What started your work in women’s ministry?
16 years ago. God got ahold of me, I became born again, and that desire to help other women was so prominent for me. And my life had a passion to be able to express to other women what God had done for me. Knowing that because I hit rock bottom and was hopeless, God saved me and I wanted to be able to share that with other women. So I dedicated myself and my home to the Lord and He began to bring women to my home.
How did women know that your house was available to stay at?
It’s God. I did not advertise.
How many women stayed with you?
Five stayed long-term, over a period of 15 years. One of the ladies I met, Chris, stayed with me for five years. I met her through my in-laws who help inner city kids. Her boyfriend left her, she needed to pack up and live someplace else, and so it was like ‘well, come live with me.’
Were you involved in any Christian ministry before opening your home to hurting
I had no relationship at all to God. Me and my husband moved to a farm out in Pittsford; six months later he had a massive heart attack and died. I had no family and no close friends and that’s when I turned to Jesus.
How did you transition from helping women out of your home to working with Life Challenge?
What I was praying for is that God would make my farmhouse into a transition home. I was contacting other agencies, thinking if I could join them, then they could purchase my home and renovate it to meet their needs. I would just live there and not have to work outside of the home anymore. And then I heard about Pastor Jack (current CEO of Life Challenge), that he was running residential recovery homes. So I got ahold of him, and he came out and took a look at it and he said, ‘well I just don’t have the funds to be able to do that, but I’ve got on my heart to start a recovery program here in Hillsdale.’ He asked me November 2013 if I would be interested in coming onboard for a women’s center. God didn’t have this in plan yet, but I said yes.
Now you work full-time at Life Challenge so you had to stop helping women out of your home?
I prayed about it and definitely heard from God, ‘Sell all and follow me.’ I called a realtor, the house went on the market, and the very next day someone came, knocked on the door, and wanted to know if I was interested in selling. It sold in November 2013 the same month I decided to help Pastor Jack start a women’s shelter. November 2014 we decided to remodel the Tastes of Life building to become the women’s center.