Searching for a Better Way

 In charis house, Ministry Village
Throughout the month of March, we are devoting our blog to the women of the Charis House. Learn about 6 of our most recent Charis House graduates and discover how their lives have been transformed and repurposed by God. *Names have been changed to protect identities and allow a fresh start.


“I was brought up in church with a wonderful family. I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior at the age of 12. Somewhere along the way, I grew away from God and the values I was raised with. I chose to put my trust and self-worth into people instead of God.

I got married right after high school and had 2 beautiful boys and then life set in. My marriage soon fell apart along with the world I thought I knew. I was blindsided by infidelity and fell into a dark pit of despair which added to the postpartum depression I dealt with after my second child. While going through a horrible divorce and raising two small boys by myself, I began to self-medicate, trying to cope with life. The pills I took made me believe I could keep my life together and be a good mom. It wasn’t long before full-blown addiction set in. I woke up after being in complete bondage for close to 20 years, finding myself in jail for 7 months. I learned about the Charis House, and my life would no longer be the same.

I came into the program with so many soul wounds that I no longer have. I came here with a spirit of anxiety and fear. I began reading the word of God every moment I could. As Deuteronomy 4:29 says, ‘But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find Him if you search with your whole heart and soul.’ I found the Lord, and Satan released me. The Lord has restored me to health and healed me from all my wounds. He has done a mighty work in me and I am so grateful. He created in me a new heart and for the first time in so long I have learned to be grateful for the blessings in my life that God has given me.

God gave me such a gift when I came into the Charis House. I learned in the Most Excellent Way meetings (that we went to every week) that I was not alone. There were others out there just like me, and God is the most excellent and only way. Ezekiel 36:26 says, ‘Moreover I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you, and I will remove the heart of stone from you and give you a heart of flesh.’ My soul is quiet and at rest after so long, and only because of the love of Jesus Christ, and the changes only He could have made in me.

I do not have enough words to describe the love and gratitude I have for everyone that has played a part in my recovery. The teachers and staff of the Charis House gave me an opportunity at life again. They pushed me when I did not want to budge. They were so kind and patient with me and loved me right where I was. I had Godly role models who believed in me and gave me a job. They were dedicated to me and poured the word of God into us every day. My sisters in the program, who are also my sisters in Christ – they encouraged me and gave me strength. Thank you to Pastor Traylor, Olive Baptist Church and Ministry Village for making this program possible. And thank you to my family for loving me and supporting me regardless of all the heartache I have put them through.”

Ava is in Phase 2 of the Charis House program and is presently employed by Ministry Village at Olive.  She plans to begin Pensacola State College in 2020 and wants to enter the field of social work.

✝️ 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 Debbe Jefcoat at 475-1116 or

 🙏 To donate to the Charis House or any Ministry Village program, click here.

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