A newsletter from our newest employee:

It didn’t take me long to see that Mission Heart is a very special place.

After a career in church ministry, I felt God calling me to addiction counseling. He opened doors I didn’t know existed and pretty soon I was officially a Counselor in Training. I was also approached with the opportunity to work part-time with Mission Heart. I had heard of Mission Heart before; some of my favorite people had lived there. I jumped at the chance to serve administratively and clinically in this new position.

I’d like to share my observations from the past few months of working with Mission Heart. When I came onboard the women living in the homes were so friendly and welcoming, as were the leaders. It is moving to watch the women work together to create a warm and hospitable place not only for each other but for the new women moving into Mission Heart. There is a strong desire to welcome the newcomer, often who is emerging from the chaos of addiction, legal issues, possible family estrangement, and other heart wrenching circumstances. I have seen women support each other through deep turmoil as they clean up the wreckage of the past and seek to discern what God has called them to do now. I have seen women laugh with each other and enjoy a special fellowship and bonding that can only come from deeply relating to the women around them. I have watched as women vulnerably shared pieces of their past, fears they have, and heavy emotions they are feeling. As they share there is no sense of shock or judgement from the others – only love and acceptance, and sometimes tears when they are moved by someone else’s story. They laugh together, cook together, play together, go to meetings together, worship together, and pray together. They lead each other to Jesus.

As I think about these dear women Hebrews 10:24-25 comes to mind. “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”

This, I think, is the beauty of Mission Heart – the women stir up one another to love and good works, meeting together and encouraging one another. No house, just as no human, is perfect. Several women all living in a house can be trying! And yet I see the women challenge each other and extend grace and patience to each other.

The shared struggles with addiction bonds these women tightly together. Many of them have experienced similar circumstances and pain preceding and following their time in addiction. They understand each other. This bond is an incredibly strong one. The friendships forged in this sober living community are so deep because they are based on deep mutual understanding. When you add in a common love for Jesus and a desire to become more like him every day you have an extraordinary bond of friendship. I am not an alcoholic and I have never felt the pain and struggle of addiction for myself. However, the women at Mission Heart have welcomed me with open arms. I regard myself as unbelievably blessed to be invited into fellowship with these women.

If you are struggling in addiction and are ready for help, give us a call. We’d love for you to be a part of the family. And if you are not in addiction and are simply interested in hearing more about our heart for women in recovery, I’ll say the same to you – give us a call, we’d love for you to be a part of the family, too.

– Elizabeth Rhea