Editor’s note: This article was written by Amy Grigg of Desired Haven. Desired Haven, a ministry of Arkansas Baptist Children and Family Ministries, equips parents with the skills and resources needed to lead their family to a healthy future.
“Guiding families to hopeful futures” is the motto for our work with single mothers and their children in the Desired Haven program. Our greatest prayer is that they know and experience the Lord for themselves so that He becomes their “Desired Haven” (Psalm 107) protecting them and comforting them through the inevitable storms of life.
Also, our goal is to surround them with support through advocacy and local churches so that they have a community to lean on throughout the highs and lows of life.
Recently, a family was surrounded by community support as they made plans for a home outside of the Desired Haven Care Home. This mom started our program as a part of Desired Haven Community Care, which works with moms in the community to case manage and walk through the seven areas of stability. She was faithful to meet with her case manager and counselor to work toward providing for her family. When the place she was living in became unsafe, she made the move to the local Care Home which had a suite available at that time.
This mother continued to work hard, began working on her GED and eventually purchased a mobile home in need of repairs. She planned to live at the Care Home while working on the mobile home herself to make it livable for her and her children. Her case manager began looking for resources and reached out to Arkansas Baptist Disaster Relief (ABDR) to see if they would have any time or resources available to help make the mobile home livable.
A representative from ABDR met this mom at her mobile home to assess what her needs were and see what could be done. After meeting with her, he understood the needs and began casting a vision to area churches and members of the Disaster Relief team about helping this family out. They then asked her if she would be willing to leave the trailer in their hands and told her that he and his team would take care of making the home livable. She agreed and for the next six weeks waited to see the transformation.
What he and his team have done is create a whole new house. People all over the area have been involved.
Volunteers from seven churches, four businesses and the Disaster Relief team made this possible. Disaster Relief cast the vision of what this mom needed and so many people responded with supplies and monetary resources to see this trailer remodeled. Over the span of six weeks, the team leader and some from the team have been at the home six out of seven days. They have labored hard for this family to feel at home and safe in their new place. It has gone from a place that was unlivable to a true “Desired Haven.”
When I think about this group of people that cared so much for a family that most of them have not even met, but who knew they were in need, I am reminded of the overwhelming sacrificial love of Christ. It is what these men and women are displaying for this family and for all of us observing. This family cannot repay what they have done. We cannot say thank you enough for the sacrifices that they have made. It is far greater than what we could have asked or imagined. The case manager was just asking if they could help make it livable – and they have made a transformation. Isn’t that just like Jesus?
The best part about this is to be able to draw these parallels for the family we are serving -for this display of love and sacrifice to be a visible picture and daily reminder to this family of God’s love for them. It is not because we deserve it or have done anything to earn it – He just loves us.
One thing that the Disaster Relief team leader said was, “Some men enjoy hunting and fishing, I enjoy hunting and fishing for souls.” It is so evident by every hand that has touched this home their love for Jesus, people, and their eternal mindset. It is about so much more than repairing walls or laying floors, it is about eternity. What a beautiful example they are of selfless love and for doing what they do in service to Jesus – and that service to Jesus just happens to be the biggest blessing for a family in need.
The night of the “big reveal” some of the volunteers were able to be there as the family came and were able to take in the transformation. It was a beautiful evening of tears of joy from the mom and squeals of excitement from the children. The picture looking through the window is of the volunteers presenting the family with a Bible they all signed and praying over the home and the family.
Thank you so much to every person who had anything to do with this project. We know that you did it as unto the Lord and He will repay you.
“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory I the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20)