We got a new lock for our front door.
This might not seem significant, but I love what it represents. For years we have had the same lock on our front door, and we’ve slowly been sharing keys. I’m not sure how many we’ve printed now: too many to count. Not only do all our employees have keys, but we also have provided keys to women in challenging domestic situations so that they are able to leave and find a safe place when necessary. Because of this, we also lock it from the outside every night, ensuring people can get in even if we’re asleep or away.
As we worked through our self-defense class earlier this year and dealt with a few different situations, Stephen wasn’t sure it was a great plan, though. It’s hard to flee a situation and remember to grab your key and papers; it’s also fairly easy to take a key from someone or lose it. There were times some friends didn’t have access to a key and thus didn’t come when we were away.
So Stephen started researching. As he loves technology anyway, it was a new challenge. Within a few months, he found a new lock technology that reads fingerprints, storing up to fifty. It also connects to our phones, telling us when the door is both unlocked and locked.
And so, this week we replaced the old lock with this new one, fully equipped with a number of fingers: the bread ladies, The Reinforcers, the jewelry & sewing ladies, the Sojourn Studio staff, our house manager, the girls in our self-defense class, & the two teenagers who are responsible for the community soccer ball! Stephen made sure all the fingerprints were saved and working; everyone was duly impressed.
And best of all, women can escape to our house without finding a key first. They always have their finger with them, and it’s ready and waiting. It’s also helpful that we know a bit of what’s going on when we’re away, seeing as people come and go. If anything goes wrong, we can even remote-access open it, which just blows my mind.
We were pretty excited about this for many reasons.
And then we headed off to Bangkok. It opened one night pretty late, and we wondered a bit about the kids putting the ball away so late and made a note to follow up with them. (We had told them it needed to be in by 9pm, it was a bit after that.)
But instead it was one of our staff members, a dear friend. She told us she and her son had stayed at the house two nights while we were away because of some problems with she & her husband.
And while this isn’t great to hear, it also is. It’s times like this we are thankful we are here, or at least our house is: for such a time as this! And we’re thankful for a place we can share with friends freely, for work and play and safety.
So a new lock is sort of a big deal around here.