I work with the Heritage House women during Friday Bible Studies where sometimes I teach, but mostly I am the Scheduler and Keeper of the Lists. I dropped by on Serve Day to bring some toiletries and see what was going on. The play yard for the children had been raked even. The big potholes were gone. The old fence had been torn down and an attractive see through shortie fence had been erected, allowing so much more light into the space, and making it visible to the moms and staff from the driveway. The play equipment had been painted and looked brand new. One of the women was painting the new little fence with her daughter as something fun to do together. The sounds of the buzz saw were silent and the sizzling of hamburgers and the rustling of tablecloths being laid out signaled the end of the day and the dinner celebration.
Some of the Moms were chatting under a tree and I joined them. I knew them all from the Bible Study, but that afternoon there was time to just sit and chat. Tamara told me about her five year anniversary for being clean from heroin coming up on November 4. She told me she’d been using drugs since she was 13. Grew up in Newport Beach, got her first car when she was 16. But she was always rebellious, she told me. There were problems at home, her dad was using drugs, the marriage broke up and somewhere in there she got lost. One day, not too long ago when she was sitting in prison, she took a good look around and decided that that was not the life she wanted to have. She knew there was a better life out there and she was going to make whatever decisions she had to in order to get there. There have been bumps along the way. Just recently, she told me, she got a violation for fishing without a license that got her 30 days in jail. The point is, you have to learn to follow the rules. All the rules – the boundaries of life that keep us from falling into the gutter. She put herself into Heritage House and is working the program diligently now. She is committed to getting her life on track and raising her children. She’s a lucky one. She has a mom to help her when she gets out.
Working with Heritage House is like being on the front lines of a battle field, ministering to the wounded. We can only help the ones who come to us and some choose not to come, but all the women benefit as those who enter back into their homes after studying God’s Word seek to employ the principles of prayer and exercise their faith in their relationships with the other women. They are praying for each other now. They pray for the staff. They pray for the girls who have graduated and moved on. Through St. Andrew’s church ladies and men, the Heritage House is becoming a house of prayer and a place where the Spirit of the Lord resides. I feel honored to be a part of what God is doing there. We need drivers, and cooks and people who can help out from time to time. We’d love to have some substitute Bible teachers. Call Laura Johnson to volunteer. It’s a great team.
– Laurie Easton