiang from Hsinchu had a long juvenile history, stolen cars, gotten addicted to drugs, sold the substances illegally, went in and out of prison a total of six times, imprisoned for a total of seventeen years; his daughter didn’t understand why he did what he did, his families treated him as stranger, after he was out on parole, he’d, changed his ways, turned over a new leaf.  He was grateful for his prison cell mate, Liao who’d given him a hand in changing his own ways, and now, as an assistant C.E.O., he’d hired a lot of those who were released from prison, hoping that he can give someone else a helping hand that s/he needed in life.

傷疤刻劃不懂事的年少 洗心革面拉更生人一把 – YouTube

the interview of the man, talking of his youth and inexperience that’s gotten him into a life of crimes, and yes, the link works!

In middle school, Jiang was taken into juvenile detention for stealing cars, and he’d later dropped out of school and gotten involved in gang activities, and as he’d started working as a singing companion in the karaoke bars, he’d gotten into drugs, and because he has a complex social circle, he’d gotten addicted.  After he was out of the armed services, he was desperate to make the money quickly, and started trafficking drugs, and gotten involved in printing the counterfeit bills too, involved in arms, in and out of prison six time total, and spent a total of seventeen years in prison.

“When I got taken away, my daughter was only two years old………” Jiang recalled those final ten years of his life of losing his freedom, he told, back then, his daughter was estranged from him, and couldn’t understand why he did what he’d done, he’d contemplated on his own life in the future, and decided to change, to help his families find back the faith they’d lost in him.

As he got out on parole, Jiang started working as a construction worker, hauled the cement to provide for is family, and because he overworked himself, he had a fracture, but to make sure his families had enough, he can only keep going, but, it’d, caused a long-term complication on his fractured hand.  His prison cell mate Liao saw that he couldn’t keep making a living like this, and, pulled him along in his business, and his life became, more stable.

Jiang who’d been put into prison for drug trafficking had already, slowly, let go of that awful part of his own past, and, started getting involved in the not-for-profit organizations to volunteer, and he would deliver the meals to the elderly who live alone in Hsinchu, and also works as the lecture of Anti-Drug Abuse of the county of Hsinchu, everybody who knew him called him an anti-drug abuse hero, but what he’d hoped more is, that what happened on him, don’t get experienced by the younger generation of children, and hoped that his hard work can help the society feel more love and compassion too.

Jiang Called Out to the Released Inmates: Don’t Give Up on Yourselves

“The trials I’d faced after my release, was no easier than when I’d entered into prison, and if my families lacked the understanding of my situation, I may easily gone back, and get sent back to prison again”, Jiang told, that after the release, the inmates are faced with the problems of livelihood, a place to stay, and having food, he’d once gone to a job interview for a security guard and got shot back, for the sole reason of him with a previous prison record; he wanted to tell those who are just released, “So long as you are willing to work hard, to not give yourselves any spare time, then, you will, find a brand new way of life.”

Jiang had watched many of his fellow inmates who couldn’t adapt to the world outside and returned back to prison again, he said, other than the environments, the choices of how you want to live your life, the support of the families will be the key determinant of whether or not you can, begin again, the will and faith of the released inmates are the most important.  A year after he was released, he was baptized, with Christianity as his faith, with the support of his friends from church, he’d gone to the services, the activities regularly, and gotten away from all those bad influences in his own past who can affect him in a bad way, “The support of the church really did help me a lot!”

Jiang reminded his fellow released inmates, to NOT give up on themselves just because others may have given up on them, like how the protection organizations for released inmates are silent supporting the released, reformed inmates to return back to society, to NEVER give up hope.

And so, this, is how this man was able to, turn over a new leaf in life, he’d had a bad track record, and decided to turn his own life around, for the sake of his families, and his families became a motivation, for him, to NOT return to his old ways, and having the families as support is very important for these prisoners, because, if your families can’t even accept you, then, how can the rest of the outside world, but unfortunately, not all families of the inmates are, as understanding as this man’s families turned out to be, and he’d had to, prove it to them, that he wasn’t, going back down that same road from before.

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The Man on Parole Had Gotten Intoxicated Behind the Wheels, the Judge Gave Him a Free Pass Seeing How He Was Taking Care of His Own Older Brother & Raising His Own Grandson

Leniency for drunk-driving, because of his conditions, the LAW does, have a heart after all!!!  Off of the Front Page Sections, translated…

The parolee on drugs, Liu was caught riding out on his scooter intoxicated, sentenced to two months; he’d appealed, the judge thought he had a job, took care of his older brother with polio, and helped raised his own two grandsons, that after his release on drug charges, he’d not committed any serious offenses, considered the terms of parole, “gave him a free pass”, based off of penal code number 61, case closed.

The verdict pointed out, last year in the late evening of September 26th, after Liu consumed two cans of beer, rode his scooter home, was stopped by the police, his breathalyzer test showed 0.38, was charged for public endangerment.  The D.A. asked for a simplified verdict, the first trial gave him two months, which he could pay the fines and not served the time.  Because Liu was a parolee on drugs, he’d feared that his parole might be taken away, that he may get sent back into prison again, and appealed to overturn the verdict.

In the second trial, Liu showed great remorse for drunk driving, hoped the judge could give him another chance, that he shall, NEVER do anything criminal again; he said that as he was paroled, he’d found a proper job, reported to the officer regularly, made $25,000N.T. per month, and the money goes to pay for his older brother who’s in a nursing home because of polio, and he also took care of his two grandchildren, and if he gets sent back into prison, then, there will be nobody taking care of his kin.

Liu’s daughter also testified on his behalf, that as he paroled out he’d worked as a plumber/electrician, they were close; she has two children, her husband, unemployed, her father worried about them not having enough, and would give her the money to help out, and would watch her kids for her too from time to time.

And so, this man was trying to set his life straight after he served his time, and, this time he had a bit too much to drink, and got caught, violated his terms of parole, and feared that he was going to get sent back into prison, and his families will not be taken care of, that’s why he’d appealed, and the judge took into considerations how he was setting his life straight after his release, and gave him a free pass.

 

 

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To Fulfill Their Dreams, Wei-Xun Yen Donated Over 40,000 Bowls of Suspended Noodle, He’d Sent the Developmentally Delayed Children Out to Sea on a Yacht

Good deeds are still, “infectious” here, translated…

Yen, who was originally a mobster, because the deities appeared to him in a dream, with the consoling of his mother, he’d, turned his own life around, he’d started trekking the island, to donate funds to the orphanages, and he’d borrowed from the ideas of foreign cultures and started providing the donated perishables to help those in need, in just four years, he’d given over 40,000 bowls of noodles, yesterday, he’d even fulfilled the dreams of nearly a hundred residents of an orphanage’s dream of “going out to sea on a yacht”.

“Teacher, look, so many boats”!, the students came to the pier, and were all very, excited, and as they’d set sail on a multi-million dollar yacht, they’d enjoyed the sea breeze that brushed against their faces even more; the teacher, Chen said, that as the children learned that they’re taking a trip out to sea on a yacht, all of them got very excited.

顏維勳已經是第N次接受媒體採訪,從進出監獄的荒唐歲月到發起全台發送愛心物資的「環島行善團」及愛心待用麵店,就像是一齣名為「浪子回頭金不換」的戲劇,注定成為勉勵、警惕世人的題材。(陳明仁攝)he used to be a gangster from before, photo from online…

Actually, the starter of this program, Yen, was imprisoned for manslaughter charges when he was just fifteen, for killing a person with whom he got into a verbal altercation with, he said, that back then, he’d hung around with the wrong crowds every day, that late one night, he’d dreamed that a deity told him, that “do good, you will have problems resolved”, he was doubtful, closed his tattoo parlor, and set up a temple, he received probation for his crimes, and, it’d waken him up, and decided to start anew, as a brand new man again, set up a community, went around the island, to perform the acts of kindness, in one month, he’d trekked across the distant regions, and, donated to over a hundred orphanages.

Yen borrowed the acts of kindness from the international fronts, in his mother’s noodle shop in the marketplace, hung up the sign of “Do-Good Noodle Stand”, and started up the plans of providing the noodles to the needy free of change, so the guests can pay for the unserved noodle, so those who needed the food can have it without having to pay for it, and, his act of kindness, had made a fellow gangster motivated to help out too.

Yen said, that he’d visited an orphanage to deliver the resources, and saw how the children were, drawing out their wishes of setting sail there, and he’d started up the “Distant Dreams” activities, not only was he able to raise a total of $125,000N.T. in funding, the yacht owners supported his cause too, and helped fulfilled the children’s dreams of setting sail out to sea.

“Everybody is glad to help out”, the C.E.O. of the Four Seasons Bay, Lin said, all of our yacht owners were more than happy, to be able, to help out with this cause.

20151103-更生人專訪.(右起)張再興.陳修將.顏維勳(陳明仁攝)and now, he’d sorted through the donations with his friends, and sent them to the orphanages, for those in need!  Photo from online

And so, all it took, for this man, to realize that he was on the wrong paths in life, was having a dream of the local deities, and that was enough, to help steer his life in the right directions, and he’s now, helping to fulfill the dreams of children who couldn’t afford to dream.

This showed, that all you need, to turn your life around, is just that one good thought first, then, you work hard at it, and, you will surely, make a difference in the world too, just as this man had!

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Helping the Less Fortunate Was What Saved Him, He’d Paroled from Drunk-Driving…Didn’t Need to Get Back in the Cage Again

Gotten away, with jail time, because of what he’d been doing, after his last release from the jail systems, from the Front Page Sections, translated…

A man, Lai rode out on his scooter drunk one evening last year, was caught by the police, and because he is still on probation, he was sentenced to two months for public endangerment, he was displeased, filed for an appeal. The judge reviewed his records, and found that since his release, he’d been helping the less fortunate, taking care of his elderly parents, that if he were sent back to prison to serve his remaining terms, he wouldn’t be able to commit himself to not-for-profit work, and, changed the ruling that he didn’t need to serve any time.

The fifty-year-old Lai because of illegal substances, was sentenced to fifteen years and stripped of his government position, two years ago he was released on parole, there are still three more years of parole he had left. Last October, he was drinking beer at a food shop in Chang-An E. Road, then, he got on his motorcycle, rode home in the midnight hours, and the police stopped him, his breathalyzer shoed 0.27mL, the D.A. filed a public endangerment suit and asked for a simplified verdict, the judge gave him two months, and that he’d needed to pay a $10,000N.T. fine.

Lai was displeased and filed for an appeal, claimed that he couldn’t make the last train, and he was worried that his mother might get too worried, that was why he’d ridden his scooter out.

After the judge reviewed his statement, he believed, that although Lai wasn’t supposed to ride out drunk, but he had originally planned to take the train back to his home in Shulin, but missed that last train, and felt rushed to get back home so his own mother would worry, that was why he’d ridden his scooter, that his mindset was different from those who got behind the wheels after they were drunk, that it would be too harsh, if he’d received the minimum sentence.

The verdict pointed out, that after Lai’s release, he’d helped trained the handicapped individuals to work in janitorial positions, and he worked very hard at it, took care of his aging parents, brought positive influence to the community, that he’d kept himself in check after the parole, and worked in nonprofit.

The judge believed, that Lai’s breaking his parole by drunk driving, if his parole was retracted, he would have to head back into prison to serve the remaining four years nine months, and he’d considered the degree of his crime, and he was already fifty, and still able-bodied to give back to the community, “If he is sent back to prison, how would he be able to give back to the community like he is doing now?”, and rather than sending him back to prison, he should be released, to help the community like he’d been doing.

And, because of this man’s pouring himself into volunteering for the not-for-profit organizations, that is why he was able to get a “get-out-of-jail-free” card, and, the judge considered, that he was rushing home, so his aging mother wouldn’t be too worried, and that there wasn’t any other viable forms of transportation available to him, that was why he’d gotten on his scooter, and rode out drunk.

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He’d Shown an Immense Talent in Playing the Traditional Chinese Instrument in Prison, Learned, that His Own Father is a Professional Musician Too

Helping these inmates, find a motivation to get better at something, so they won’t return to their old ways after being released, from the Newspapers, translated…

Yesterday, the Cultural Department of Hualien went into the Hualien Penitentiary to host a certification program of the street performers for the inmates, “Yang” an inmate received good comments for his piano skills. He’d started getting into music after he’d started serving time, and fell in love with piano, and after he’d started taking the lessons, he’d, learned that his own father had earned the championship trophy for piano skills, and, as his father named him, he’d used what made him glorious, the piano, as a character in his name, and he’d hoped, that after his release, he can use the piano, to start off on a new page in his own life.

“Yang” is thirty-five years old, at age 25, he’d made the wrong moves, had planned out a kidnapping ransom, was sentenced to twenty-four years; five years ago, he was, transferred to the penitentiary in Hualien, and went into the Chinese instrument playing program, and because the Yangqin wasn’t played by anybody, he’d started picking it up, and, loved the sound.

the instrument looks like this, photo from online…查看來源圖片

Later he’d learned from his family, that his own father who’d passed, was a professional yangqin player too, and had earned the championship trophy in Guangzhou.

“As I’d played, I’d often thought about my father.”, Yang, who’d gotten his name from the instrument told, that as his father named him, he’d already, passed this glory to him, “I can’t let my father down”.

Yang still has two more years until he’s up for parole, he hoped to pass the certification for the street performers, and, after his release, hoped to play as a single or in a group, and go to the nursing homes to perform for the residents, to give back to the community.

Another thirty-six-year-old, “Lei”, got involved in drugs when he was younger, and, he was convicted for robbery, sentenced to fifteen years, and, learned to sketch in prison, he’d picked up the art skills, and had already, kicked his drug habits now, he will be up for parole this year. He said, that taking up art had helped his parents accept him more, and, his work hung all over his home. He’d signed up for the certifications program, hoping that after his release, he gets to go home to open up an arts workshop.

So, these are, two examples of men, who’d, worked hard, to overcome their pasts, and, they’d, found viable skills, and they now have goals that they’d hoped to achieve, and, hopefully, this will keep on driving them, after their release from prison.

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Mr. Coffee Who Managed to Turn His Own Life Around

Translated…

The very last session of the semester, I’d had a barista, to come to my class, to speak to my students about his life.  He’d opened with something, that shocked all of my students.

Compared to the past guest lecturers, who’d ranted on the glories of their work, this barista told my students, that he’d only had a technical high school degree, worked as a bar boy, a construction worker, a parking attendant……anything that makes him the money, he’d done.  He’d once lived, a life of carelessness, until four years ago, by a chance encountered, he was introduced to coffee, learned to make coffee, and to taste it too.  This, was not only the turning point in his life, it’d also made him the top barista at a certain coffee house.

In order to keep his taste buds sharp, he’d decided to quit drinking, and smoking too, and, he’d stopped eating the foods that may damage his own taste buds as well, and altered his own diet too.

When he’d made the coffees at the bar, he’d often needed to get engaged in conversation with his customers, had, through the cups of coffees he’d made, it’d shorten the distances between him and others as well.

He’d talked of how he and I met up, it was, an afternoon shortly after school had started, I’d walked out of the research lab, carrying my bad mood with me, I’d entered into a nearby café.  It was, a modern place, with the bars.  I’d never sat at the bars, that day, I’d especially wanted to try it out, and because of my wanting to try sitting at the bars, I’d met this coffee man.  I’d struck up a conversation with him, and enjoyed the way he looked, making the drinks, and, each and every cup he’d made became a perfect work of art of his.

I’d asked him, “Can I take a picture?”, Mr. Coffee said, “I’m more than happy to oblige, and you can also, video record me too.” All of a sudden, I was able, to feel his passion about his work.

From that day on, I’d started enjoying sitting at the bar, and, watched Mr. Coffee’s expressions and gestures, as he’d made each and every cup of coffee to serve to his customers, in the end, I’d decided to ask him to come give a guest lecture to my class too.

Most of my friends are those with the high-end degrees, and smooth rides to the top, on this day, after I’d heard him lecture my class, I’m not only in awe at his courage to change himself, and I’m even more impressed at how truthful about his ridiculous past he was toward my students.  From him, I’d seen the philosophy of how everybody is NOT destined to live a certain way, that life can still be changed by oneself, so long as one is willing to change, there would be opportunities in life.

And so, this man was able to turn his own life around, because he’d had a ridiculous past, and, he must’ve learned his lessons the hard way, which, was why he’d become, very focused, doing what he truly loves, and, he’d done some soul-searching, to finally find what is meaningful and worthwhile for him to do, and that, is just how sometime life goes, and, he was able, to make it, because of his hard-working mannerisms.

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Without the Darkness in His Past, He Couldn’t Have Produced Such Inspirational Works

Without the darkness in his past, he couldn’t have produced such inspirational works, I know, it’s odd, how someone with such a dark past, can produce so much brightness in his work, right???

But, perhaps, it’s because of ALL that darkness, that enveloped his past, that he felt compelled, to produce those works of light, who knows.  One thing’s for sure though, his work had, inspired a lot of people, helped a lot of lost souls find the light.

Without the darkness of his past, he couldn’t have produced such inspirational work, he’d managed, to turn his own life around, and left it all, behind.  His “former” life was filled with, a TON of uneasiness, a lot of pain, suffering, discomfort he can’t run from, and so, he’d faced them all, HEAD-ON.

And now, he’s out of the dark, and he’s using his own experiences, battling with the addictions, the pains, to help others, hoping, that his life can be something that motivated others.

It’s just, hard to imagine, that someone, whose work is filled with so much hope, so much goodness, came from this awful a past, and, after knowing this, his audience applauded him even louder, because we ALL know how hard it is, to overcome, and he did, MORE than that already!

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Fallen

Tripping and Falling, and, Acknowleging it…the very first step to starting to heal…

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Penning Down the Lyrics, Writing the Music, Writing the Novels, He Was Able to Find Rebirth in Prison

Turning his life around here, from the Newspapers, translated…

A man, Chang, was jailed because of drug possessions, in the prison systems, he’d learned to play the electric guitar, and managed to write songs about love, about the relationships of him and his families, as well as stories of his drug use, turned them into songs, and, sang his original work, “My Father”, through the windows to his own mother, both were crying at the moment; he’d written over a hundred verses, and, his novels had won him the third-place prize, and he would be, making good on his promise to become a brand new man again.

The thirty-year-old Chang stated, that in the past, he’d gotten drawn into the temporary bliss that illegal substances gave him, and, it’d made his loving parents give up on him, until he’d received the notice to serve his time in jail, did he realize, that his life had gone awry.

The moment before he was about to serve time, his father died of illness, before he had the chance to repent, before he could beg for his father’s forgiveness, he was overwhelmed with guilt, the first six months of his time served, nobody visited him, he felt, that his mother, was determined, to give up on him as her son.  In order to show, that he’s a changed man, he’d written a letter by the week to his mother, and the over thirty letters had, finally, moved his mother.

“In my heart, the luckiest thing is your taking care of me, if I’m not kind to you, I will definitely regret it later on, my dearest father, how old are you now…”, this song called, “My Aging Father”, was written in dedication to his own father, at the end of last year when his mother visited him, he’d sang it a capella to her, it’d touched his mother.

Chang said, that he’d started playing the electric guitar in prison, it’d allowed him to write the music to fit with the lyrics he’d already written, “The Signals of the Street Corner”, “The Youthful Rebellion”, in the two years’ time, he’d written out over a hundred songs in Taiwanese and Chinese, not only are his songs dedicated to his families, he’d also written about how loving others feel.

Last year, he’d won the third-prize of novel writing with his “A Gram’s Worth of Bliss”, and for now, Chang used his free time at dusk, to create freely, and is now, the author of four completed novels, and, after his release, he would work towards his goals in music and novel writing.

And so, this man had found his salvation through his own writing, and, his father’s death probably played a huge impact on him, turning over a new leaf, because, he’d realized, that while he was in jail, his father had died, and, that left a regret, that nothing can ever fill, which became the drive for him, to turn his own life around.

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