Twenty years can seem like a long time for us humans, but for God it may just be a moment. It was the year 1996 when the idea of a house for ministry to women first fell into my heart and mind. This idea was set to music in my soul by two women left on the side of a major highway in Waycross with no place safe to go or to stay. This music in my soul was a melody without lyrics, a tune that stay in my head like a song you just can’t get rid of. It played like an opera with characters clocked in a mist of the future. The story was merely an illusion but o, it seemed so real.
The melody wasn’t a nagging idea, it was a wooing, almost a love song of hope for the stumbling, staggering, and lost. It never left even though the daily life events tried desperately to drown it out. Then in a moment of faith and wonder, Father God hummed a few of the lyrics and out jumped an address for a house. That address was 1014 Mary St. During a prayer meeting the impressed word of God formed the name of the street and then the numbers of the address. So odd, so undeserved, so amazing.
I was the most surprised to find that the address actually existed, and the melody grew louder and began to take shape into a complete song of hope. Standing outside the wooden house on a warm summer night, I proudly proclaimed that God had given us the house in prayer.
But, the timing was off about twenty years. The house was occupied with a family who would have their own story to tell over the years to come. Touched by their own heartache and ransomed by Jesus, the family would move out of the house and leave it vacant for about six years.
As I said the melody changed key because the house next door to the 1014 Mary St. location turned out to be the place God would use to restore lives for such a long time. The song lyrics and story line developed with inspiration and expectation as the women came and went, teaching the realities of brokenness and the hopefulness of restoration.
Almost to the day, in 2018, a phone call from the owner of 1014 made it possible to see the fulfilment of the promise God made to us on that summer’s evening twenty plus years prior. The owner wanted to know if he could give us the house. Yes, I said give. No money would be exchanged. The house was ours for simply doing some paperwork.
Now the house is waiting on us, the members of the Bethesda Recovery family to prepare it to be occupied. The house needs renovation since it is about 100 years old. It has two large bedrooms to be used as studio apartments for two women who has successfully completed our program and are working in the community. One extra studio apartment will be used for the manager of the house who is also in long term recovery. It will have a fully operational kitchen to be shared by the three studio apartments, a handicap bathroom downstairs, two group rooms, a reception area and a office/library for those doing work in the facility with women and possibly men.
We hope to build an intensive outpatient substance abuse program from this site. This new site will open up four beds in the 1010 Mary St. facility. Our clientele will increase by four to seven persons in residential care plus the outpatient community.
Of course, when I first saw that house, I would have never guessed the plan God had. I had a tiny view from a narrow focus when He had a huge view from a full spectrum.
I believe He wants us, the family of Bethesda Recovery, to put this house on line quickly. To do that we will need your help.
Remember when Abraham was blessed to have flocks and herds. He needed help to steward the blessings of God. That is exactly what we need. We need you to participate with us in this unique opportunity to save live and to change lives.
Can you spend a few hours on a Saturday in July to participate with workers from Remnant Church as they come to help with the in side and outside needs of this project? If you can call 912-283-8580 to save your spot.
Tell us if you paint, build, mow, saw, direct, or whatever when you call.
The house needs a restored front porch with a detailed plan for the inspector.
The back porch needs to be shored up with more more footings an foundation.
The back porch needs to be turned in to a bedroom suite with full bath.
One downstairs bath needs to be remodeled for handicapped accommodations with a planned drawing.
One upstairs needs shower, new fixtures and a tempered glass window.
The roof needs at least repairs and at most redone.
The upstairs bedrooms need painting and one bedroom needs some ceiling repair.
The other rooms upstairs need painting.
The stairs and foyer need paint
The floors need paint
The outside should be covered with vinyl to avoid the lead paint from contaminating the ground and workers.
The kitchen needs cabinets.
A roofing company will replace the roof at labor and materials cost only.
A contractor has agreed to draw up the plans for the need construction work
One family has given 800 towards materials for the restoration.
The women at Bethesda Recovery have cleaned out the house of it's debris
A tree surgeon has taken down trees and bushes to clean the property.
The owner has given the property to us.
The city is working with us to rezone and to inspect for code improvements.
A Sunday School class worked together to purchase the paint for the inside of the new house?
A business offered to purchase the materials needed for one bathroom?
A contractor or concrete company rebuilt the foundation for the back porch?
An individual paid for the labor needed to put up the vinyl for the outside?
A group of churches pooled together to purchase the vinyl for the house?
There are so many possibilities for our community to participate in this needed project. Dream with us and then make these dreams come true.
Almost weekly we get a call from someone who has lost a loved one to a drug overdose. The sad reality is tearing apart families and communities. We have an opportunity to help stop this epidemic. It won't be stopped by jail cells with not recovery programs. It won't be stopped by letting them hit the bottom, because the bottom is death for so many. The epidemic will be stopped by connection and caring.
Daily calls come into Bethesda Recovery asking for help. We can only fill beds when women complete the program. We have a low ratio of incomplete programs so our beds stay filled for a long time. We need more beds.
When we are able to open the 1014 house for residency we will open up at least four new beds in 1010 Mary St. because we have transitional beds for women who are working there. The working transitional beds will be moved to 1010 Mary allowing the beds available to grow because the working women have children who visit on the weekends. With the new rooms at 1014 we can accommodate the working women with child visitation in a better way. These working women pay their way by paying fees to stay in a safe environment.
1014 Mary Street, BETA House, will be the first in our attempt to provide a safe drug free environment for single mothers who need additional support to maintain their recovery. These women will also be among the peers who will help with developing additional supports for their peers in the future.
Waycross and the surrounding area needs what we offer to begin the work of creating a continuum of sober supports for recovery. Safe housing, transportation, sober work places, and child care for meetings are part of vision. We need what you can bring to make this vision a reality.
Who Do I Contact to get started?
Call 283-8580 or email firstname.lastname@example.org