In the spring of 2006, I heard from a colleague in the social service world that Faith Church was considering opening a women’s residential treatment center. This was of particular interest because Faith was my own church, at which I’d been a member since 2000. When I heard about this and studied the strategic planning document that Pastor Viars had supplied for the proposed Vision of Hope, I prayerfully submitted my resume hoping to be considered for a staff position. When the idea of Vision of Hope and the generous gift from the anonymous donor to fund its building were announced on Mother’s Day 2006, I was eagerly anticipating the possibility of being involved.
As 2006 unfolded and the planning got further and further underway eventually I was asked to help lead the ministry as the Director. I was so thrilled to be involved! What a dream to work for my own church, to help organize such an exciting ministry, and to get to be involved from the very beginning!
I can think of very few things that have been so groundbreaking as the work at Vision of Hope, and I was honored to be asked to be involved. We have had the opportunity to take what we know about sufficiency and authority of Scripture, taught so faithfully at Faith Church for 35-40 years, and to combine it with both Biblical Counseling methods and procedures and effective community service practices to develop a unique and revolutionary type of program specifically designed to help hurting girls in the process of radical life transformation. What a thrilling experience this has been!
God has faithfully provided just exactly what we’ve needed throughout the entire planning year in 2007, our opening experience in 2008, the first fledging years of ministry in 2008 – 2010, radically difficult situations in 2011 and 2012, and then the challenging transition year of 2013 as my family and I made the decision for me to step away from the ministry. Over and over, God has directed us to the perfect, pertinent Scripture and biblical practice, valuable partnerships both in the ministry and secular world, and strategic financial and prayer partners in the ministry.
I am especially thankful for the way that God provided the most amazing staff team ever. What a great group of ladies I have had the honor to work with! We have had difficult problems to help the precious residents work through, challenging health diagnoses, and even the death of a beloved colleague. Through the joy of new salvation decisions, the pain of dealing with the suffering from our residents’ pasts, and the exhilaration of seeing the hurting find healing, God has blessed Vision of Hope with a staff team that is devoted to loving God and sacrificially loving others, and it has been a joy to lead this team.
As I have prepared to make this transition to spend the next years of my life focusing on serving and ministering primarily to my family at home, I am overwhelmed with thankfulness for what God has done at Vision of Hope over these past 5 years and also overwhelmed with hopefulness about what God is getting ready to accomplish in the future. God has uniquely gifted Pastor Shaw, our new Director, to understand in a very discerning manner what is needed to effectively lead at Vision of Hope. I am so thrilled to see Vision of Hope receiving such a gift, and I am truly excited to know that God’s ministry at Vision of Hope is heading in the exact direction God thinks is best.
As Pastor Shaw assumes the Director position I hope that you will be praying for him and his family. The transition from one side of the country to another is a huge move, and there are many details that are still being worked out. I also hope you will be praying for the staff and residents at Vision of Hope, as any transition of leadership has the opportunity to bring challenges. Please pray that God will develop the ministry more and more, so that many more women will have the opportunity to experience the life transforming benefit of the gospel of Jesus Christ applied to their hurting souls.
What an honor it has been to serve! I am so thankful for this opportunity.