The Ministry Continues – Meet our Seniors, Class of 2020

Dear Friends,

I hope you have remained safe and healthy during the continued season of COVID-19. As we begin to see restrictions removed, and the start of businesses reopening, we want to reiterate our deepest gratitude for those who have continued to support STCH Ministries. Not only through monetary contributions, but through prayers, volunteers and donations of food and supplies.   

Each one of you impacts our ministry, and we are so thankful! The Ministry Continues because of YOU!

As we head into the middle of May 2020 – we have exciting things happening at Homes for Children on the Boothe Campus in Pettus, TX. We have a group of high school seniors getting ready to graduate from Pettus High School, and we want to introduce you to these young adults.
  Unfortunately, this was a senior year no one could anticipate would happen. Many senior activities and events were canceled, due to COVID-19. And although those events and memories didn’t happen – we are still SO proud and excited to be a part of their lives while they’ve been on campus. They have shown resilience and perseverance!   Introducing our graduating Seniors at Homes for Children (HFC):

Brandon – 2 years at HFC

His favorite part about being at the campus has been the relationship
he has built with his houseparents.

Kimani – 2 years at HFC
His favorite part about being at the campus is all the people he has gotten
to know; mainly his houseparents.

Maria – 1 1/2 years at HFC

Her favorite part about being at the campus is the relationship
she has built with her houseparents.

Sophia – 2 1/2 years at HFC

Her favorite part about being at the campus are the relationships
she has built with everyone.

Taheen – 4 years at HFC

Her favorite part about being at the campus has been finding people
that love her and the relationships she has built with them.
As you can see, the most consistent impact our students receive from being at
Homes for Children are – RELATIONSHIPS.

We are privileged and blessed to have the consistent Presence of God throughout our ministry. From the very beginning when Mrs. Laura Boothe first approached Rev. Jess Lunsford about her calling to start a children’s home on her land, she approached him in faith and because of their trusting relationship.

Relationships are a key part of our ministry.
Our relationship with YOU impacts those we serve by providing the
resources needed for healing and hope.    

What Happens after Students Graduate?

We want to thank everyone who is a Cottage Sponsor and donor who help provide for our kids every day through your support of Homes for Children. Once our kids graduate from high school, STCH Ministries and YOU, continue to play an important role in their lives.

We help prepare our high schoolers for their transition to post-grad life – whether they choose to pursue college, technical school or work.

If they graduate from high school, while in our care, we provide scholarships to college or technical school as long as they maintain good grades and follow the guidelines of our College Scholarship Program.

The College Transition Coordinator provides support and accountability to our college students and helps them with housing, registration, textbooks, financial aid and much more.

If they don’t go to college or technical school, we help them locate job opportunities, prepare resumes, provide transportation to interviews, financial assistance for rent until they can support themselves and many other needs.  

We are grateful God provides steadfast and faithful supporters who assist in providing a consistent source of encouragement, motivation and support when our kids leave our care and move to independence. THANK YOU for your SUPPORT by equipping these young adults to be independent and self-reliant.


If you would like to send an encouraging note to any of our high school seniors, please click here: CLASS OF 2020 and we’ll make sure they receive your note.


There are still opportunities to help stock our Commissary for both Homes for Children and Homes for Families. Food and supplies are hard to receive at times, though our families are taken care of, options are limited.

If you’d like to donate to the Commissary, please click here STOCK THE COMMISSARY.
Thank you again for your consistent and steadfast commitment to our ministry. You remain vital to sustaining our ministry and those we serve.   With sincere gratitude,

Kyle Luke
Vice President of Development and Communications
STCH Ministries


The Ministry Continues – Let Us Pray For You

Dear Friends,
Through this season of COVID-19, we have been working to keep you connected and informed of how The Ministry Continuesthrough God’s Good Works.

We also remain grateful for your continued partnership with us through the generous giving of your time, prayers and finances. We know you have also been impacted, and since we’re unable to visit you in person, we would like to hear from you. We want to know how you are doing, especially how you’re coping and dealing with COVID-19, including any specific prayer requests. It would be our privilege to have the opportunity to specifically and personally pray for you. Please consider sharing your prayer needs, and anything else you’d like to share, by sending an email to (or click the link).

Your prayers and any other details you share with us – will be kept confidential.

We hope you will share with us and let us be part of your life – as you have been a part of so many of the lives in our ministry. As it states in Ephesians 3:16, NLT: “I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.

What are the Children up to?

Our children, at Homes for Children, continue to stay busy and active as they adjust to life on campus 24/7. As they work to maintain their academics by doing their schoolwork, they are also enjoying activities outside, learning new cooking skills, and leading devotionals. Some of our cottages are adding a new “class” to their schedule: COOKING CLASS. In Hope Cottage, which consists of 5 boys (ages 11-18), each boy picks a day and a meal to cook each week. They use cookbooks or the internet to find a recipe.

Fried chicken anyone? Tyson was the chef for this meal. The menu he selected was: fried chicken, sautéed asparagus and mashed potatoes. Other meals included meatloaf, pork chops and other healthy options. This has been a great learning experience and life-skill for the kids. It has also given them new appreciation and gratitude for their houseparents. 

Additionally, not only do the boys cook once a week, but they must also lead a devotional at dinner time. One of our boys recently led a devotion focused on “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.” – Proverbs 22:1 It’s wonderful to be a part of the biblical guidance and lessons they learn as they come to the table, not only for dinner – but also for the nourishment of their hearts and souls.

In addition to homework, cooking and devotionals, the children are also staying active outside. Our creative houseparents came up with fun games using sidewalk chalk. The games involved following directions, reinforcing math skills and generating creativity – all while having fun! They used sidewalk chalk that was donated by After School Center for Education (ACE). This program, in Pettus Independent School District, provides morning and after school tutoring, snacks and educational activities for two hours after school Monday – Friday to some of our children, when school is in session.

Faith & Work | Faith & Finances

Our Faith & Work | Faith & Finances ministries continue to reach out and engage with students via online classes. And one of the best parts about it is – it doesn’t matter where you are located, now that we are online, you can join us anywhere! Recently, new classes and classes that were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, began meeting in Corpus Christi and San Antonio. The response to the classes has been overwhelmingly positive and energizing for students. In a few weeks, Houston will begin hosting Faith & Work | Faith & Finances classes online. 

Beginning the first week in May, potential students will have the choice of attending either a morning or evening Faith & Work | Faith & Finances class online. 

If you, your church group, or someone you know would like to attend either of these classes, click here to register: SIGN ME UP!

ONLINE ACCESS COMING SOON: Our Faith & Work | Faith & Finances teams are currently working to develop an online learning academy that will provide educational resources to potential Faith & Work students. This learning platform will be available to anyone, anytime and anywhere.

A Client Gives Back

We recently received a special phone call from a former Family Counseling client, Brittany. She was seeing one of our counselors for severe social anxiety, grief and low self-esteem. She called her former counselor to let her know she is now off all of her anxiety medications and she’s helping others in her church who also struggle with anxiety. 

Brittany has started a support group in her church for moms who have had miscarriages. And she is working as an in-home caregiver to an elderly patient and absolutely loves it! Brittany shared how much she appreciated the tools she learned through our Family Counseling ministry. And knows she wouldn’t be where she is now – without the Christ-Centered counseling she received. We are blessed to hear the success stories from clients when they leave our care as they continue to move forward with knowledge, lessons and Biblical truths they learned through our ministry. Even helping others along the way. God works all things for good!

Words of Encouragement

Our staff is working hard to help The Ministry Continue during these difficult times. Additionally, our children, moms, clients, and all those we serve are adjusting to the challenges of new changes in routines and schedules. If you would like to send our staff and those we serve – words of encouragement – you can do so by clicking here.

Please know we are continuing to pray for God’s sovereign protection to surround you and your family.
We are here to share hope and heal hearts, and we are grateful for your ongoing support. 

With sincere gratitude,

Kyle Luke
Vice President of Development and Communications
STCH Ministries

The Trunk of a Tree

Thank you for being the trunk of a tree that sustains so many branches—being mindful of needs in so many different places,” wrote Ruth from the Dominican Republic, mother of five and Director of the school in the village of Hatillo.

The Covid-19 pandemic has shattered life in the Dominican Republic. Abruptly, quarantine was strictly enforced with jail time, as 90% of individuals lost their jobs. Although Americans have experienced anxiety and loss due to the pandemic, it doesn’t compare with the terror of impending starvation.

How do we minister to 299 sponsored children who are quarantined in their homes, disbursed throughout the island? STCH Ministries swiftly mobilized to address their emotional and spiritual needs, as well as the interrupted education of the children. The Dominican team, led by Rebeca Dinzey, began an innovative approach to meet this need. As a condition of their scholarship, our 25 CLEP college students “give back” 10 hours per month in support of younger Samuel’s Fund kids. Promptly, each college student was assigned 2-3 Samuel’s Fund children. They now call them once a week, ask about their individual situations, pray and share a scripture with them and help them with homework received over the internet or the WhatsApp platform. When one CLEP student, Vladimir, discovered a family who couldn’t afford internet, he began paying for this service himself! CLEP students send weekly reports:

“We have begun reading a chapter each week of James, and I call them the next week and quiz them. They enjoy our visits.”

“I video chat with my students. We talk about their homework. I encourage their mother because she is very overwhelmed.”

“My student says she is not a Christian because she is afraid of God. I am helping her understand how to have a relationship with Him.”

Through the generous support from many individuals to date, we have received $16,710. STCH Ministries also began to meet the physical needs of food for the children and their families. Our concern also included the ladies who cook and care for our mission teams, the teachers in our Christian schools and the orphanages. We quickly contacted the Bravo grocery chain and purchased palettes of 9 basic food items—milk, rice, beans, sugar, oatmeal and spaghetti, oil, cornmeal and tomato paste.

Russell has directed the team in the logistics of this effort. He hired 2 trucks. He re-purposed our team lodging, Koinonia house to store the food, and organize into smaller packets for each family. Dr. Francisco supervised and guided the delivery process to ensure safety and health for everyone. Rebeca, Valentina and Maria identified and called the neediest families, “We have a packet of food for you!” Assigned a date and time, they came for pick up at the IBQ compound. As the packets of food are delivered, time is spent with each one, reflecting on God’s promises, and praying for their families. We anticipate we will deplete this food in 4-5 weeks.

Ruth’s reference of a tree with branches was a beautiful analogy of STCH Ministries. Rooted in God’s promises to supply ALL of our needs, our “branches” continue to support children and families–providing Christian counseling, homes for children and families, pastoral ministry, classes on the impact of faith on finances and work, in addition to the work in the Dominican Republic. During this pandemic, the ministry continues.


Joanna Berry
Joanna Berry
Vice President of Family and International Ministries
STCH Ministries

The Ministry Continues – More Good News!

As we continue to adapt to the daily restrictions that COVID-19 has placed on our lives, we may feel we’re repeating the same day over and over again. We tend to ask ourselves: “What day is it?” “How many snacks have I eaten today?” “What should we binge watch next on Netflix?”
  And although we are ready for our days not to feel like they’re on repeat, day after day – we must remember: God’s Word never changes. His Word remains the same day after day, year after year. And as followers of Jesus, we are to be a people of hope.

Therefore, we want to remind you, that though your day may feel the same, know that God remains the same. He is worthy of our trust and hope. “Be of good cheer,” our Lord said, “I have overcome the world” – John 16:33 

And for that, we continue to have hope in our Lord; and we continue to be thankful for your continued commitment to STCH Ministries. God continues to work in mighty ways. He continues to open doors for our ministry so that our MINISTRY CONTINUES! We are GRATEFUL for you!

The Good News: We are continuing to help those we serve as they deal with life’s challenges.

In these unprecedented days, we remain encouraged by the light of Christ. On Good Friday, two young girls at Homes for Children were led to an everlasting relationship – they accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, by their houseparents! 

Good Friday indeed…He is Risen, Risen indeed! Seek the Kingdom of God, and you will find Him.

Our ministries are still accepting new residents and clients.

HOMES FOR CHILDREN, on the Boothe Campus, is continuing to serve children. It’s a place to call home. Children live with houseparents, and each cottage functions much like a normal household, with meals in the home and the family enjoying activities together. Children attend public school and local churches and participate in sports and a variety of life-building activities. For more information about the ministry and admission requirements, please call 361.375.2101 or click to apply online.

HOMES FOR FAMILIES, on the Marshall Ranch Campus, is continuing to serve single moms and their children. It’s a place to be safe. Homes for Families is a resource for single mothers and their children who are facing a crisis and need help transitioning into independent living. Our Marshall Ranch Campus provides a safe, comfortable setting for mothers and their children to begin a new chapter, while our staff help address their physical, emotional and spiritual needs. For more information about the ministry and admission requirements, please call 361.645.3005 or click to apply online.

FAMILY COUNSELING provides care when individuals, couples and families need help sorting through the challenges of life. All our counselors are professionally trained and distinctively Christian. We are continuing to see current and new clients through virtual counseling. If you, or anyone you know, needs to speak with a counselor, please call 833.83STCHM or 833.837.8246

Family Support – Our Family Support ministry connects needs with resources. Whenever a family has needs that can be served by one or more of our ministries, Family Support helps them understand what we offer and how to begin. We recently had the opportunity of blessing Maggie, a member of one of our church partners. Maggie recently lost her job due to COVID-19 and her husband’s hours were significantly reduced to working one day per week. She has also been taking care of her 3 teenage grandchildren since their birth. Maggie’s faith in God has not waivered and knows God will continue supplying their every need. Maggie was so grateful for the groceries and showed her appreciation for STCH Ministries during this time.

International – Dominican Republic CLEP Students – The Christian Leadership and Education Project (CLEP) is a sponsorship program that matches sponsors with Dominican college students. The students receive financial help for educational needs, such as college tuition, books and supplies. Additionally, each CLEP student is required to contribute a minimum of 10 hours a month in ministry to younger Samuel’s Fund children (also sponsored by donors) as tutors and mentors. During this time of quarantine, our CLEP students are still required to invest in children. Every week, they call 2-3 children to build a friendship, help with homework and share devotional time. This is a wonderful blessing to see students helping students.

Words of Encouragement – Our staff has been working hard to help The Ministry Continue during these difficult times. Additionally, our children, moms, clients and all those we serve are adjusting to the challenges of new changes in routines and schedules. If you would like to send our staff and those we serve – words of encouragement – you can do so by clicking here.

Please know we are continuing to pray for God’s sovereign protection to surround you and your family.

We are here to share hope and heal hearts, and we are grateful for your ongoing support.  With sincere gratitude,

Kyle Luke
Vice President of Development and Communications
STCH Ministries

Women’s Work a Volunteer Spotlight on Kellie Williams

God does not waste anything; not a moment, not a feeling, not a word and certainly not our obedience. Kellie Williams gives testimony to this truth. She has taught in STCH Ministries’ Faith & Work, formerly Jobs for Life, for six years and has seen God work in her life, the lives of her students and her family’s life without fail.

Kellie discovered a passion for working with women early in her marriage. Her husband, a merchant mariner, spent long stretches of time out at sea during which Kellie developed friendships with ladies from her church. Those friendships showed her the strength and beauty of bonds with Christ-like sisters. From them, she learned the advantage of helping other women as a way to help her deal with the loneliness while her husband was away.

Trained as a teacher, Kellie applied her skills in the church through the leading of Bible studies. Eventually, she followed God’s leading, quit teaching in the public-school arena and went back to school for a certificate of ministry which she put to work writing and teaching Bible studies for women at her church, Second Baptist of Corpus Christi.

Kellie knew about STCH Ministries Family Counseling through her mom, Dottie Chiles. Dottie worked as a counselor in the Corpus office after retiring from a career as a school counselor. In July of 2014, Kellie attended a luncheon where Jimmy Rodriguez, the director for STCH Ministries Jobs for Life | Faith & Finances, gave the keynote speech. As she listened to Jimmy’s explanation of STCH Ministries’ commitment to helping families learn the skills necessary to better their financial situations and provide stability, Kellie knew God wanted her to be a part of the process. “God clearly impressed me with the understanding that this was His next step for my life.” Her grand love for women and helping them compelled her to approach Jimmy with an offer to teach classes.

Teaching the concepts of Jobs for Life brought an unexpected benefit. Kellie’s daughter Maddie spiraled into a depression after bullied during her teenage years and Kellie realized that many of the topics presented in the curriculum applied to Maddie’s situation. The family connection to STCH Ministries led Maddie to counseling and on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic which God used to change Maddie’s life. “I did not know this in the beginning, as I volunteered, God blessed my family. I helped other women but God allowed me to also help my daughter through this program,” Kellie said.

In 2018, STCH Ministries replaced the Jobs for Life program after creating their own curriculum called Faith & Work. Kellie taught one of the first classes of the new material. “Faith & Work puts work in a very positive light as something God means for us to do. It also emphasizes our uniqueness as people,” she explained. Kellie appreciated the emphasis on an individual’s inherent value as God created them and she enjoyed the process of helping women discover work that suits their concerns and skills through personality assessment and interest inventories.

Kellie believed the information about goals and plans and how to achieve them brought the first glimmer of hope to many women’s lives. Kellie described a common situation, “Too many women have these dreams but feel like there’s no way to get there and they give up.” The lessons taught them to make smart goals by breaking things down into achievable steps. This gave them skills applicable to the rest of their lives. Sometimes, merely reaching goals did not suffice to create lasting change, the ladies needed to learn how to overcome obstacles.

The material covering this topic explained forgiveness, once one accepted Jesus’s forgiveness they learned to extend forgiveness through what Jesus did for them. When people made peace with their past through Jesus and understood the power of forgiveness, they viewed their goals in a different light; “This is achievable! I do not have to be bound by labels others have given me in the past.”

After students realized their uniqueness they learned to set goals and overcome their past, the next section taught about working together. Kellie presented lessons on how to get along with others, be a leader, listen well and handle conflict. As she summed up the concepts presented in Faith & Work, Kellie declared, “It’s really taking work and flipping it over as to what society says it is versus what God says it is. That’s it in a nutshell. It ends on how to clearly shine at work so that you can keep moving up and reach your goals.”

Kellie looks forward to teaching her fifteenth class in the fall of 2020. Nearly twenty-five years after discovering her enthusiasm for women’s ministry, she knows God’s economy makes use of every part of her life. She realizes, “God sends people. The same way He sends me to help people through Faith & Work, He sends people to take care of my kids wherever they are.”

For information on Faith & Works classes near you, please visit our website to find email contact information for the office nearest you: click here

The Ministry Continues – How Staff are Coping

The COVID-19 virus continues to create inconvenience, change and adjustment as we navigate these uncertain times.

The Ministry Continues

The COVID-19 virus has created many emotions and concerns. We have all been affected in many ways – creating new challenges as we adjust to a “new” way of life. During this challenging season, we want you to know that God is working in mighty ways and He continues to open doors for ministry. Because of YOU, we can continue to share many examples of how God is using STCH Ministries.

As we begin this week leading up to Easter, we want to thank our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ for His continued provisions over our ministry, with the good news that our MINISTRY CONTINUES!

We are continuing to help those who we serve as they deal with life challenges. 
During times like these, our pastors and church leaders need even more prayer and continuous support. Our Pastor Care ministry has been helping churches facilitate digital worship services during the COVID-19 crisis. Tim Williams, Director of Church Relations, has been consulting with several churches and pastors as they prepare their first-ever video worship. He has also participated in leading online sermons for churches without pastors and has been asked to lead an Easter sermon online.
We are privileged to offer Pastor Care – especially in times of crisis. 
  “To equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ” – Ephesians 4:12
    STCH Ministries Family Counseling Facebook Group
  We are excited to provide this free resource which will provide ways to cope during this time. This group has been created to provide encouragement and hope through counseling resources. The resources shared will be from multiple sources, and will help with anxiety, depression, family issues and many other topics as it relates to coping with a crisis, such as COVID-19. 
To join the Family Counseling Facebook Group, click here   

  “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Whatever happens, give thanks, because it is God’s will in Christ Jesus that you do this.”  1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
In all times, we must pray, and pray together. Please know we are praying for you and your families. So many are facing uncertainty with jobs, financial instability, health, isolation, and much more. 

We also ask you for your prayers as well. We specifically need prayers for those in our ministries: Our children and school work. This can be exhausting and challenging. Pray for our houseparents, single moms and staff who are assisting with our children’s schooling needs. Individuals in counseling. Many of us are facing more time with each other and for those which have challenged relationships – this situation can intensify emotions and reactions. Pray for our counselors working through distance video counseling to provide helpful and Biblical guidance.  Our pastors. They are under new challenging circumstances as they navigate this season, and as they prepare for how to deliver their Easter Sunday sermon from a distance as they share the good news: Christ has Risen!
Click here for a great resource on ways to pray for your pastor during the COVID-19 crisis.  PRAY FOR YOUR PASTOR    

We are here to share hope and heal hearts, and we are grateful for your ongoing support.   
With sincere gratitude,

Kyle Luke
Vice President of Development and Communications
STCH Ministries

We Have Good News!

Dear Friends,   Like you, we have been watching how the COVID-19 pandemic has created uncertain times. We are waiting with faithful hope in the One we know and trust – our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We want to remind you of the good that continues to remain as God is Good, and as supporters […]

Praying with STCH Ministries

During these days of uncertainty, as believers, our greatest recourse for strength and direction remains seeking God’s face through prayer. Tim Williams, Director of Church Relations serves as a staff pastor for STCH Ministries and wrote this guideline for praying together as we draw near to God seeking to glorify Him in obedience to the task He calls us to fulfill. Will you pray with us?

Sensitivity to the Spirit

– Pray that we would “walk with the Spirit” (Galatians 5:16) in making decisions that impact those we minister to, our staff,  those who join us on trips and those who join us in ministry – that we would not give in to fear nor give way to neglect.


– Ask God to deepen our “love for one another” (1 Thessalonians 4:9) so that it leads to a greater sense of unity and cooperation as we face new, never before seen and changing issues in ministry.

Christ Centeredness

– Ask the Father during the chaos of all the new demands upon us to enable us to keep Jesus at the center of all we think or do and that this verse would be seen in us:

“To them, God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:27

Health – physical, emotional and spiritual

– Join us as we ask for protection from the coronavirus and pray for the health of those in our care, our clients, our staff, our volunteers and of all those with whom we come into contact.

“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” 3 John 1:2


– In these days of unprecedented challenges, pray that we would rise to challenge and find ways to continue our ministry and new ways to follow God to greater ministry.

 “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these because I am going to the Father.”  John 14:12

Pursuing God

Maria Hart entered the program in 2018, not long after asking Jesus to forgive her sin and enter her life as her Savior and Lord. Looking back on the course of her life, she can see His love through His relentless pursuit of her heart and she gives thanks for a program where she has learned to live each day with God as her guide. Homes for Families consists of four phases designed to keep families together while moms receive one-on-one training and counseling to help them succeed with their children and in life. She began the month of September 2019, by moving into her own home and entering Phase IV.

Maria opened a savings account while in Phase II as part of preparing herself for independence. Maria faithfully made regular deposits into the account. Her confidence in her ability to achieve a healthy start on her own grew alongside the total in her account.

Starting a job or going to school allows participants to move into Phase III. Maria began to work at the Blue Quail Deli serving customers and preparing sandwiches on March 28, 2019, exactly two years from the day a heart attack turned her life around. The job perfectly fits for her schedule allowing her to be available to her girls each evening after school.

Before long, Maria recognized the desire to have a home of her own. To move into Phase IV, a mom must be employed or in school, have a vehicle and an approved place to live off of the Marshall Ranch Campus. Her host family, another important support piece of the Homes for Families program, helped Maria to decide what type of vehicle best suited her. Knowing her budget and what she wanted to buy, they sought a car for Maria.

Maria searched for a new place to live. Her daughters’ success in school compelled her to stay in the same district. Valerie, a senior this year, plans to pursue a career in forensic science after graduation. Brooke joined the track team and enjoys running cross country. Maria applied at a couple of apartment complexes and felt frustrated by their rejections. During her prayer time one morning, she felt God reminding her to wait on His timing.

Maria did not have to wait much longer, just before Labor Day 2019 she accepted the gift of a car from an anonymous donor! A few days later, she received word that she had been approved for a two-bedroom apartment located close to both the girls’ school and her job! The whirlwind of preparations began, she had to buy car insurance, look for furniture, turn on the utilities under her name and keep it all within her budget.

Maria’s church family stepped in with offers of support. Perpetual Help, a ministry in Victoria, donated three twin beds and a dresser to the family. Maria’s pastor volunteered to deliver the furniture to the new apartment, and along the way, he met up with another church member who wanted to bless Maria too. They allowed her to choose a couch, recliner, dining table with chairs and a study desk from their store as a gift to celebrate her new beginning.

September 3, 2019, the Hart family moved into a new home. Phase IV provides a gentle release into complete independence which required Maria to continue in a relationship with her case manager at Homes for Families. For several months she met the benchmarks of going to church, keeping her job, turning in receipts and bank statements and no co-habiting allowing her to graduate from the program, God taught and guided Maria during the four phases of the program for single mothers. As she explains the biggest lesson she has learned, she radiates with joy, “it pays to listen to God, to be patient and obedient.” Since beginning the program, Maria has dealt with the trauma of her past, come to understand her value and built loving relationships with her teenage daughters. She has become a woman who pursues God.

For more details of Maria’s story see: