Faith House opened its doors in 2016 to help women and children in crisis overcome obstacles and get back on their feet. Since then, dozens of hurting women – many of them with their children – have found not only shelter, but also individual case management and services targeted to their specific needs. The care and instruction they receive from the staff are extensions of Jesus Christ’s love for them, as well as demonstrations of His desire to change their lives now and for eternity.
We would like to introduce you to three women who came to Faith House last year in desperate need of food, shelter, and compassionate care. As you read their amazing stories, you will be encouraged by their progress and the kindness of our God, who “guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way” (Psalm 25:9).
Christine came to Faith House in October 2019. She was seven months pregnant, hungry, and experiencing homelessness. Moving from West Virginia to Frederick to be with her boyfriend, she found herself alone and unable to provide for herself or her unborn chi
ld because he did not want to be involved with the pregnancy. She slept in her tent at night and spent her days looking for food and seeking help. She had submitted an application to be admitted to Faith House and was waiting for a reply.
On a cool and rainy autumn day as her tent filled with water, she was cold, alone, and hungry. In her discomfort and discouragement, she cried out to the Lord, “God, I know you can do all things and through Christ you can strengthen me. But I really need help here. Please, I need a place to stay,” she pleaded. And later that very day, she received a call inviting her to come to Faith House. “It was like a miracle,” she says.
“We took her in right away,” says Terri Gray, director of Faith House. “The first thing we did was feed her. She had two sandwiches during her interview!” Shortly after starting the program, Christine enrolled in classes at Frederick Community College. She also entered a work-study program – and she did all this during her final trimester of pregnancy! Over the next few months she gave birth to her daughter, healed from a C-section, and earned a certificate in cyber security.
With the help of the Faith House staff, Christine gained the skills and confidence she needed to take more steps toward independence and the ability to provide for her family. She is now completing her AA degree in Information Technology and she plans to pursue her bachelor’s degree as well. And by saving her money, she was able to purchase a minivan and a prefabricated home. She is excited about the future. “None of this would be possible without Faith House,” she says. “They helped me strengthen my relationship with God and learn the skills I need to make it on my own.”
When her husband, Steven, entered the Changed Life Recovery Program (CLRP) after years of drug addiction, Sabrina faced a new challenge in her life: since he was the family’s sole source of income, Sabrina and their two young daughters would experience a season of homelessness. But she had faith and God soon presented her with the opportunity to enter Faith House in April 2019. She arrived with preschooler and a newborn daughter.
Earlier in her life, Sabrina had fought her own battle with drug addiction. Therefore, as a resident in the Faith House 90 Day Shelter, she was free to focus on strengthening her relationship with Christ and gaining proficiency in the necessary skills to become the wife, mother, and employee she wanted to be. “The staff at Faith House are really there to help spiritually, emotionally, and practically. I felt their care for me personally and it made it so much easier to follow their instructions,” says Sabrina.
Although her time at Faith House was coming to an end, Steven needed a few more months to complete his program at the Mission. Sabrina had a job at a local pet supply store and with the help of Faith House staff she found a daycare provider and housing for herself and her children. When Steven graduated from the CLRP, he joined his family in their apartment.
Sabrina continued to work and save money toward the purchase of a home. Although she was grateful for her job, she wanted to pursue more meaningful work so she became a Peer Recovery Specialist with the Frederick County Health Department. And she and Steven recently moved into their very own home! Sabrina is grateful for all God has done for her and in the future, she hopes to work more closely with hurting women so that she can share Christ’s love for them.
Five years ago, the bottom dropped out of Rhiannon’s life. Within the span of a couple months, she lost her husband, lost her home, and gave birth to her 5th child. Bewildered and depressed, she moved to Colorado for a short time, then moved back to Frederick where she lived with her grandmother for 6 months. Finally, she “bounced around” between her mom’s house and her older daughter’s house while she figured out how to become eligible for public housing.
In late 2019 the Housing Authority directed her to Faith House. “This is not your typical shelter,” says Rhiannon. “I went there mainly to do what was best for my kids. I had lost all my faith when I lost my husband. I was really mad at God.” But over time and with help from the Faith House staff, Rhiannon’s faith began to return.
“I went from being a yelling mom to being a calm, controlled mom,” she says. “They really helped me with parenting techniques. The advice Terri [Gray] gave me started working and I could see results in my kids.” The staff also helped Rhiannon take care of her financial situation and connected her to local services she needed. She is currently employed by Frederick County Public Schools and she is taking classes to become a Certified Nursing Assistant. She plans to continue her education and become a Registered Nurse.
Rhiannon’s heart overflows with gratitude for all that God has done in her life. As an expression of her love, she sought permission to bring leftover meals from the free meals program to Faith House during the height of COVID-19 restrictions. Each day she packed up the food, loaded her car, and delivered it to them. “The people at Faith House put me on a path to get my life together. I just wanted to help them and to give back to them,” she says. And she did. Her kindness not only filled physical needs but also warmed many hearts.
Each of these women received the comfort of safe housing, nutritious food for themselves and their children, and practical skills to help them thrive in their daily lives. Their lives were changed now. But during their stay at Faith House, they also experienced a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. Through Him, their lives can be changed for eternity. Every program and service offered at Faith House is driven by the desire to introduce people to Jesus, who came “that they may have life, and have it abundantly,” (John 10:10). This is why we exist, and by His grace we will continue to serve the needs of broken women through this critical ministry.