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Treasures of Darkness: A Prison Journey Paperback – August 11, 2011
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About the Author
Trish Jenkins is a dynamic, inspirational speaker and author. Audiences laugh, cry and learn when she speaks on overcoming adversity and fraud warnings. Going to prison is especially embarrassing, when you are a Pastor's Kid! Truth really is stranger than fiction. Trish says, "If I couldn't prove it, no one would believe me!" You can change the past and free your future - Trish did! She says, "I may not be able to change the facts, but I CAN change what I believe they mean for my life.That thing that could have destroyed me, now serves me as I share the Treasures I discovered in my Darkness, with YOU. Her own adversity made her an authority on fraud warning signals and resulted in her first book "Dangerous Wealth: What Every Successful Woman Needs to Know to Avoid Being Ripped Off!" Trish is Australian. She lives in Brisbane with her husband Justin and her 3 beautiful girls, Chelsea and identical twins Felicity and Olivia. The Jenkins are active members of their church and business community.
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Trish Jenkins, a practising Christian was incarcerated when some financial dealings got out of control. She mustered all the bravery she could summon and allowed Jesus Christ to ooze out of her to those classified as unredeemable. Murderers, drug related criminals, traffic offenders, welfare cheats and the like all mingle in this sub-culture. Her faith has safeguarded her sanity in this toxic environment. This is Australia in the 21st century and not Hong Kong in the 1960s thinking you might be mistakenly reading "Chasing the Dragon" by Jackie Pullinger.
This cesspool of depravity causes the author to spare no details in regard to women's issues. (Male readers beware). Also the profanity in the language has been sanitize as #%&*ing but you can still hear the impact ringing in your ears. An interesting quote from a prostitute: "When the perverts are with me they are not touching a little kid!" It's quite a noble sentiment, when you think about it.
As a reader I have just one regret: After all the pent-up suspense towards her day of release it turns out to be an anti-climax: there is no description of her last day in jail! Also you would have liked to read one chapter about the experience of her husband Justin - the ordeal from the outside, the support from relatives and church members.
Trish gets more comfortable with the hard-core criminals who respected her than the petty thieves and drug users who were bitchy, talked behind her back and dobbed her in to the guards.
The book is a pathetic indictment of the penal system where prison officers miserably fail their duty of care for the inmates. They play mind games on people to destroy any self-esteem they might have. The question is: do we aim to release back in the community people who are better off or worse off than when they got locked up? Punishment without rehabilitation is a cancer to society.
On the whole this is probably the best volume about spiritual warfare I have come across. This is a testimony to behold. The devil is a tenacious expert at destroying us and ruining our lives. Having said that there is also no depth of despair, agony or depravity where the Holy Spirit is not there to assist you. Trish got in dire straits for praying in tongues and having a woman slain in the Spirit. When you read this book, ask yourself: How would I cope in this situation?
Trish Jenkins wrote letters home to her husband a young girls all during her ordeal. What she couldn't send them for fear of retribution by staff or fellow inmates, she recorded in a journal for later. After serving every day of her sentence, she turned the detailed history of her life behind bars into a compelling honest book that will chill you and sometimes thrill you.
You see, Trish Jenkins is also a Bible believing Christian, sold out for Jesus. She determined to make every facility where she did time into a place of ministry. Her constant thought was about how she could take this awful experience, and like Paul, make it into something good and eternal for Jesus.
I'll be the first to admit that at times her faithful acts seemed to good to be true. Who knows, she might have embellished here and there. However, there are many, many witnesses to what she did. I suspect that if she's not telling it straight, some of those would be challenging her. So, I'm taking her at her word.
The other thought that kept coming back to me was "what would I have done, given her circumstances." I'm 150 pounds soaking wet. I would be a big target in a men's facility. Could I hold it together, keep my focus on Christ, and not merely crumble? Would it be on my mind to tell those around me about Jesus at every possible chance?
Trish didn't pull it all together every day or even every hour on any given day. She shares her heartbreaks, depression, and more. She gives us a momentary glimpse into the re-entry into the real world afterwords, which in some ways seems to have been worse than the time in prison. You start to see why some criminals prefer the inside, with clear rules and three squares.
Usually, book reviews cover the quality of the writing long before this. However, the real power of this book is in the first person narrative, honestly and completely revealed. Having said that, Trish Jenkins is a fine writer who tells the story clearly, and with passion.
While there were many lessons and takeaways from this work, my favorite line was:
"Many of us dream of having a great ministry; but we want it on our terms. We don't really count the cost, because we cannot really see what the cost will be. Yet only by willingly paying the cost can we appreciate the joy and satisfaction of fulfilling our call."
I also appreciated her oft repeated prayer regarding a situation or ministry: "Lord, help me to be effective."