"About one year ago, I was working two jobs to make ends meet for my children and me. My car had broken down, so I would walk to work at my first job and catch a ride to my second job when my shift was done. One day, I was walking to work, and someone from Journey Church asked me if I had a church home. I told him I was looking for one for my family. He offered to give me a ride to work and invited me to come to Journey Church that Sunday.
Soon after, I was evicted from my apartment, but I didn’t let that stop me from going to church. My children and I stayed with a friend from church while I looked for another place to live. No matter what I was going through, I kept going to church every Sunday. I didn’t let anything stop me. When I started going to Journey Church, I just let out my tears. I felt like a change was coming in my life.
Months passed, and I still couldn’t afford an apartment. My pastor told me about Jobs for Life at Hope House, and I didn’t even hesitate to say yes when he asked if I wanted to take the class. He didn’t want me to feel like he was pushing me to do something I didn’t want to do, but I told him that’s exactly what I needed: someone to push me to where I needed to be.
When I started the class, I liked how it had stories from the Bible in the workbook and that we prayed before class. I really liked the story about Jonah. The Lord told him to do something, and he kept running from God and trying to ignore Him. My auntie used to invite me to church, but I didn’t want to go. Something happened in my life that changed my mind, and she told me that God chases the ones He loves, just like Jonah.
Jobs for Life taught me that life is like driving down a road, and there will be roadblocks along the way. But I learned how to prevent roadblocks and get through them when they happen. I used to get angry at work and sometimes disobey the manager, but I’ve learned that I have to have respect for the people I work for and have respect for myself. Recently, I got a job in housekeeping because cleaning is something I love to do. I still don’t have my own car, so I had to wait for a ride and got to work six minutes late on my second day. I told one of my supervisors that I was on my way, but when I got there, the other supervisor fired me.
I was heartbroken because I had written down goals for myself that I wanted to accomplish, and I felt like I let down the people who helped me get to that point. It was a Sunday morning and I could’ve just gone home, but I went to church instead. Now, I’m working on applications for other jobs and doing whatever it takes to reach my goals. Just because I had that incident, I won’t let it stop me. I have to keep going.
I’m so thankful to have people around me to push me to where I need to be. I’m working on paying off the bill from my last apartment, so I can get a new place for my kids and me. I just have to keep telling myself it’s not too late. I want to get a job I like, so I can save up for a car. I’m taking one step at a time. I’ll be so happy when I reach my goals, but I know it doesn’t happen overnight. It took me a year full of a lot of struggle to get to where I am now, but I had to want change for myself before it would ever happen. I’ve learned that everything I’ve been through is my testimony, and God was with me the whole time.”
Hope House Ministries Accredited by National Financial Accountability Organization
BOWLING GREEN, KY – The ECFA (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability) announced today the accreditation of Hope House Ministries of Bowling Green, KY.
ECFA accreditation is based on the ECFA Seven Standards of Responsible Stewardship™, including financial accountability, transparency, sound board governance and ethical fundraising.
Hope House Ministries joins a growing number of Christ-centered churches and ministries across America, supported by over 27 million donors that have earned the right to display the ECFA seal. When an organization is accredited by ECFA, it demonstrates its willingness to follow the model of biblical accountability.
“We are pleased to accredit a ministry committed to alleviate physical and spiritual poverty through gospel restoration,” said Dan Busby, president of ECFA.
Founded in 2009, Hope House Ministries (www.hopehousebg.com) focuses on long-term development and full-life restoration by salvation in Jesus. Hope House offers faith-based programs such as job skills and financial management classes, a car purchasing program, affordable transportation to work, a thrift store, an addiction recovery program, and a Christmas program.
To learn more about Hope House Ministries and their stewardship opportunities, visit ServantMatch®, ECFA’s program that matches God’s servants with the stewardship options of ECFA members based on ministry sectors and categories. It is ECFA’s newest online feature that allows you to quickly and easily find giving opportunities.
ECFA, founded in 1979, provides accreditation to leading Christian nonprofit organizations that faithfully demonstrate compliance with the ECFA Standards pertaining to financial accountability, fundraising and board governance. For more information about ECFA, including information about accreditation and a listing of ECFA-accredited members, visit www.ECFA.org or call 1-800-323-9473.
"Before Hope House, my outlook on life was very bleak, and I felt empty. I had a lot of people who loved me, but I was incapable of loving them in the same way. I was looking to fill voids in my life and hide my shame with substance abuse, which led me to dark places, and eventually to jail.
I had gotten to the point that I was okay with being incarcerated. I was okay with looking at ten years in the penitentiary. I was okay with having to sever all ties with everyone I cared about, and I had lost all hope. I was willing to try anything different because I was in a very scary place. I had gotten second chances from so many people and squandered them all, but I felt like Hope House was the last second chance I needed.
Once I got to Hope House, I realized that through all the years of substance abuse and emotional turmoil, I needed help spiritually. The people at Hope House showed me how to reconnect with Jesus, the only one who could truly give me salvation and fill the voids in my life with His love instead of filling them with drugs and so many other things.
I’m continuing to grow spiritually, which is spilling over into every other aspect of my life. I’m looking forward to being the father I wasn’t before, to show love to the ones I care about, and to giving God the glory for being a light that came from darkness. I want to be an example to others that as long as there’s hope you always have a second chance."
Agnes Hampton Maxwell was born in 1901. Her father built a white house on two acres on Glen Lily Road a few years later, right where Hope House’s new Ministry Center and Program Living for Women will be built. After leaving her childhood home as a newlywed, she and her husband boarded a ship heading to Brazil as missionaries in 1938. Sometime after arriving in Brazil, she was diagnosed with glaucoma. The Maxwells returned to the U.S. for Agnes’ surgery, but her husband was not happy with having to leave Brazil after such a short period on the mission field. He was resentful, and left her.
Abandoned and nearly blind, Agnes went back to school in her 40s, and eventually retired from a successful teaching career for the state of Kentucky. She returned to her childhood home on Glen Lily Road where she maintained the house and acreage alone. In 1975, a 4th-grade boy named Kelly Lawrence moved in next door and introduced himself to his new neighbor over the fence. Kelly and Agnes became friends, and he helped her with yard work, household tasks, and even transportation when he got older. At the young age of 18, Kelly married Trisha, and the two of them lived with Agnes for a period of time. Agnes became a fixture in the Lawrence family’s life, and the Lawrence children grew up calling her Aunt Agnes.
Aunt Agnes was a light in this community long before Hope House ever existed, and her legacy reaches far beyond her lifetime. Kelly and Trisha are now full-time missionaries with Borders Expanded Ministries in Honduras, where they’ve been since 2010. Hannah, one of the Lawrence children who is now married with children of her own, told us, “We knew her well, and I can say with confidence that she would be THRILLED to know that your ministry center will be built on the site where her home once stood… She was a well-educated, self-motivated, independent woman that greatly impacted my life, and it brings all of us so much joy to know that this land will impact the lives of women in the future.”
Have you ever wondered what Mother’s Day is like for mothers with children who are struggling with addiction, or for women who are struggling with addiction themselves? For many mothers, helplessly watching a child struggle with addiction takes away the joy of Mother’s Day. And for many more who are struggling with addiction themselves, the joy of simply parenting their children day-to-day is stripped away by loss of custody because of their addictions.
Program Living for Men is helping to restore relationships between mothers and sons, husbands and wives, through the power of the gospel, and Program Living for Women will be a critical step for women to regain relationships with their children in the near future. You can be a part of bringing joy to mothers’ celebrations on this special holiday by donating in support of Program Living.