Friday, October 28, 2011

My Biggest Mission by "Ellie"

Coming to the Liberty Godparent Home was something that has changed my life forever.  I want to start off by thanking my parents, the staff, and the girls.  They have shown me that I can really find a true love for someone, and that is Jesus Christ.  I was a Christian before I came here, but this place was a true eye opener.

My first mission trip was in Kingston, Jamaica, when I was 18.  There I told orphans about Christ and how He loved then with His whole entire heart.  But my biggest mission so far has been to change myself completely and learn to be a Godly mother.  This is not as easy as it sounds, and it means I can't just think of myself and my friends anymore.  Not only will I be a mother in a couple of months, but now I will be one who will raise her baby in the house of the Lord.  I have to heep myself healthy and fit for my daughter too.  Life isn't just about me.  I need to think of others before myself.

My life has changed so much from the girl I was before I became pregant.  When I think of the way I was, it doesn't even seem like I could have possibly have been a Christian.  I had turned my back on God.  This wasn't the first time but this time was different because I had gotten caught:  I was pregnant.  I broke the hearts of my family, and by the grace of God they all forgave me.  Now my plan is to give my life to my daughter and to follow the heart God has given me for missions.  I plan to go to church when I return home and stay in a daily Bible study.  I want to raise my daughter to be Christ like.  I think as long as I teach her about Christ, and pray for her, God will do the rest.

**Written by "Ellie",  a current resident of the Liberty Godparent Home.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Winter Market... Nov 18-20... Lynchburg, Va




If you are within driving distance of Lynchburg, Virginia - please make plans to join us for the upcoming Winter Market!  Connect with the Winter Market on Facebook or on the Event Page to stay updated and see what vendors will be there.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

LGH through the eyes of a resident

Two weeks ago, we welcomed a new resident into the Liberty Godparent Home.  As I walked through the halls with her, she shared how she enjoys writing.  I asked her to jot some notes on what it is like to make the tough decision to leave home and come to our Home. 
Enjoy,
Janelle

LGH through the eyes of a resident  by: "Ariana"

Growing up in a society where you are raised to believe everything the doctors tell you makes it difficult to believe that something they told you was wrong.  That’s how it was for me when I found out I was pregnant.  I had been told by my doctor that it would not be possible for me and so it took three home tests and a blood test to convince me that I was.  Once I had accepted the undeniable truth myself, I started the most stressful and scary week and a half of my life, the telling of the news to everyone.  It was not as hard to tell the father or his family as it was to tell my own family, but everyone took the news better than I thought they would.  It was after that that the pressuring started, luckily not from my closest family.  The pressure came mostly from the father and his family.  At first, they didn’t want me to tell anyone about my pregnancy and to just get an abortion and keep it a secret from my family. I told them that I was not going to get one for two reasons: 1. because I didn’t believe in abortion (except in extreme cases), and 2. because I was afraid that if I did abort, I would actually become infertile which I didn’t want.  That’s when they started telling me lies and trying to scare me into having an abortion.  It was awful and I started to get depressed. I felt alone and scared; I started blaming myself and wanted to run away from everything and everyone.  Then my mom found out about the Liberty Godparent Home.  It seemed like a safe place where I could make a decision on my own, free from pressure, and we decided that I should go.

            I was very nervous at first as I didn’t know what to expect.  The people I talked to on the phone seemed to be very nice and helpful but I had some reservations.  I started hearing all kinds of things about homes for unwed mothers, some scared me and made me worry about whether I had made the right decision or not.  Even after meeting the wonderful Mrs. Freda in person and getting to know the truth about how the Godparent home is run and how the girls are treated, I was still scared and nervous.  The night before my entry into the Home, I came very close to telling my grandma that I had changed my mind, that I didn’t want to go, but I kept my fears to myself and put on a brave face for those around me.  The next day my grandma brought me to the Home and said goodbye to me as I would not get to see her, or hear her voice, for twenty-one days.  As it got closer to the time for her to leave, I started to get scared again.  I didn’t want her to go and leave me behind but I didn’t say anything and I watched her drive away.  After she was gone, I waited for everything to change, for my fears and expectations to be proven true.  I waited for them to turn from the kind caring people who had greeted me and my grandma into the nuns from Orphan Annie or the people at the girls’ home in the movie, The Journey of Natty Gann.

They led me to my room and helped me unpack and then told me to join the other girls, but the change never took place.  Finally, I relaxed and my fears subsided as I realized they really were as kind and caring as they seemed.  All the girls were friendly and I quickly settled in.  I believe it was easier for me as I had already been to college and it was kind of like going back to college and living in the dorms once more.  It’s been a little difficult for someone who has been living on their own, by their own rules for as long as I have, to be given a bed time and be restricted on what I can watch on TV but as I understand the reasoning behind them, I am able to accept and live by them more easily.  So the road leading to where I am now was a rocky one but I am glad I followed it.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Another life changed....





"The Liberty Godparent Home helped me to have direction in my life. They helped me to get my life back on track and helped me to get on the right path in living my life. Before i came to the home i had no care in the world and zero responsibility. I had no respect for my parents or myself and i had no idea how to voice my opinion. They helped to change that. I actually feel like i have a purpose in this life and can't wait to see what the future holds. The people at the home are so kind and so willing to just help. I love them all and thank you so much Liberty Godparent Home! "

-written by a resident of the Home 2010-2011

Friday, August 26, 2011

Cry out...


Two nights ago, I laid quietly in my bed praying that I would soon fall off to sleep.  Like most nights, I went through my list “blew out the candles, walked the dogs, locked my car”…. Oh shoot, I didn’t lock my car!  Down the steps I went and into the darkness not only to lock the car but also to close my car window.  It was so quiet out that I had to take a moment to enjoy the silence as I tiptoed back inside.  As I got back into bed, I heard a strange rumble outside.  Within a moment, the quiet house started shaking.  My heart pounded out of my chest as I waited for the aftershock to pass.   

As the rumble quieted and the earth calmed, I was reminded of this verse “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”  (Luke 19:40) Did I just hear the stones cry out?   I’ve never been able to imagine what it would sound like to hear the stones cry out....  until now.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Looking back .... Sarah's story

When I think back to the Liberty Godparent Home and my time spent there, words can hardly express how my life has been impacted. On August 21st, 2007, I found out I was pregnant. I was fresh out of high school, starting college 18 hours away from home, with big dreams and goals for my life. Teenage pregnancy was definitely NOT in those dreams and goals. I had heard about the Liberty Godparent Home when I was in high school, and it seemed like a good time to check it out. After doing some research, my mom and I decided that this was the place for me. I arrived on a cold January day, and my life has not been the same since.

There are two things that stand out to me that make the Godparent Home special; first, the staff. They were warm and caring. On my birthday my case worker called my mom to find out my favorite cake and she made it for me. I received birthday gifts and a small party. It was not the same as being with my family, but the staff at the Godparent Home did everything to make it special during a difficult time. In addition, the staff was very respectful of my right to make decisions regarding my child’s future. They worked to create a realistic plan based on my desires and strove to make sure I was prepared and well informed. The support the staff offered me was invaluable.

The second factor that had a deep impact on me was how Christ-centered the Liberty Godparent Home was. Church was a priority. In addition, every weekday morning the staff took time to lead us in devotions. Devotions gave us a chance to ask questions and to learn more about Christ. The staff prayed over us and loved us unconditionally – the way Christ calls His followers to love. Despite my pregnancy, I never felt judged or belittled. I only felt the unconditional, redeeming love of Christ radiating through the staff. This love allowed me to see the grace Christ was offering me and helped me to accept the forgiveness I needed.

I am so glad that I chose to come to the Liberty Godparent Home. I am very grateful for how they have poured into my life. I know that without the Liberty Godparent Home I would not be where I am today. I praise the Lord for what He has done in my life and that the staff at the Liberty Godparent Home allowed themselves to be used by Him.
~Sarah


 


Monday, July 11, 2011

Not my daughter...


Not my daughter. She’s only 19, not married, she has dreams and goals for her life, she’s a good girl. She’s a Christian, we go to church ….. 

A different reality hits when sitting across from a stranger that says “your test was positive, you are pregnant”. The stranger then hands her a list of her “options”. They give it to her because she is old enough to make her own decisions at age 19; but she looks at me because inside her mind, she is still too young for all of this and she begs for guidance. Thankfully, her Christian beliefs immediately took abortion off the “option” list. As a family we had many tearful conversations concerning her other options. 

It is amazing how God works. I came to know about the Godparent home many years ago through a coworker who had adopted a baby girl. I had given money for LGH fundraisers and donations through Thomas Road Baptist Church. Now, I needed them. I read the information many times on their website and knew I had to call. My call turned into taking our daughter to the Liberty Godparent Home for them to love, care for, nurture and counsel. They provided a safe haven for her and us. She made friends that understood and are by her side even today. She learned many life lessons and grew in confidence with herself and her decisions. She grew in faith with God and found forgiveness and strength for the days ahead. The staff became her parents with love, guidance and discipline, and our friends with calm assurance that all would be fine. They never hesitated to talk with us, comfort us, and love us unconditionally as parents who had tried to raise their daughter right instead of judging our parenting during this difficult time. She received many hours of counseling regarding her choice to parent her baby or place the child for adoption and into the loving, caring family of someone who could provide for the baby all that she couldn’t, and all that he deserved, at this time in her life. 

My daughter decided to place her baby for adoption; a decision she never wavered on. The staff remained with her through this decision and allowed her to choose the family God was preparing to receive this blessed miracle. Today, my daughter is stronger than ever due to all the lessons learned during this experience and her stay at LGH. With God’s help, many blessings have come from a troubled beginning. We have grown in family not only with the adoptive family with whom we have regular contact, but with the family of the Liberty Godparent Home staff and we are so blessed to have them all in our life…forever.

-Written by the mother of a 2010 resident.  

Thursday, June 23, 2011

How the lost got found

It is always an exciting time when one of our residents is close to the end of her pregnancy.  But, with her delivery  so near we know that she will be leaving us and moving forward with her life.  I wanted to share her story with you... in her words.  Please keep her in your prayers as she has a long journey ahead of her.  We will miss you Maggie!
(* name was changed)

~ Janelle


Maggie’s testimony
          I have always considered myself a Christian; however I wasn’t exactly living the “Christian life.” I was rebelling against God, and trying to “do my own thing.” I knew what I was doing was wrong, but I didn’t care. And my dad would always tell me “I am scared for you, because you do not fear God;” this was a very true statement. I really didn’t care all that much. It all started around the time I met my baby’s father.
I was eighteen, about to turn nineteen, and had just graduated high school, and about to go to college that fall. I pretty much had it made. But when Sam* and I met, it was an instant connection; he taught me so much, not saying that’s a good thing. We spent as much time together as we could, which wasn’t hard for me because I could drive. But it got to the point where I was skipping some of my classes to see him, and if you know anything about college tuition, it is NOT cheap! So it was basically a waste of money. And the days I would go to school, I’d leave early in the morning and go over to his apartment and stay till school started, then when classes ended I went back to his place. Things between us got very physical, very fast. I really didn’t think too much of it, until I took a pregnancy test, and it came back positive. I was scared, surprised, and somewhat excited at the same time.
 I remember telling him that I was pregnant, and right off the bat, he did not believe me. I had to go over to his apartment one day and show him the test results. After that, things pretty much fell apart. He even cheated on me with another girl, and I was dumb enough to take him back. My life was so messed up, and things only got worse when I had to tell my parents; I remember the hurt and disappointment on their faces when I told them. I felt like my life was over, little did I know God had a plan for me. I can remember calling the crisis pregnancy center, looking for some way to make everything better. I met with one of the ladies and started a counseling session with her. One of my sessions, she offered me some free information about “Mother Goose Adoption” and “Liberty Godparent Home” I wasn’t too sure about either but I took the information home and talked with my parents about it. They said to pray about my decision, I did, and we all came to an agreement that LGH might be what’s best for me and the baby. Not too long after I had made the decision to go there, I finally told Sam* where I was going; he didn’t like the idea very much, and tried to convince me not to go. I didn’t listen to him, I had a feeling I would get the proper help I needed. So I got in touch with the admissions coordinator, and we set a date to come by. She said they wanted me to come by my twentieth week. I packed everything for my five month stay, and pretty soon I was on my way to Lynchburg, VA. My dad and I arrived sometime in the afternoon, and when we arrived, Mrs. Ruby gave us a quick tour; it looked really nice, but it just wasn’t home though. My dad and I said our goodbyes, it was the saddest I had ever seen him, but he assured me that time would go by fast, and before I knew it, I’d be back home with the family.
Adjusting to my new lifestyle wasn’t as easy as I’d thought it’d be. There were so many rules and regulations, things I wasn’t used too at all. Not only that, I didn’t get along with some of the girls, so that made my stay even harder. But I prayed and cried to God every night asking Him to give me the strength I needed to make it through, and God has never let me down. Time as my dad said did go by pretty fast, especially when my twenty-one days were over. Everyone was so supportive and understanding of my situation; they sent me letters and talked to me on the phone and offered me all kinds of encouraging advice. It wasn’t long before I got to be very close with some of the girls here; they were all really nice and understood exactly what I was going through. It was nice that people knew what it was like and we all had the same thing in common, our pregnancy.
The staff definitely helped me out too, especially my caseworker and counselor. We talked about my decision to parent or place; I found myself going back and forth a lot, so I prayed and asked God to show me what I should do. It wasn’t long before He started showing me signs, and right away I knew what I should do. So I started to meet with my adoption caseworker and we started working on an adoption plan. It was heartbreaking to think about placing my baby, but I knew it was in his best interest. Now that it’s May, and I have less than a month before he’s born, I realize I can do it after all; all I needed was help from God. I’m very excited to meet my son, and to give him the most amazing home I can. He means everything to me. And I am so thankful for LGH and all the people who dedicate their time to it, they’re doing an absolutely terrific job making sure that we’re all taken care of and we can leave the ministry knowing exactly what we are going to do. And I cannot wait to see what God has in store for me after this.

Monday, June 20, 2011

What Does God say about “Identity Theft”?

“Who am I?” rang softly into my ear as I drove away from my house the other evening. My neck needed rubbed, my tummy said it needed fed and my yawn was proof that the youth in my son’s side of the argument had more strength than mine. His last words spoofed my inner submission as I nodded to myself while rolling my eyes; he was probably right. His only foundation for wanting to do something a normal 17 year old who want to do was, well, because he wanted to. My response was nothing short of the spill on making mature decisions even when we have to make the sacrifice of our own wants. He, of course argued that just because I was a mother at 16 and didn’t get to be who I wanted to be— that I shouldn’t restrain him from whom he wants to be. The nerve! How can I look at this young man who I practically gave my teenage life to and argue with that? It was my choice, my mistake and once again I was reminded of how foolish I was then and how late I was now. I left before finishing the conversation and my frustration turned to hurt.

Tears began to fill my eyes as I continued to drive. “Is this it Lord? Is my life supposed to turn out this way? I feel robbed, stolen from and need to know who I am.” As I got to my office and typed in some obscure search titles, I came across an intriguing title; “The Story of the Sad Sadness” by author unknown. Umm yes! Of course I clicked. I was the sad saddest person and felt like a complete failure as a mother.

Take a moment and read through the words that took me back to .... Hope.

The stone plaque on my desk read somberly to me in that moment. Romans 5:5 “…and hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.” He is my hope. How many times do we feel like the grey figure trying to help our children with tough love or guidance? They run, they hide, they argue. But this verse says that God is our hope and loves us enough to pour out the Holy Spirit into our hearts! Only Satan wants us to believe that we are worthless. He wants us to buy into the lies that we are marked and bonded to the things that have us impounded by regret. John 10:10 says “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Satan wants to steal our identity, but God wants to restore it. With God as our hope we can live life to the fullest and find confidence in a savior that tells us exactly who we are!


We are happy to have Tasha Brown share her thoughts with us as a guest blogger.  In 1993, Tasha and I met when we were both facing the crisis of an unplanned pregnancy.  In 2010, our paths crossed again and together we co-authored a book about our journey titled Released & Delivered ©2010
http://www.trulytransformed.net/

Monday, May 9, 2011

Rings

I am excited to share the thoughts of Jenn Etheridge, our guest blogger and houseparent at the Liberty Godparent Home.  I love her heart and compassion for each young lady that has come to the Home.
~Janelle

We stand behind 3 other rows of Godly women- packed into the conference- currently enveloped in a swirling, lifting, airy and full song of praise. The beautiful ladies in front of us have their hands raised to the Lord, fingers outstretched and faces looking up. When I look up ahead of me, I see  a row of hands, small and slender, worn or young and supple, waving lovely like a garden row of blossoms, some higher than others, but sending up worship none the less. We sing, too. It knits us together, and our spirits are happy toward God and Jesus. 

The thing that strikes my heart is that these feminine hands all have wedding rings. They wear silver or gold bands, diamonds and jewels, expensive and symbolic for all to see. For a quick moment I look down the row at our girls to see if they notice what I am seeing, too. But they don’t. They are singing, or are awkward and look down, or stand quiet but let their bodies sway gently to the music. I am relieved. My heart goes out to them for this missing thing, this missing component in their lives. My girls do not wear rings. Despite the fullness of their bellies under their ill-fitting maternity blouses, their hands are not so adorned…..yet.

The women in front of us have forgotten about their rings, as they should, and have focused on praise. They probably have worn them for so long they have almost forgotten them… Or have taken them for granted, maybe even along with the commitments they represent. 

The need for this lovely gift in these girls lives just swells up in my mind the more I sing, the more I stare at that row of hands with rings. I am thankful for the Lord, who loves them more than any man could, and also more than we can. But I pray a little prayer and ask God for this: that they may one day be blessed with a man who loves God, who follows the Lord, who will love them and be kind and affectionate and be a good provider and protector. I ask this for my own children all the time, but for the girls, sometimes the odds seem a bit higher. Some will place their child for adoption, some will parent- but they all have a desire to have just a plain, good man in their life, who will put a ring on their finger and enrich their lives. And we ask and trust that God will prepare them both in the mean time.  So I am asking for you to pray for this, too.  


He who finds a wife finds a good thing
And obtains favor from the LORD.
PRVB. 18:22

Friday, May 6, 2011

What is the Liberty Godparent Home?



What is the Liberty Godparent Home?  The Liberty Godparent Home is a residential program for young, single ladies facing unplanned pregnancies.  We are dedicated to helping women in crisis by giving them a secure place to live for the duration of the pregnancy and beyond.

Our program is for those between the ages of 12-21 who feel as if they have nowhere to turn or need extra support through the pregnancy.  While in the program, our goal is to equip them for the important decisions that they will face.

Why was the Liberty Godparent Home founded?  The ministry was founded on January 22, 1982 by Pastor Jerry Falwell.  This is a very important date due to the fact that January 22nd is the anniversary of the historic Roe vs. Wade decision that legalized abortion.  The dream of the Home was actually birthed through a reporter who challenged Dr. Falwell at an airport press conference.  She asked him the simple question:  "Is it enough to stand against abortion when you aren't doing anything to help the pregnant girls who have no other way?".  Since that day, thousands of lives have been changed because of this ministry.

Do you have to place your child for adoption?  No.  Each resident will go through a series of classes and will make her own decision as to whether to parent her child or pursue an adoption plan.  In fact, about 60% make a parenting plan for while 40% pursue an adoption plan.  Regardless of her decision, the LGH staff work diligently to equip each for the needs that they will have.

Where are the girls from that come to LGH?  Our residents come from all over the US and beyond.  About 50% of our residents are from within the state of Virginia.

How does a girl qualify to enter the program?  Most make initial contact via phone (1800.542.4453), or through a Pregnancy Center or church.  Each prospective girl completes an application, and admission is based on her level of urgency, our ability to help her situation, and the availability  of space on our part.  Those whom we are not able to house are refereed to other agencies or organization that may be better focused to her specific needs.  The Liberty Godparent Home does not discriminate with regards to race or religious affiliation.

Who is eligible?  Our program is for young women between the ages of 12-21.  A client must enter our program by the 22nd week of pregnancy.

Who funds the program?   This Home is a ministry of the Liberty Godparent Foundation and is completely funded by churches, businesses and individual friends of the ministry.  There is no fee for education, counseling, room/board and classes.  Arrangements must be made for the medical portion of the program.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I want to know...



I once heard something along the lines of "we need to learn from the past to enjoy working in the present and keep moving toward the future".  

For years, the Liberty Godparent Home has offered an incredible program for young ladies facing unplanned pregnancies.  It is my goal to keep Dr. Falwell's vision intact for LGH and continue to see lives changed.   In order to that, I want to hear from those who once lived in the Home.  So, if you are a past resident, I would appreciate hearing your thoughts. I created a survey and would appreciate any input that you would like to share!


Blessing,
Janelle



 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Grand day at LGH!



I just came across a blog posted by The Grand Happiness Foundation  about the furniture donation made to the Home a few weeks ago.  It is such a blessing to have the support from local businesses in the Lynchburg community. 

Take moment to read it....

~  Janelle 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Eat Wings. Raise Funds. It Pays!

Buffalo Wild Wings (Lynchburg, Va) hosted a fundraiser for the Liberty Godparent Foundation in February and it was the most successful fundraiser they had to date!  Because of the great success of the event, they are doing it again on Tuesday, May 3rd at BWW - Lynchburg.  All you have to do is print these vouchers and present them to your server anytime throughout the day (dine-in or take-out) and they will donate 15% of your bill to our organization. 

This is a tasty way to support our ministry!  Help us by spreading the word through email or sharing this post from the our Facebook page.  If you are not able to print off the voucher, let me know and I will email them to you!


Friday, April 22, 2011

Forever Grateful

We are so thankful for every young lady that comes through the Home.  Each circumstance is  different and  we have learned to trust God for guidance with each situation.  Below is the story of Amy ......

 "I will forever be grateful for the Liberty Godparent Home.  They will never know how they transformed, not only me but my family as well. When I was first asked to share what the Program did for me, I thought where do I begin? A few weeks after arriving, I had a miscarriage.  After completing the Liberty Godparent Home I was faced with a decision to move to a foster home or go stay with a local family. Being 16 I did not want to live in a foster home for 2 years.  My mother was in prison.  My Grandparents who I lived with before basically said that I couldn’t come back and live. 

I had already been at the Liberty Godparent Home for 6 months. I had dropped out of the ninth grade so at the Godparent Home prepared me to take my test to receive my GED and shortly thereafter I started Community College through Job Corporation Training.I starting working part time, going to school full time, and for the first time in my life I was excited for my future and what it held. I had support from people who cared and motivated and gave wise and Godly discernment to my life. 

Even at seventeen it was essential to have the structure that was given to me.  I want to stress that it did not at all feel like a program but a family.  Not only did they have impact on me but my boyfriend John who after 4 years of dating, became my husband. We now have 2 children and we are living out God’s plan for our marriage, raising up our children for him and experiencing firsthand how he can take our circumstances and use it for the Kingdom. We are so grateful for his love and mercy and for the mission that the program for ever imprinted on our lives as well as others.

 There is not a time where I don’t reflect back and my heart begins to feel with overwhelming love and gratitude to the staff and their dedication to this ministry. "