Thursday, September 12, 2013

Trish Jenkins Visits the Barn Door

Is there a story behind your book “Treasures of Darkness: A Prison Journey”?
Yes. My husband Justin and I were successful investors. Then I invested with a fellow who turned out to be a fraud. He stole investor’s money but worse, I had breached of the Corporations Act. We lost everything in liquidation, including our family home. Then I was prosecuted for the breach. The penalty was 8 months in prison.

Only God sustained me. It was so bizarre I felt compelled to record everything I experienced. I wrote letters to my family and friends by writing letters to my husband, who then copied the letter to an email that went out to a list that grew rapidly. Those emails went viral and Trish’s readers shared her journey with her. What she couldn’t put in letters due to their sensitive nature, she wrote in a private journal.

About 12 months after my return home, Justin encouraged me to collate my papers into a book. “Treasures of Darkness: A Prison Journey” is more than a memoir, it was written as it happened. This was my “Joseph” experience. You will go through it and see the goodness of God in a very dark place. The title is from Isaiah 45:3 referring to treasures of darkness and hidden riches in secret places.

What started you on your writing journey?
When we lost everything, I began researching fraud, planning to write a book to warn others, so what happened to us wouldn’t happen to them. Those writings stayed in my computer until after I returned from prison.

Once I was sentenced I spent 6 days in the city watch-house before being taken to the prison. The conditions in the watch-house were so bad it was like being in the twilight zone. There was no stationery and I desperately wanted to remember and record every detail because it was so bizarre.

Once I got to the prison I wrote everything I could remember. I didn’t know what the Lord would do with my life, but what I was going through was so huge and dangerous, I knew He was in it with me and I needed to trust Him totally, if I were to survive. I found journaling helpful.
When I started writing the same things in letters to different people, I asked my husband if he would type out and email one letter to the handful of family and friends I was writing to.
When I started receiving letters back about how my email blessed people, I realized I had a prison ministry to the outside world! I began to observe incidents and think about how I would write about it. As the Lord encouraged me, I included that encouragement in my letters.

What distracts you from writing the easiest?
The needs and noises of my children. They are home-schooled at the moment, so when they need me to check or explain something, that’s my priority. It does make it hard to get back into the swing of things though. I am primarily a speaker and that side of my business requires considerable attention as well.

What kind of books do you enjoy reading?
I love the escape of a novel. I especially enjoy biblical and Christian fiction when it includes a lot of historical often little known facts.
I really enjoyed the Zion Covenant series by Bodie and Brock Thoene.

Which character in your new release most interested you while you wrote?
I was always interested in the toughest young women. There was one who was very tall, strong, and carried an air of authority. I found out later she had killed a man. There is a story in my book of how she tried to bully me into having drugs brought into the prison and how the Lord enabled me to resist her, resulting in our becoming friends.

I was fascinated. I wanted to understand women like this. I asked a number of the women how their lives went off track and their stories were often similar. They were either abused or un-parented or both. Drugs either dulled the pain or fed their rebellion. They were much more open to Christ than I expected, once they felt I really did care about them. The Lord changed my heart and I began to really love them.

If you were a style of music, what style would you be?
Jazz. It’s fun, it has depth and it’s sometimes sounds all over the place.

If you could paint or sculpt like a famous artist who would it be and why?
I love the beauty of Van Gogh. The subjects seem simple, yet contain depth that moves you.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
There are many! The one that defines me most is probably going public with my prison story and trusting the Lord to turn it into something special. I will share my faith and pray with anyone, anytime, anywhere. It might be with a murderer in prison, a US soldier next to me on a short flight, or a group of juvenile girls in a detention center. Courage is the key. Who would have thought I would become an International speaker, going to the USA to speak at conferences and going on TV?

What is your strangest habit?  
Talking to strangers as though we are old mates (buddies).

What makes you smile and/or laugh out loud?
Retelling embarrassing moments!

What is your favorite season of the year? 
Spring! I love the freshness and the new growth.

What do you like most about the area where you live and/or grew up?
The local business community who embraced and encouraged me when I shared my story and its lessons with them.

What is a favorite memory from your childhood?
Riding my horses with a school friend. Nothing beats horses.

Are there things you put off doing because you dread them?
Tidying my desk.

Where is your favorite place to travel/vacation in?

The USA! It’s so friendly and so diverse, it fascinates me.

Has some place you have traveled inspired something in your writing?
You mean apart from prison?

What's your favorite meal with family and friends?
I love pot luck dinners where you don’t know what will arrive! I do a great spaghetti bolognaise myself. I developed this recipe when my kids loved spaghetti and I was concerned about getting more veggies into them.
Add a little garlic to the frying pan.
Brown the mince
Tip in a jar of bolognaise sauce with a label that says something like “with Garden veggies” or “red wine and garlic”.
Find a handful of whatever veggies are in your fridge and pantry: onion, broccoli, sweet potato (are they yams?) pumpkin (you call it squash), peas, beans. Chop up small and microwave them till they are soft.
Blend the veggies and add them to the bolognaise.
N.b. Careful with the peas. I used too many once and the mince had a green hue to it!
Cook pasta as you normally would for it.

Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?  
I write about financial stewardship, leadership, winning over difficult people and how to forgive and make your feelings line up. I like to get very practical about spiritual things.

Where do you escape for some quiet time to reflect, pray, read, etc?
Our house backs onto a river with a thicket of trees on the bank. I like to sit out there in the shade of the trees with a beautiful water view. It was very soothing to do that when I was recovering my mental and spiritual health.

Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you. (and why it's special)   
Isaiah 45:3 NKJV
I will give you the treasures of darkness
And hidden riches of secret places,
That you may know that I, the Lord,
Who call you by your name,
Am the God of Israel.

Romans 8:28
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Psalm 91: 14-16
14 “Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
15 He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him,
And show him My salvation.”

When is your next book due out and can you tell us about it?
I have 2 other books that are secular with Christian messages in them.
One is “Dangerous Wealth: What Every Successful Woman Needs to Know to Avoid Being Ripped Off!” and
“Weapons of Cash Destruction: Protect you Fortune from Fraud.”
These books both examine financial and romantic fraud, what makes us vulnerable and what to do about it. They are the same book, but branded and tailored to each gender.
They even have a section for churches on spotting wolves in sheep’s clothing. Financial predators often prey on church people. Forewarned is forearmed.

Back Cover Blurb

Prison was not on the “Goal Chart” of entrepreneur Trish Jenkins. A breach of the Corporations Act meant losing her multi-million dollar portfolio, including her family home.
It also meant Trish served 8 months in prison.
Isolated from her husband and 3 little girls, living among Queensland’s most dangerous criminals, Trish could have succumbed to despair.
But treasure is found in dark places.
Refusing to give in to self-pity, Trish answered a new calling to make a difference in the lives around her. In doing so she found a different kind of freedom and healing.
Real and raw, these pages are better than a memoir; made up of letters, personal journaling and hindsight.
“I assumed I would be a model prisoner because I was a Christian. So how did I get into so much trouble, so often, yet with the best of intentions?”
Like when she was reported escaped…
Or setting the alarm off in the officers’ quarters…
Or having to explain why the woman she prayed for fell to the floor…
Be Inspired
You’ll laugh, cry and shake your head at hilarious stories, tragic circumstances, discouragement, hope and ever present faith.
“You may have no razor wire around you, but you may feel more like a prisoner than me! Let me share my keys to freedom with you.”

To buy Trish's book:

About Trish:
Living with murderers, drug dealers, frauds and broken humanity, her prayers for deliverance were not answered the way she expected. Instead the Lord delivered her "through the fire..." Prison was not part of Trish Jenkins’ ministry plans but it happened. Conned by a fraud and a breach of the Corporations Act meant losing her multi-million dollar portfolio, including her family home. It also meant this Australian mother served 8 months in prison, isolated from her husband and 3 little girls.
Instead of succumbing to despair and self-pity, Trish chose to believe the Word of God and in doing so, she introduced many other prisoners to Christ. In the darkness, Trish found keys to freedom and courage and a deeper walk with the Holy Spirit.
From stories of winning over bullies, to the despair of persecution for her faith, Trish shares her journey with warmth and candour.

Today Trish shares her hard-won “Treasures” as an entertaining, insightful speaker and author, inspiring audiences to be courageous in all circumstances. Ministering effectively to both Christian and secular audiences, she is warm, compassionate and funny! Today, as a well-respected international speaker and author, Trish’s heart-felt and inspirational story filled with practical advice is re-igniting fire and faith in the hearts of her audiences.

Trish is an Aussie and has been married to Justin since 1992. They have three daughters including identical twins. They live just north of Brisbane and only 40 minutes from “The Crocodile Man, Steve Irwin’s Australia Zoo! The Jenkins’ are active members of Citipointe Church, Australia.

To connect with Trish:
Twitter: @Trishjenkins

Trish Jenkins is giving away a copy of Treasures of Darkness. The giveaway is only available to U.S. addresses.
To be entered in the book giveaway, leave a comment along with your email address. You may enter the book giveaway twice -- once on each spotlight post. (It's not too late to go back and leave a comment on yesterday's post.)

Off to read another great book!
Sandra M. Hart


squiresj said...

I would love to read and review this. You could feel for Martha Stewart. God Bless you.
jrs362 at Hotmail dot com

Sharon A. Lavy said...

Trish, I was so facinated as I read your book. Who ever wins this will be so blessed. I purchased one to give my son-in-love who spent time in jail. He was raised in a Christian home, but it took jail time to bring him to Christ.
I want his wife, my daughter, to have the book so she can see how he would have felt during those days and so she can see how far he has come.
He now works with the Gideon's passing out Bibles.

Patricia Bradley said...

Thank you for sharing what must be difficult. But you have helped untold women because of your obedience to God. Bless you! And I would love to win your book. pat at ptbradley dot com

sam said...

Wow! what an experience. Just shows how getting with the wrong person can really change your life. Would love to win and read your book about your experiences. sharon, CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Anonymous said...

Thanks Sandra and Trish for telling us about your life. Glad you were able to Overcome With God's help.
Please put me in the drawing. MAXIE

KayM said...

Thank you Trish and Sandra for the interesting interview and the opportunity to get to know Trish a bit. I can't even imagine going to prison and how that would impact a person's life. I'm looking forward to reading Treasures of Darkness.

sam said...

Wow! you have had an amazing experience. sharon, CA wileygreen1(at)yahoo(dot)com

bonton said...

What an incredible story - I really want to read this book!

I worked in a women's prison for a short time - it is an education everyone should have.

So glad Trish had the courage to write this book, to let everyone know what goes on inside a prison, & the ways a Christian can witness to other prisoners. It is amazing how God uses all situations - good & bad - for his good, & ours.

Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy of the book!


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