VOH Fun Facts – Our Beginnings

God has graciously used Vision of Hope over the years, and we are excited to be in our 9th year of operation! But have you heard how we got started? Let us share with you our story, as shared by Pastor Viars of Faith Church in his sermon, “Love Hopes All Things.” (June 29, 2014)

“As our church family was dreaming about the possibility of having some sort of faith-based residential treatment center for girls in need, we were actually approached by a Christian foundation who suggested that we ought to be the ones who start it on our State Road 26 campus. That was at the time when we were actually building our Community Center. We were also simultaneously starting our free church-based seminary and so we were in the middle of a capital campaign and we explained to this foundation that our people were already giving in incredibly sacrificial ways to launch those two new ministries, the Community Center and the seminary. But they came back and said, ‘Well, we think that Faith is the ideal place for a ministry like this to function. You have the church, you have the Counseling Center, you have the Christian school, you’re soon going to have the Community Center.’ At that time, God had blessed us then with 46 acres of property so they said, ‘Would you at least take the time to evaluate what it would cost?’ We said, ‘Okay, fine,’ and a team of us went down to Mercy Ministry in Nashville, Tennessee which is a very similar ministry to what we were envisioning. They were kind enough to open their books and show us the cost for everything they were doing and we came back and wrote a feasibility study which explained to this foundation that it would cost 1 ¼ million dollars to build a residential treatment facility for girls in need if we were going to try to serve 24 of them at a time in a residential setting. But even if we had 1 ¼ million dollars just stacked up in the corner somewhere that we didn’t need, we said we still did not think it would be prudent to begin a ministry like that that was going to be provided at a low cost to these young ladies unless we also had half of the operating budge for the first ten years committed in advance which was another 1 ¼ million dollars. So we said, as graciously as we could to this foundation, ‘Well, there is 2 ½ million reasons why we’re not going to be doing that anytime soon.’ Well, the larger question, though, was: did we believe that young ladies struggling with such significant challenges could change? See, was our love strong enough to hope that? Because, after all, love does what? Love hopes all things.

So what did the Christian foundation say back to us? ‘Well, fine, we’re giving you 2 ½ million dollars,’ and that’s exactly what they did. They gave us 1 ¼ million dollars in cash which allowed us to build that beautiful building. You see, when you have hope – think about it, I hope we don’t miss the lesson – when you have hope that God can help others change, you never know how God might bless and honor that kind of love. And it’s been delightful to see some of the fruit of that ministry. Love hopes all things.”

How God worked mightily to get us going, and how He keeps working mightily today! Join with us in rejoicing in His control and grace to provide!

Bethany Dunn
Bethany heard about Vision of Hope while attending Word of Life Bible Institute in Florida. When she began praying about what God wanted her to do after graduating, He kept bringing Vision of Hope to her mind. Knowing that there was an internship available, Bethany applied, was accepted, and began her internship with VOH in July, 2012. Since then she has been amazed at the opportunities God has given her to learn more about His Word and how it applies to everyday life. Bethany now serves on staff at Vision of Hope.