Testimonial: Nathanial

In May of 2008 I drove up to the county building and made my way down the steps that lead to the entrance of Thurston County Jail. I am flooded with memories every time I walk in to a place like this, the smells, sounds, even the robot like folks that are trained to just go through the motions without much feeling. The only comforts that I have going in is that they will let me go when the work is done, and I am going to see some one that needs a fair shot. That day it was Nathan Swenson, a 29 year old kid in for possession, an assault charge, and all but thrown away by society. Nathan is diagnosed with Dementia Praecox also known as Schizophrenia. Emotional blunting, intellectual deterioration, disorganized speech and behavior, delusions, and hallucinations are all associated with this diagnosis. I am well briefed on Nathan’s history, but I am more interested in his story: homeless, not much family, angry, confused, and lost in a broken system. We visit for about half an hour in a small glass box conversation scattered at best but the mission is clear - bring him home. That was 18 months ago. Nathan has almost completed his court obligations, just passed his written test to get a license, and in a recent conversation said, “Since being here a Truly Motivated, my mental health has gotten a lot better!” God takes the broken parts and restores, takes those cast away and brings home, loves those deemed unlovely like my brother Nate!

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