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Our Story
Restored Life Journeys was founded in January 2012 by Bill Dyer. The organization’s mission is grounded in Bill’s experience of being robbed and shot at an ATM on his way to work in 1988. Bill learned many valuable lessons about shutting down and ignoring God during a lengthy hospital stay. He found himself in his own prison of anger, hatred, and resentment. Through becoming exhausted from railing against what he could not change, with God’s help Bill began to see the cost of his reactions and the self-inflicted suffering and sabotage they caused.

Realizing his hopeless situation, Bill opened up to God and was led through a process of healing and forgiveness. Years later, Bill began sharing his story with inmates. Afterward, inmates would often share their own stories, including what they had done to hurt people, how they had been hurt by others, and their struggles, faith, and desire to change. In Bill’s words, "Healing and reconciliation were happening and it became clear that we were participating in God’s purposes of Peace."

Experiencing the above led Bill into an eight year discernment process that included earning a M.Div. from Hood Theological Seminary. During his final year (2011) he learned about the area of Restorative Justice and felt compelled to make this his life’s work.
Our Approach
We affirm the transformation and experience of new life that results from following the way of Jesus. Although this guides our work, it does not limit our scope. Studies reveal that a strong faith is essential to successfully transitioning into a “new life beyond prison walls.” As a result, we nurture spiritual formation and have a holistic approach to service. We know that God uses our openness, honesty, and vulnerability for purposes of Peace. Believing in the dignity and worth of all human beings, we meet our clients’ exactly where they are.

There are no special requirements for participation in our programs. All traditions and expressions of faith are respected. Inmates who have a strong faith are welcome, as are those who are struggling with their faith or have none. Just as there is no belief requirement to participate in Restored Life Journeys programs, there is also no attempt to preach or convert participants to a particular point of view. The only thing required of a participant is having a sincere desire to grow and change.

As meaningful conversations take place in the space of openness and honesty –  the experience of new life in Christ speaks for itself. God’s love is affirmed as the agent of healing, reconciliation, and transformation that takes place.   

We are committed to help offenders understand past issues and current circumstances that lead to destructive and hurtful choices; we support inmates with tools for growing in self-awareness; we nurture and challenge offenders through a process where they recognize who they have been created to be. We help our clients understand that a solid spiritual foundation and support system leads to better choices – which breaks destructive cycles and creates brighter futures for everyone.