Two years ago this month, a dear friend of mine sat at my kitchen table and filled out a lengthy, tedious application to commit herself to an out-of-state residential treatment center called Vision of Hope.
As I paged through the application with her, my eyebrows were permanently raised. I knew I could never make such a commitment myself. The requirements and limitations set on the residents were lofty and strenuous.
But my friend, trapped in bondage at the time, signed on the dotted line.
With God’s help, she has remained in the program for two whole years, and is still a part of it.
She is a walking testimony to the grace of God.
She has changed from the inside out. And it’s nothing short of a glorious sight to behold.
Today, I’ve invited her to share a snippet of her story. For privacy reasons, I’ve decided not to share her name.
Here’s my friend’s story:
On July 23, 2015, my whole world changed. I walked into a place that demanded full surrender. But I was still clamoring for control. My view of my life was futile and small. My view of myself was broken and consuming.
I had no hope.
I was just done trying. But there I was, at a residential treatment center called Vision of Hope. That word mocked me.
How did I even get there in the first place?
People in my life had prayed and urged and prayed some more. They were so confident that I could find healing in this place. They were so confident that things could change. I was riding on their hopes. I had none of my own. And I had already determined exactly how long I was going to give this program before I gave up completely on life.
You see up until that point, I had done everything in my power to control how I wanted my life to go. The ironic thing about that was, in clamoring for my own control, I actually lost more and more of it…until, my life was literally chaos, and I was chained to addictive patterns of “escaping” that chaos.
Fast-forward almost two years now and I can’t even describe to you all the areas of my heart that the Lord has totally overhauled. Things I never expected, like pride and selfishness, were exposed as the Vision of Hope staff pushed me deeper into God’s Word and deeper into the roots of my addiction.
My idolatry was explained as we faced the ways I was chasing my kingdom, instead of loving God with my whole heart. It has been a crazy journey full of very hard choices. Choices to surrender. And I am still learning and growing in my fight to surrender to My Shepherd instead of my sin.
I haven’t graduated from this program yet, because Vision of Hope has an open-ended time commitment. They know that bringing about lasting change takes a unique amount of time and diligence in God’s Word for each individual. But I am so thankful for what God has already done!
Race for Hope
I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about this ministry because we are coming up on one of our biggest annual fundraisers, called Race for Hope.
Something that makes Vision of Hope unique is that it keeps the cost for residents incredibly low. They only ask for $400 dollars a month! That hardly covers room and board and doesn’t even touch all of the certified Biblical counseling, training, and classes that the residents go through as the Staff strives to lead each of them to the Savior.
How can they do that? They rely on support from the body of Christ to give and relieve the financial burden of these girls that come in already carrying enough heavy burdens. Burdens like addictions to drugs and alcohol, patterns of self-harm, eating disorders, unplanned pregnancies, scars from being sexually trafficked, and more.
I’m writing this to ask you to be a part of lifting that burden.
Race for Hope is happening on June 10th this year. Vision of Hope has a fundraising goal of $50,000 total.
Are you ready to hear how you can get involved?
To donate, follow this link, and choose to either support one of our teams/runners, or just donate to the ministry as a whole. If you choose to support one of our teams, all funds go to the same total and it gives that extra boost to the girls who are working hard to raise support.
This is also a joint fundraising event for Faith Bible Seminary, so you will see those teams on the list as well.
You can also learn more about Vision of Hope and what they do by clicking here.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and consider getting involved!