In an abusive relationship with a brand new baby, Carmen struggled to survive. Her grandmother’s death caused her to fear the future and worry about how to raise her daughter. Carmen slid into depression, until she remembered feeling safe as a young girl living on Boothe Campus and contacted Greg Huskey, Vice President of Homes for Children.

“Thank the Lord for Mr. Huskey’s direction to Homes for Families!” Carmen said, “I needed to change my life to give my daughter a better upbringing than I had.”

After moving to the Marshall Ranch campus, Carmen devoured her latest book. “Humility and Absolute Surrender” by Andrew Murray encouraged her to dig deep and think about her life. She started reading on Friday, and by Monday she gave testimonies of how God used it to change her life! The information in Murray’s book gave her confidence. Before, her shyness kept her from fellowshipping with others at church. Rather than waiting on others to greet her; this Sunday, she got up out of her comfort zone and initiated the connections on her own.

During her time as a Phase I resident on Marshall Ranch Campus, Carmen discovered a deep love for people and a changed perspective on serving others through mundane tasks. She discovered joy in cleaning and doing her chores. Thinking about loving other people changed her perception toward other residents in the house as well. Carmen stopped assuming others intended to irritate her by leaving tasks undone or leaving trash behind. She realized they too are growing and trying to fulfill new responsibilities.

One morning she felt frustrated when she found food left on the floor of a common room. Carmen decided to ask her Resident Coordinator’s advice on how to handle her feelings. Josephine told her to ask the Lord why it frustrated her. Carmen did ask God to help her understand, and she remembered asking God to teach her to love others better. Tears filled her eyes as she identified that if she felt true affection for her fellow residents, then food left on the floor for her to pick up would not frustrate her as much. Josephine encouraged Carmen to keep listening to God and told her God would continue to confirm her feelings.

The lessons in surrender Carmen learned from the book and applied to her life changed how she viewed her housemates and gave her confidence for the future. As she cleaned the living and dining rooms over the weekend, she remembered she followed a similar routine while in college. She now pictured herself in the future going to school, cleaning up after her daughter and prepping on Sundays for the week ahead.

Carmen and her daughter’s move to Homes for Families during their time of crisis enabled the family to stay together. The four phases of the program provide Bible Study, parenting classes, structured daily schedules to teach consistency and balance, the opportunity for biblically-based counseling to begin healing wounds and assistance with job search preparedness all designed to equip Carmen for success in the future.

Phase I: Restoration, has focused Carmen on the restoration of her body, mind and soul through a renewed spirit. This allowed healing for her broken heart to begin and lead her to forgive others as well as herself. She spends time studying God’s word and learning the importance of developing a closer and more intimate relationship with Him.

Carmen has met the goals of Phase I: find solutions to child behavior issues, maintain healthy boundaries with others, take initiative in daily tasks and expectations, keep a schedule and learn how to deal with conflict. Now that she has mastered these goals and completed the study curriculum, she can move to Phase 2: Equipping.

Phase 2 looks toward supplying the necessary tools for Carmen to experience success physically, intellectually and emotionally. Carmen will accomplish these goals by continuing an intimate relationship with Jesus, improving her life skills and removing obstacles from her past which could cause hindrances in the future. Carmen’s focus will be on learning basic computer skills, how to communicate well with others as well a proper etiquette in the workplace.

Each message from the Bible has softened Carmen’s heart toward God and the lessons she applies from the books strengthen her resolve to complete the program and become independent and prepared to care for her family. Carmen asks us to pray with her about the relationships in her life. She strives to keep God first and serve others. Will you partner with Carmen in prayer?