When you pull into the property at Restoration Village it’s like entering another world. Surrounded by thick groves of trees; flowers, birds, and butterflies greet you. As you continue up the driveway you’ll notice the lodge, further in is the pond, stables for the horses, and lots of quiet places to sit or walk. This 70 acre oasis in the middle of Northwest Arkansas is a place of healing.
Nowhere is that more obvious then when you step into the dining room; a room where restoration beings to take shape. A room where nutritious meals are served family style, where conversations are loud, and laughter pierces the air. In this room children are learning what family looks like.
Last night my 3rd daughter spent almost an hour sitting on the foot of my bed talking to me about college applications, visit days, ACT scores, and financial aid. Even though I’ve already sent two daughters to college, it’s still overwhelming. The choices… the paperwork… the second guessing and need to talk through everything.
I confess, I was tired, and really wanted to table the conversation and go to sleep, but I’m her mom, and a mom’s job is to help their child navigate the muddy waters of leaving home and finding their future at the school of their dreams.
“I drove into the woods alone, I was planning to drink myself to death. Then my sponsor came and found me and brought me back to Souls Harbor.”
Danny is just one of hundreds of men who have found a safe place at Souls Harbor over the last 30 years. That day in the woods was years ago, but you can still find Danny at Souls Harbor. Today he’s there as a staff member helping the men like Les, who is 7 months free from a 29 year meth addiction, find work and encouraging them in their hard moments.
“We were waiting in the driveway of their foster home and they got off the school bus. They came running down and all of a sudden Corey said “Daddy” and I just lost it and then Shamarion kept saying “Daddy” and that’s a word they hadn’t said in a long time, that was a really powerful moment.” Kyle Cooksey
When the Cooksey’s decided to adopt God led them to Project Zero and through Project Zero to their kids De’Aysha, Shamarion, and Corey.
After more than ten years of being a stay at home mom reentering the workforce was overwhelming to me. I remember the first time I sat down to create a resume. I couldn’t figure out if diaper changing, cooking 3 meals a day for 4 picky kids, and refereeing fighting toddlers went under “skills” or “strengths”. In the end, I turned off the computer, locked myself in the bathroom and had a good cry. Even though I was a smart, competent woman I felt lost and overwhelmed.
Whether you’re like me, reentering the workforce after several years home with the kids, you’re seeking employment for the first time, or you’re just looking to change career paths, Christian Women’s Job Corps can help.
That couch you can’t figure out what to do with, those clothes in the back of your closet, the toys your kids don’t play with anymore? Things that seem useless to one person could change someone else’s life.
It is helping change Michelle's life. Michelle recently found herself at the Fayetteville Salvation Army Shelter after having to leave a stressful situation. Because of donations to the Salvation Army Store Michelle received vouchers to be able to shop and purchase the clothing items she needed.
Three years ago I found myself sitting in my car in a parking lot on a Friday night. I knew I needed to get out of the car and go in but I was afraid. I was also desperate, and that night I let desperation win.
I got out, walked across the parking lot and pulled the doors open. I was greeted by the distant sound of people singing. I made my way across the lobby, and into the sanctuary where I quietly slid into the back row. Before the first song ended I was fishing tissues out of my purse to try to stop the flow of tears. For the first time in a long time I felt safe.
"How's grandma doing?" I ask over the phone. It's been a few months since her fall, and it's been a slow road to recovery. She was grateful to be able to stay with my parents for a few weeks, but she was ready to be back in her familiar space. The only problem was, when she was one her own, she didn't really feel like cooking... or eating. And when she didn't eat, she didn't have any strength. So, before she returned home, her loving daughters said, "We want you to be able to be independent as long as you can. But here's the condition. You have to eat more."
I sat with my head leaning on my hand, my eyes glazing over as I stared at the computer screen and scrolled through my bank account. I knew enough to know it wasn't good for it to be going out faster than it was coming in. But I couldn't figure out how to make sense of all those numbers with dollar signs in front of them. I was never very good at math. When real life (aka. student loans, rent, and grocery bills) and math started to collide, I knew I was going to need help with what felt like a high-wire balancing act. I always felt a little bit like a failure because I couldn't figure out how to budget on my own. But then I learned there are people who are actually really good at this. The best part is, those people usually love to help those of us who find the numbers game a bit more challenging.
“Where are the lame? I must make my home in their shadow. Where are the lowly- the ones despised? Where is pain at this moment? Because I have tired of trying to get God to come to me, instead I will enter into the place where He already is... when you avoid pain, above all else, you are avoiding God.” ~ Matthew Lyle Mooney, A Story Unfinished.
Two weeks ago I stole this book from my friend Keri’s desk (with her permission). Little did I know, it was my heart that was about to be stolen.