Better Life Integration and Support Society is a non-profit organization that serves individuals who are incarcerated or recently released in Victoria, the Fraser Valley ,and the Metro Vancouver area.
We seek to bring together volunteer spiritual caregivers and spiritual care-recipients into mentorship based relationships based on the individuals' desire to connect with the faith community as part of their re-integration plan.
We believe that re-integration can successfully happen through the faith community.
Facilitate connections with those incarcerated to the faith community that they identify with. To participate in the development of a successful reintegration plan as it pertains to the individual's spiritual care.
Is that every individual who wishes to be in a faith-based mentorship relationship would have access to it.
Dave Jackson (President)
Dr. Grace Lian-Bodenbach
Bob Birch (Chilliwack)
Don Ibsen (Fraser Valley)
Park Jung (Victoria/Vancouver Island)
Sunhee Jung (Lower Mainland)
John Kim (Fraser Valley)
Glenn Spratt (Fraser Valley)
Laurens Van Vliet (Chilliwack-Agassiz)
Adam Wiggins (Executive Director)
Dave Jackson (President)
Dave has spent over forty years in various types of pastoral ministry. His passion is helping people listen to God and discern their calling. He has discovered that God in His mercy and grace never wastes our brokenness. Rather, He redeems it. He tends to call us to be a part of a ministry transformation - helping those who have experienced the hurt and pain we have experienced begin to live meaningful lives. No one can care or minister more effectively than someone who has been there and found that God is enough. Those who have been imprisoned and have come to know their own failure can be the greatest ministers of God for transformation and life change. Dave deeply believes that God uses our surrendered brokenness far more than He ever uses our competencies. Hence, his involvement with Better Life.
Dave has served for 10 years in denominational ministry, 25 years as a local church pastor and for eight years with Church Resource Ministries, an international ministry of leadership development and church renewal. He has worked with many pastors/leaders and over two hundred churches of various denominations. He and his wife Kathy have four grown children and eight grandchildren. They reside in Chilliwack BC.
Ryan Johnson (Secretary)
Ryan is a criminal defence lawyer and instructor in the Forensic Science & Technology department at B.C.I.T. Ryan has been involved in restorative justice and restorative practices for over 20 years. He is passionate about the needs of victims, offenders and the community and is a strong believer in the transformative power of faith in community.
Dr. Grace Lian-Bodenbach
Grace is a Registered Psychotherapist in private practice. Having worked with people involved in the judicial system in both ministry and professional capacities over 30 years, she has witnessed God's grace, love, justice, mercy, and peace. Through seeing the judicial systems in four countries, she understands that the societal and even at times the academic norms we hold as a society may not be conducive to restorative justice. Therefore, it is her desire and life passion to encourage and help people build a better life filled with true joy, love, identity and be a blessing to themselves and to others.
Doug has a rich history of entrepreneurship as a realtor and business owner, and is active in providing employment opportunities to parolees. He brings his passion, experience and commitment as a passionate follower of Jesus to his leadership on the Better Life Board of Directors.
Rob is the Vice President, Technology, at Houle Electric Ltd. based in Burnaby, British Columbia. As a passionate follower of Jesus, Rob brings a commitment and passion to invest in caring for ‘the least of these’ and contributing the gift of leadership that God has blessed him with.
John Webber (Treasurer, Past President)
John is passionate about the successful reintegration of those incarcerated in prison into society through the support and strength of their faith communities. After a career in the finance community, mostly Human Resources Development and Consulting, he completed his Master of Arts degree in Christian Studies. His graduate project was The Church's calling to serve the marginalized in their communities (or: Those The Church conveniently ignores.) During that time, he also worked for the Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary at Trinity Western University/ACTS Seminaries in Langley, BC.
John has extensive experience with the correctional system in Canada and has met and encouraged many of those who have integrated successfully back into their communities. He also understands the enormous advantage these individuals have when supported by a local faith community.
John has been on the board of this society since its inception and has seen its growth and development as God has led and blessed this organization.
Sarah (Xi) Xu
Sarah is a lawyer by trade and is currently licensed in British Columbia. She lived and practiced in China, then the United States, before moving to BC.
"Despite a good-looking career, I was so lost in knowing my identity for years until I was redeemed by Jesus. Now I am still a sinner – lawyer or not – but I know how much God loves me and has transformed me! That gives me the passion to represent/help people in need and to make the world a better place for all. I live with my husband, daughter and dog in North Vancouver, BC."