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