Thursday, July 25, 2013

Update on Home Happenings... July 25

Dear Family and friends,

Has it been two weeks already? My, how time flies! I’m sure at times that’s how the residents feel also.

To help keep track of time, the young ladies keep a countdown for their due dates. Beautiful baby bellies are growing. Everyone has their weeks of pregnancy posted on their doors, with potential baby names. Our senior resident gets some recognition as well, for all her time she’s completed so far. She gets to choose many of the outings, groceries, meals and also gets to ride ‘shotgun’ – in the front seat of the minivan.  J Her opinions are sought out, she’s asked to handle other responsibilities, and helps gently lead the others with such simple acts as choosing the verse for the week that gets written on the big mirror.  She’s earned some extra privileges as well.

Support group met this month here at LGH and our residents participated. Ms. Freda leads this awesome group of women who are working hard and raising children. Many previous residents, who are now single moms, attend and childcare is provided. This is a way to learn from others about the realities of parenting, and to see how this group supports each other.  Everyone had dinner together and then several topics were covered and discussions followed.

There was a pink cake in the house…which can only mean one thing - One young lady found out she’s having a GIRL!

Our teacher, Ms. Stacy, also had her little baby boy, and she is out on maternity leave. Jenna (houseparent) and Beth (volunteer) are working with the students during class time now. Online classes are not easy, but everyone is working with good attitudes and effort. Despite the fact that it’s summer, the residents have continued to make progress!

We’ve had some guests in to teach Devotions, as well as our Director, and a young missionary from Africa shared about her life in Senegal.

Summertime has brought more fun and the girls have been on a few outings: to have a cookout, play in the creek, and enjoy fireworks; to play some pool, shoot darts and watch a movie on a big screen; to the water Spray Park and walking on some wooded trails; and also to the lake, to sit on the sand, swim and use sidewalk chalk on the steps.  Of course, there’s the annual Dress Like a Cow day at Chik-Fil-A, and our ladies stuck their spots, noses, ears and tails on for a free meal.

Group Counseling is going great, and has been very timely for issues within the home between the ladies. Getting along with those you live with is a good place to start learning about resolving conflict, trust, communication and friendship.

The Level system is also in place, and goals are being attained. These include emotional maturity, self-control, communication and personal accountability, as well as good grades and healthy program participation.

We look forward to the rest of summer, as we know you do!

For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. Psalm 84:11

God Bless,

Jen and LGH staff
House Manager

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Important Dates

Did you miss our July eNewsletter?  If so, click here to read about upcoming events and ideas how you can make an impact on this ministry.

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Two lives forever changed...

Staying connected is super important to me... so important that I usually have Facebook open on my work computer at all times.  

Today, I received a message from a past resident regarding something she has been writing.  After reading her thoughts and what God was able to do in her life, she granted permission for me to share it with you!  

I was at a point in my life where I just didn't care about anything anymore. I didn't want to die, but I didn't care what happened to me either. 

When I found out I was pregnant, I hated God more than I had before. I cursed at Him for putting this burden on me and for ruining my life. Surely He hated me. I found the Liberty Godparent Home after I lost all my so called "friends," my boyfriend, and the majority of my family. 

Inside the Home, I went through more in 6 months than in my entire life. I suffered withdrawal from the sinful outrageous life I had been living. I even tried to run away from the Home.

I remember one night specifically while we were at Liberty University campus church, a girl from the home that I had come to be really close to, (who still to this day encourages me when I get down) grabbed my hand during the praise and held it towards the ceiling. At first, I didn't understand, but we kept them raised through the prayer, and I felt a presence. I started paying closer attention to the morning devotions and lessons, and I even studied on my own. I not only found a relationship with God, but I also graduated high school, started college, and they helped me make a list and get everything I needed to start a good life with my son. I can't imagine where we would be without the Home or the emotional support they provided me during my pregnancy.

I lost my family during my pregnancy, but through the Home, I gained a new one, and although my family has lost contact with me, I still am able to contact anyone from the Home if I am in need of a helping hand or a shoulder to cry on.

I always say it was my son who saved my life, but it was most definitely the Liberty Godparent Home who saved his.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The words of a loving father...

We recently were able to sit down with the father of a current resident.  What we didn't know is that just a few days later, they would be celebrating the delivery of a healthy baby girl!

Irina's story is special... and yet she is just one amazing story from the nearly 900+ young ladies that we have greeted into the Liberty Godparent Home.  While her time with us was short (7 months), it felt like an eternity to this young lady and her family.  Irina spent her time with us preparing for her future, caring for herself and accepting unconditional love.  At the same time her parents were also preparing and growing as a couple... through weekly visits, calls with the Case Manager and consistent family counseling.

It was amazing to see her blossom... to see her grasp unconditional love... and watch her look boldly into the future--- accepting and learning from her past.

Enjoy this testimony,

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Update on Home Happenings..... July 9, 2013

Dear Family and friends,

Wow, it’s been hot! To keep cool we’ve had a lot of ice cream, smoothies, freezie pops and milkshakes. But these treats are much deserved after some great hikes and walks! We’ve also been swimming and the ladies do Pilates to help strengthen their core and be ready for labor and delivery.

While they prepare, Group Counseling recently helped them learn to get along with each other, and to understand the many different ways individuals communicate love. These are only a few of many topics that will be covered in group this year. This class is taught by Stephanie, a LU intern who is completing her Master’s Degree.

In Adoption Class they listened to Rachel read a book, The Gift of Sam, which was written by a young woman in an unplanned pregnancy. The ladies also viewed family portfolio’s. These are examples of  albums couples create to be viewed by prospective birth parents (those who plan to place their child for adoption.)   The residents especially loved looking at the albums because they are also in major scrap-booking mode. Many of their evenings are spent working on their own scrap books, with glue and scissors and decorative paper everywhere!

In Parenting Class they watched a video on interacting and talking to infants, distinguishing their cries and ways to get to know them. In fact, you may actually hear a baby crying here at LGH throughout the day or in the middle of the night. That’s “Pre-J”, our Real Care Doll that is currently in the care of our senior resident.  She is doing great and learning to respond, hold and care for an infant based on this unique doll that grades her parenting.  This can be done by computer chips within the doll. These chips monitor response time, head and neck positions, etc. Even feedings, diaper changes, and rocking motions are all recorded, and a report is printed out by the Caseworker to review with the young lady. These dolls are assigned to all residents later in their pregnancy, and they have them for a week or two.

We’ve been blessed with an abundance of zucchini and squash and green beans from the garden. Our girls are happy to eat fresh veggies and to also share with the shelter downtown!

There happens to be a recent Oreo & Milk craving being passed around. And green olives….and fried corn…..

Budgeting seems to be an issue. It’s tough to space out allowances for the week, but everyone is learning to plan better.

Highlights for the young ladies have been the Fireworks at TRBC’s Celebrate America, (we watched from the hill behind the house), the Hill Cats Baseball Game and movie nights with snacks.

If we can brag a bit, we will! When this group of young ladies first came to LGH they struggled with controlling their behavior when their emotions were very high.  They have all had a lot going on in their lives.  Just lately, they are beginning to learn not to let emotions control them. We have seen them make very decided steps toward thinking about their actions and words when under pressure,  especially when they are hurting, and then maturely showing self-control.  We have also been blessed when they return to talk about what they are thinking or going through and share with us.  We respect each young lady and her own journey, and are honored to walk a little part of the way with them. And be sure of this- we pray for them!
In Christ,

Jen  - Houseparent, and LGH staff