A Charis House Christmas
Not being able to spend time with those you love.
Being physically separated from the ones you hold dear.
Praying for a day when life becomes “normal” again.
The events of 2020 have unfortunately made these thoughts and experiences all too common for people around the world, including many of us in Northwest Florida. We feel anxious – sadness about the separation – and it becomes easy to fall into depression and worry. These feelings are similar to what our Charis House ladies experience on their journeys with us. Thinking about how you felt at the beginning of the pandemic – out of control, uneasy, unsure who to trust or where to turn for answers – can help you catch a glimpse of what these ladies feel too, especially during the holiday season when so much focus is placed on spending time with family and friends.
Wise counsel tells us we must learn to push past the fear by focusing on Jesus, and to amplify His words above all the other noise the world throws our way. That is exactly what the Charis House leadership does throughout the year. During the Christmas season, the team makes a special effort to make holiday visitation with family special. The Charis House staff often hosts a special luncheon for family members to attend, exchanging gifts with the ladies and providing a special time of fellowship. “We usually do something to ensure the ladies can touch base with their families on the holidays,” said Karen Cox, Charis House Therapist. “Holidays are often dreaded by our ladies, but they are typically surprised at the end of the season how much they enjoyed it, and find that it was not as difficult as anticipated.” Many Charis House supporters reach out to invite the ladies to parties and special activities like caroling, so they are kept very busy. “People love our ladies, and love to throw them parties and lavish them with treats and gifts to make them feel special.”
“Usually, we have a Sunday school group sponsor the ladies each year and buy gifts for them and their children,” said Vanessa Bettis, Director of Women’s Recovery Ministries. “This year, we had someone donate funds for each lady to go shopping themselves to buy Christmas presents.” The ladies were very excited for this opportunity, and touched by this generous donation. The ladies enjoy decorating the houses together and they are eager to help with other programs of Ministry Village. “We keep them very busy, to help them stay focused and positive. As a Charis House tradition, we take the ladies around town to see holiday lights and decorations, and we also take them out to a special Christmas dinner with our staff. This year, in light of COVID restrictions, the dinner will be held at the Charis House.”
Even with the challenges faced throughout 2020, there is much for which we can be thankful. We at Ministry Village are thankful for each of the ladies in our Charis House program. We are thankful for the team of staff and volunteers who come together to care for these women all year long. And we are thankful for the supporters who donate time, money, gifts, and services to demonstrate God’s love to those we serve. Thank you for your continued generosity.
🎄The Charis House currently has 8 clients. If you would like to adopt one of the Charis House ladies for Christmas, please contact Vanessa Bettis at (850) 475-1116 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
✝️ The Charis House is a non-profit Christian-based residential substance abuse program for females. The program is designed in 3 phases, each offering stages of recovery that provide the necessary tools for a practical transition into a new lifestyle free of addiction. The faith-based recovery program addresses the client’s personal relationship with God as the foundation for healing and wholeness. It requires a willingness to change and adhere to a controlled, strict and disciplined environment, allowing life-changing experiences to occur. There is no fee to apply. To learn more about the Charis House, click here or contact Vanessa Bettis at 850-475-1116 or by email at VBettis@MinistryVillage.org.