I spoke the following oath on October 10, 2011, after God revealed the vision to me for HEARTbeat At 22. That vision led to the founding of Mama's House.
"By God's grace, no matter what it costs me, I'm going to live by audacious faith. I'm going to believe God for the impossible, to accomplish by and for Him what I cannot accomplish on my own. No matter what people think about my vision, I'm going to take God at His Word. I'm going to trust Him with my whole heart and follow Him step by step, even when my surrender requires sacrifice. Even if it seems like he's taking me over the edge, I will trust that he'll be there to catch me if I fall. I will trust that He is good and that somehow, someday, He will work all things in my life together for my good and His glory! AMEN." i
Our ministry verse: "Now all glory to God, who is able through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think." Ephesians 3:20 (E320)
When I think back to that day and realize all that has happened, I am breathless with wonder at how God just waits for us to want Him. The 6 months leading up to that day in October, I was constantly in prayer, pleading with God to see me! The Bible says, 'the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.' ii Hallelujah! He not only saw me, He gave me a divine mandate that I immediately began to share with others. They came alongside me, one by one, from all walks of life and experience, until a solid Ministry Team was created. First, my husband Art, whom I call my Founding Partner. Then the original team, Angela Bavaro, Sheila Narvaez, Rachel Orozco-Cubas, Mario Aparicio, Shannon Kienzle, and Gloria Infusino. Precious friends, Anne Silverstein and Pat McDonnell whom I call Co-Founders, Marsha Cockins and Dan Myers, along with a devoted Board of Directors, 'Angel' mentors, more friends, staff, volunteers, and donors. Then the community support, church support, and inkind support began pouring into our ministry. Too many to name here, and He has been adding to that team and providing all we need financially every day since, by turning people's hearts toward us. Above and beyond what we could possibly know to ask for or imagine -E320!
On July 27th, we will celebrate 5 years since the doors of Mama's House opened wide and received the 1st resident. The Ministry Team stood ready then as it is today, as the LORD has spiritually equipped all of us to minister restoration to those who are broken, hurting, and most often lost in destructive lifestyles. Their very lives, and those of their children, are at stake and we must never lose heart even when the days are hard, and their hearts are stony. The spoken Word of God, prayer, Holy Spirit-directed words of instruction and love, caring actions, giving, serving, and unconditional love are the good seeds we pass onto each resident, knowing that God will take it from there, multiplying those seeds back to us in due season.
"A leader's job is to look into the future and see the organization, not as it is, but as it should be." iii I see that this ministry will someday be all that was revealed to me and again, even more than I could have asked for or imagined - E320.
This I know:
- We will have the 1st beds or home for teens with the same unique and proven Pathway To Success program;
- We will have the 1st and then multiple transitional homes so that we can move those who are not quite ready to be on their own but are ready to take that first step out of Mama's House. This will free up beds for more women in crises;
- We will replicate the Mama's House model and see the opening of additional homes in our community and beyond, all seeing lives changed and families impacted for generations;
- We will someday have a place to encourage young people to come for pregnancy and STD testing, receive free peer and professional counseling, have access to support groups, special training, and classes in job and life skills;
- We will have all of this and more... in God's perfect timing, not ours.
In this 7th year, and as we celebrate the 5th Anniversary of Mama's House, indeed my heart is full of thanksgiving to a loving God that hears and answers prayer, and to each one of you who have played a huge part in laying a solid foundation for the ministries of HEARTbeat At 22, Mama's House and Hope Center. We need and appreciate the wisdom, love and support you have freely given, and our commitment to you will always be for excellence as we boldly and strategically work toward all that God calls us to do!
"Quality is never an accident ... it is always the result of 1) high intention, 2) sincere effort, 3) intelligent direction, and 4) skillful execution. It represents the wise choice of many alternatives. " iv
May God continue to bless you, your families, and this ministry immeasurably and in ways we never could have imagined. I cannot wait to see what happens during the next 7 years ....
TO GOD BE THE GLORY
NOW AND FOREVER MORE
GREAT THINGS HE HAS TAUGHT US
GREAT THINGS HE HAS DONE!