posted Dec 16, 2013, 11:59 AM by Maridel Williams [ updated Dec 16, 2013, 12:41 PM ]
Out of a Hallmark Movie
It’s like something out of a Hallmark movie: a young pregnant woman shows up at the door on a cold wintry day. Shivering in well-worn clothing, her pale skin and bony arms hint at malnourishment. The details start coming out in hesitant bits and pieces as she fidgets uncomfortably in the chair. We find ourselves wishing it were a Hallmark movie so we could switch the channel to something happier. Her last address is a hotel; she hasn’t ever worked a “real job”. She has been most recently running an escort service, prostituting herself every day, even at 7 1/2 months pregnant. She has borne two other children in the past, and given them both up for adoption, but this child, she DESPERATELY wants to keep. Crohn’s disease has taken a toll on her health—almost everything she eats makes her feel sick. She has not had a single OB visit, and then we have to ask the inevitable: what drugs have you ingested? The results of the screening bring us to the harsh reality: this is more than likely not going to end like a Hallmark movie.
As we begin to drill down into what can be done to address this unexpected challenge, the questions are more numerous than the answers. Where is her family? Who else can help? Where can she live? How can she find work? What about the baby? How sick will this baby be? Will she even get to bring him home from the hospital? If he tests positive for drugs, how will we manage her already fragile emotional state? Or, will she be arrested, and deal with her emotions in a jail cell?
Thus began our Christmas season at Doors of Hope. And, what a season it has been! This expectant mom, with no place to go, has brought us face to face with the improbable, unlikely, excruciatingly beautiful story of Christmas. Which, of course, is always beautiful in Hallmark movies and Currier and Ives artwork, but in reality, it is sometimes gritty, difficult, complicated, and downright painful.
Once we came to grips with the fact that we could not turn this girl away–well, I guess we could have put her in the barn, but I think that story has already been written–a plan came together.
Because we require our residents to pay rent, and obviously this gal couldn’t go out and get a job, she offered to put her talents to work making Christmas ornaments; you may have seen the ornaments on Facebook. Many of you have already helped bring about a Christmas miracle by purchasing these adorable ornaments. They are selling for a suggested donation of $10 and include a hang-tag that tells something about the initiative. They make wonderful gifts that have a purpose, as compared to just another cheap, meaningless gadget. All proceeds are going toward helping this client.
There are still a few available on the tree at Doors of Hope office; if you would like to reserve one, please let me know, or drop by the office at 302 E Vine Street, and choose one from the tree. If you would like to have one mailed, we can do that too, but we would need to know by Wednesday, December 18 to insure timely delivery.
This Christmas child is scheduled to be born this Monday, Dec 16th. The ultrasound reveals a physically healthy little boy. We are busy organizing meals and a schedule for volunteers and the other women in our housing to help provide care for the first few days. Lots of baby equipment has been donated, lots of items purchased, and we believe we are as ready as we can be! Your prayers are appreciated!
Christmas Blessings on you all!
Many of you have asked about Christmas for our residents: We are attempting to make sure each of our residents gets a gift and also a chance to buy a gift for her children. If you would like to help us with that project, click on this LINK.
This is a very easy way to order a Walmart gift card in any denomination which can be sent directly to us:
Doors of Hope, P.O. Box 2392, Murfreesboro TN 37133.
100 Reasons for Hope Campaign
Thank you! It is the consistent monthly giving of our regular supporters that provides the cash flow, the life-blood of our organization that makes it possible for us to even qualify for the grants.
Would you like to join us in making a huge difference in changing someone’s tomorrow morning?
Even a pledge of $10 or $20 per month provides much-needed cash flow, and enables us to make the dollar for dollar match required by the granting agencies.
A pledge of $20 per month, $300 a year, can provide rent for that first crucial month after a person is released. If you would like to help in this or any other way, email email@example.com.
Project Braveheart currently has 20 men at the Rutherford County Work Center attending our Transforming the Mind class.
During the 12 week class we cover topics including values, attitudes, behaviors, consequences, needs, relationships, anger, success, and drugs/alcohol. Each class member is also connected with a mentor who is asked to write to them and pray for them regularly. Along with the Transforming the Mind class, we now also have a weekly Transformation Group that Braveheart alumni that have been released from the work center can attend.
We are looking forward to our next class graduation scheduled for January 24.