IN JULY 2022, KLAVDIA FACED A TOUGH CHOICE to either stay in the life she knew or move to help protect herself and her children. She and her kids ended up at STCH Ministries Homes for Families Marshall Campus in Goliad, Texas, after her friend dropped her off. The circumstances leading to this moment were far from ideal and she was filled with anxiety and worry; Klavdia could not help but wonder if this was a mistake. Little did she know that this challenging journey would turn out to be a life-altering experience filled with growth, faith and unexpected blessings.
Klavdia, a resilient mother of three children, all between the ages of two and five, reflected on the turbulent days when she first arrived at Homes for Families: “In those first four days, I felt like I was being attacked. I felt miserable and nervous about the kids and how they were doing in chapel. There were a lot of anxieties and worries,” she shared.
Due to some insecurities and doubts, Klavdia decided to leave the campus. She packed up her family and asked a friend for a ride to a nearby hotel for the weekend. During their stay, Klavdia turned to her Bible to find an understanding of what God wanted for her and her children. As she began to explore her faith and seek the path forward, there was a conviction growing within her that returning to Homes for Families was a step she needed to take. Klavdia recalled that pivotal moment: “I really felt that God was leading me in that direction, and I needed to be obedient to Him.”
As Klavdia was about to return, her friend’s car broke down. Klavdia saw this as a sign from God that she needed more time to prepare herself mentally and spiritually for the journey ahead. “I felt like God was telling me I wasn’t ready and that I needed another week to submit in order to give my whole, honest self to the ministry,” Klavdia explained. It was a delay that would prove crucial in her transformation.
A week later, Klavdia and her children returned to Marshall Campus. Although she arrived with a newfound determination, her children were reserved and hesitant. Her daughter, Sasha, clung to her pacifier and bottle, a reflection of the challenges they faced before coming to Homes for Families. As they settled into the STCH Ministries community, their hearts slowly began to open as trust was built and transformation began.
For Klavdia, Homes for Families became not only a shelter but a place where her children could finally discover God’s love. Despite prior restrictions before coming to STCH Ministries, Klavdia and her children had secretly explored their faith, watching church services online in the quiet of their bathroom. Because she took a step of obedience, Klavdia’s family could now openly embrace their curiosity about God and His love and embark on a journey of faith.
However, Klavdia’s journey was not without its challenges. In the early days at Homes for Families, Klavdia had simply gone into survival mode as she went through the motions of the program. As her faith deepened, and she began to heal, Klavdia slowly transitioned from surviving to thriving. The Bible lessons, which were once a chore, had become a source of wisdom and strength.
“About five months after arriving, I felt like God was speaking to me. Even with so much going on, He gave me a clear mind. I began craving more of the Word and started applying it to my life,” she recalled.
The timing of the Bible lessons seemed almost divine. Whenever Klavdia faced a personal struggle, the lessons resonated with her and guided her through her trials. She reminisced about their first Christmas at Homes for Families and a lesson she learned in trust. In turn, Klavdia developed trust in God’s plan, and her family was blessed with an amazing trip to Florida over Christmas. “I feel like God answered so quickly because I was obedient in staying at the Homes for Families cottage,” Klavdia said. The trip was a life-changing experience for her and her children. The family they stayed with lived a simple, faith-driven life. Klavdia saw their focus on family, their wise financial decisions and their dedication to God. This experience had a profound impact on her, sparking a vision for her family’s future, offering them a glimpse into a different way of life, filled with faith, love and intentionality.
David, her oldest son, began to understand the significance of their newfound faith and took it upon himself to lead bedtime prayers. Klavdia noticed his incredible progress, not just in his faith but also in overcoming his speech difficulties. A teacher friend remarked that David was well above kindergarten level. “Hearing that was amazing. I didn’t see that before we came to Homes for Families,” Klavdia exclaimed with pride. The transformation has extended beyond David to his siblings as well. Each child has been coming out of their shell and learning about God’s love in a safe space. These days, Klavdia’s smile radiates with a newfound joy and the family’s transformations are a testament to the incredible journey they have been undertaking.
As part of her journey, Klavdia embarked on a path of healing and reconciliation, not just within her immediate family but also with her adoptive parents, rebuilding connections that were strained during her teenage years. Her past struggles have undoubtedly shaped her journey, but they have also given her the strength to confront her past and build a brighter future.
As she continues in the Homes for Families program, Klavdia faces new challenges and temptations. Yet, her commitment to healing and faith remains unwavering. She dreams of a future as a personal trainer or helping STCH Ministries with lawn care, leveraging skills she gained from her past work experiences. She also envisions writing her life story and potentially seeing it turned into a movie. Her past, her struggles and her newfound faith have given her a unique perspective on life – one she hopes to share with the world.
Klavdia’s transformation is not limited to her spiritual growth; it extends to her physical health and financial well-being. She has embraced healthier eating habits for herself and her family, as she has revised her previous tendency to microwave all of their meals. She’s learned to distinguish between needs and wants – a lesson that has impacted her finances drastically. The STCH Ministries Faith & Finances class on campus has further equipped her with valuable financial management skills.
Her message to other moms who may be hesitant about coming to Homes for Families is one of faith, sacrifice and trust: “Scripture says that Satan comes to steal and destroy. I feel like whenever you come to a safe area, Satan attacks you. It will be hard when you can’t see the whole picture so you have to trust that you will overcome the attacks.”
In the process of writing this story, Klavdia made the decision to leave Homes for Families. Shortly after leaving, she came back even stronger in her faith. Klavdia shared, “I am still making mistakes but willing to push forward and correct my mistakes. I am still in the process but willing to continue to walk in God’s will, surrendering completely.”
Klavdia’s story exemplifies that redemption is possible for everyone, regardless of their past. It is a story of faith, resilience and the transformative power of God’s love. Her journey is a testament to the fact that even in the darkest of times, there is a path to light and hope, and it starts with trust in God’s plan.