My life was locked in fear, depression and anger. I survived many things as a child, but at a price. I felt worthless, insignificant, alone, and ashamed. It was my intention to end my life when I came to BFA. But, I was pulled out of my overwhelming despair by the dedication, compassion and love of the people at BFA. And, the classes of Boundaries, Safe People and Anxiety & Depression have given me the structure that I desperately needed.
Most of all, the staff at BFA helped me to embrace a new life with my Lord and Savior. I had carried my Bible since a teenager but I never read it. They opened my eyes and heart.
I now look forward to every day that God gives me to learn and grow as a person. I believe that God planted me at Beauty for Ashes for a reason, besides saving my life. I am more open now to all that is waiting for me.
I arrived in June and the people that run the home and the volunteers who hold the classes were instrumental in helping me to come out of the darkest time of my life. The classes and bible studies that were offered, opened my eyes, mind and heart. They helped me to face my past, head on and encouraged me every day to battle many things that almost destroyed me...my fear, anger and depression.
I received great benefit from the Anxiety & Depression class, as well as Safe People and Boundaries. It is my belief that these classes, if taught in school, would have guided me to a different life. These classes helped me to overcome loss, low self-esteem and the abuse that I endured as a child.
I owe a great deal to Jan Busby, Sharon Renfro, Brittany Sievers, Kathy G. and all of the volunteers and class teachers that showed me that I deserved to look toward the future, which is something that I never did in my life.
Most of all, I wish to thank Beauty for Ashes for showing me the way to know my Lord and Savior. I am truly blessed to have been brought to this home. I believe that God placed me here so that I could get the help that I needed.
My life was falling apart (and had been for years) when I moved in to BFA in May 2010. I thought I had done all I could but nothing was good enough. I knew I needed to change but wasn’t sure how to start. I didn’t have the resources. In December 2009 I went back to church, thinking I could do it on my own. Well, that didn’t work. By April 2010 I was severely depressed & staying with a friend—it wasn’t working out. I was tired of going from house to house & it wasn’t good for my daughter. I finally broke down & opened up to 2 people at my church and they told me about a “shelter.” I said, “I’m not taking my daughter to a shelter.” But I knew God was talking to me. I found out it was a Christian transitional home. Even after I was accepted by Beauty for Ashes, it took me a couple weeks & a man to attack me to get me there. When my church friend dropped me off at BFA I was very nervous but Jan & Sharon made it very easy to relax. I was a very paranoid & negative person. All the classes they give help with all my problems. Anxiety/depression, Boundaries, Safe People, Nutrition, Battlefield of the Mind, and spiritual warfare—all are Christian based & I love them. I’ve never in my life been in such a positive place. It was almost scary at first but only because I didn’t know how to feel or what to expect. Since I’ve been here, I’ve gotten a part time job, started my GED, & learn more & more everyday, literally. My “bad” days here are nothing compared to my bad days on the street. BFA is not a “shelter,” it’s a transitional “home.” Big difference. They teach us how to deal with life and give us structure for when we do get out on our own so we can live a happier, healthy, Christian life. Not just anyone can come here. You have to be ready & determined to change your life. I believe God brought me to BFA—only through God can I change. If He will change me, He will change anyone. . . But it’s in His time. I thank God every day for blessing me & my daughter with a home like this.
As a co-founder and volunteer at Beauty for Ashes Transitional Home, I have served as a board member and currently track the financial operations of the ministry. The Home, est. in 2004, provides a Christian alternative to housing for homeless women and children. The ministry is funded by church, business, organizational, & individual donors as well as fund raisers and grants with 40% coming from local churches and 28% from fund raising efforts. The highest integrity is maintained in the financial management and great stewardship is used in spending any money. I have worked in the administrative end of the ministry doing everything from creating forms needed in working with clients to writing grant proposals, supervising/organizing fund raisers, attending meetings,corresponding with donors and more. Women are housed for up to 18 months as they reestablish stability, improve self care, participate in counseling, learn life and emotional management skills, get education, get a job, mature spiritually, and move toward self sufficiency. This is a challenging journey for clients and staff as well. Accountability is a key factor in progress forward. More information about the organization can be found at www.bountifulharvestministries.org I have confidence that Bountiful Harvest Ministries will continue to grow, incorportating more staff and advisory and board members in its operation. I feel the Lord has opened many doors and provided opportunities for this ministry that are beyond explanation. This ministry has no debts or liabilities and continues to operate within its income restrictions. A new roof, garage restoration, new windows on the first floor, weatherization, and client room reburbishing/furnishings/redecorating have all been accomplished within the last 3 years in addition to meeting the needs of the clients and the minsitry as a whole. The ministry needs to move into more significnt fund-raising endeavors which will allow growth and expansion of services. Requests for service have increased 50% in 2009.
About a year ago, I came upon Beauty For Ashes for I was homeless and didn't know where else to turn to. Since my stay at the home, I have found myself to be more knowledgable in the works of our God and how we are to serve him. Janice Busby, the director, and Sharon Renfro, the assistant director, have made it such a wonderful ministry to be a part of, for they put so much time and love into all of the residents at Beauty For Ashes and things they do behind the scenes. Dedication is the key, and that is something that they have as well as the volunteers who give donations, transportation to the residents, and a shoulder to lean on. This house is far more than just a home for women. It's the house of love and the house of the Lord.