Since this is our first REAL post, I thought I would share a little bit about us and what we do and a little bit about our ministry vision.
For the past four years, Jason and I have served with His Mansion Ministries in Deering, New Hampshire. His Mansion is a year-long residential recovery program for those seeking help with life-controlling, harmful, habitual behaviors. People often ask who we help specifically, as the previous term can encompass a lot of different things. The truth is, we help a lot of people, from a lot of different backgrounds, that have a lot of stuff getting in the way of them having a relationship with the Lord. Our general population here is usually recovering from drug and/or alcohol addiction. A great majority of our residents have experienced some sort of past trauma, specifically some kind of repetitive abuse that occurred during their childhood and the effects and consequences have stretched and affected their ability to live whole lives.
Initially, we committed to a year serving as mentors or short term staff. The mentors live and work with the residents for a year at a time. They are the front lines of our ministry and without them, we would be greatly lacking. Mentors are usually in their early 20’s, single, and fresh out of college – so we were a bit of an anomaly when we arrived. The schedule is (and was for us) tough, but we stuck it out despite the difficulties. We didn’t live in the dorms, but we spent the majority of our time with the residents and other staff. It stretched us physically and spiritually and the hectic schedule (one night off per week and every other weekend off) stretched our marriage.
In May of 2011, I was approached about taking the Women’s Program Administrator position. This would allow us to be able to sign on for more time, which we both desperately wanted. Later on in the year, Jason began serving as an assistant for the men’s side of the program. For exactly three years, I served as the Women’s PA – basically overseeing the mentor teams and resident care outside of counseling. I am getting some time now to prepare for the arrival of our first child, who we hope will be here in late July. Last fall, Jason transitioned to a new position in the ministry, serving as the Resource Development Manager. He coordinates short-term mission trip opportunities to our ministry for small groups, as well as managing the ministry’s newsletter and social media. He recently has begun to take on some speaking opportunities to share about His Mansion, which is a joy for me to see, as this is something he really enjoys and has a gifting in. In January 2015, after we have both have had some time to adjust to being new parents, I am planning to rejoin our Care Team staff in part time capacity as the Intake Coordinator, which will involve interviewing resident applicants and keeping up communication with them prior to their arrival.
And that is the “catch up” part…
As for the future, we are unsure of what our time at His Mansion looks like. We are committed to the vision of the ministry and working with those that are broken and in need of the Gospel. That fuels our desire to be here. I can be honest and say though that there has been plenty of discouragement to pray through along the way. We often feel disconnected from our “home base” in Florida due to the distance, which I think every missionary experiences. Raising support is a constant battle, and to be honest, I am surprised we lasted past two years because of it. The past year has been better on that end, but donations are often unpredictable and what could be a “good” month is often followed by a really poor month. But the Lord has always provided for us. I am grateful for His consistency in the middle of all my doubts and worry about finances. I want to be able to say that all the sacrifice is worth it so that others may come to know the Lord – I pray that He would continue to cultivate my heart towards that.
We are in the process of planning and praying for what life looks like in the next five years. We do not feel a release from His Mansion, but we have been praying about some other opportunities that have come up in the past year or so and how we may be a part of them in the future – specifically pastoral ministry. We are slowly raising some support outside of what we need to continue serving with His Mansion in order for Jason to attend school, which is a part of this preparation for the future.
Anyway, if you think about it, please pray for us. Here are a few specific things that are personal to us and also to the ministry:
- Pray for us as parents. Jude is due at the end of July.
- Pray for provision. We both struggle with trust in this area.
- Pray for our staff. Serving here can be hard and sometimes discouraging. Pray for trust to grow in the Lord and with one another.
- Pray for our residents. Pray that they would meet the Lord. Pray that they would seek Him for true restoration and not a sobriety “band aid.”
- Pray for our staffing needs. We have a few positions that need to be filled, as well as some ways in which we want to expand on our staff. We are in need of an Operations Director, mentors, and a female counselor.