God’s Grace in a Community Collaboration to Provide a Safe Haven

One of the joys at Vision of Hope is that we get to supervise the Safe Haven Home next door to our property. Safe Haven is a two year old, beautiful home that helps domestic violence victims, flood and fire victims, and others who find themselves temporarily displaced for a variety of reasons.

Recently, a family who lost their home 8 days prior to Christmas in a house fire. Thankfully, none of them were injured or lost in that tragedy yet they lost nearly all of their possessions.

Thanks to the vision of SIA and the referral from the Red Cross, Faith Church was able to offer the True Family a safe place to live until they found their new home. Below is a thank you letter from Billy and Candace True that was published in the Journal and Courier on Friday, January 16, 2015 in the Letter to the Editor section. I share it with you for encouragement in that you will see how the community of Lafayette served a family so well during a difficult time:

Thank you from the True Family

One week before Christmas, my life was flipped upside down. As I stood outside my burning home, I was sure my life was over. It was a devastating and helpless feeling to watch everything I had worked for my entire life go up in flames. Especially knowing that I had to drop my renters insurance, among other things, because of tough financial times that had hit our family. Most of my kids’ special stuffed animals and blankets that they carried their whole lives were gone. Memories that I cherished through pictures and/or sentimental items, were gone forever. Little did I know, it was going to be okay. God was going to turn this ugly situation into something incredible, for everyone around me to see.

When I got to the school that day to tell my daughter the heartbreaking news, they sent me home with bags full of toys. The student’s families and students at Burnett Creek Elementary School, joined together and blessed us with a laptop, money, and gift cards that everyone had pitched in to give us. We were offered an incredible temporary home from Faith East Church, where we were spoiled rotten by their church members and faculty. They put up a Christmas tree and Christmas lights and filled the entire living room with gifts so that we could have an awesome Christmas. They even came to our house and sang us Christmas carols one evening. (VISION of HOPE Interns, Residents, & STAFF)

They went above and beyond anything I could’ve imagined anyone doing for us.

Our church, Calvary Baptist, has not left our side the whole time and has done so much for us. We’ve received phone calls, cards, and emails by the hundreds, from people we didn’t even know, that wanted to help in some way!

My husband’s employer (Purdue), and my employer (Lafayette School Corporation), have been so supportive and helpful through this. They let us off work so that we could take care of everything we needed to do and did their best to make sure we had everything we needed. It doesn’t stop there. The list of things people done for our family to help us through this, goes on and on. It has been the most humbling experience to receive these gifts. It has taught my 3 young children more about love and doing for others than most people learn in their entire lifetime. We have now found a beautiful home and it’s completely furnished with everything we could ever need or want, and it’s all thanks to our loving community. We are forever grateful and we plan on paying it forward for the rest of our lives. Thank you so much, from the bottom of our hearts.

~ The True family in Lafayette, IN

Let this be an encouragement to you today in that God’s grace can be best seen while suffering!

-Pastor Mark Shaw (grateful to serve families like this through the Safe Haven Home)


Mark Shaw
Mark Shaw has 22 years of counseling experience working in a variety of settings including faith-based residential programs, dealing with issues surrounding “addictions” of all types, and supervising staff positions. His experience in the biblical counseling field began in 2001. He has written 14 published works including The Heart of Addiction; Relapse: Biblical Prevention Strategies; Divine Intervention: Hope and Help for Families of Addicts; Addiction-Proof Parenting; and Hope and Help for Self-Injurers/Cutters. He also co-authored a chapter in Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling (2013).