Providing Hope When All Seems Lost

 In Ministry Village, The Charis House

In Greek, the word charis means “grace, kindness, and life.” The Charis House at Ministry Village is based on that grace — a grace that is freely extended by Jesus Christ and through Him.

The Charis House is a local ministry for women recovering from drug and alcohol addictions. Our goal is to see lives changed, hope restored, and families reconciled through the power of Jesus Christ. Since opening in April 2007, 105 women have entered the program. Karla is one of those women. This is the story of how her life was radically changed.

Karla was living on the street, her daily whereabouts unknown to her heartbroken family who were desperate to find help. It was during this time that Karla’s father learned about Charis House through a family friend.

Karla had been addicted to crystal meth and other drugs for 9 years. As she would fall asleep on the streets or in random homes, she didn’t know whether she would wake up the next day. One typical day, in a drug-induced haze, she was in a home in a crime-ridden neighborhood, using drugs with 8 other addicts. “As we passed around the drugs, I looked around the room. I noticed the 50-year-old man next to me who looked 80 from using drugs all his life. Next to him was a young pregnant woman. Everyone’s lives were awful. I realized I didn’t want to be like that anymore. I told my parents I was ready for the Charis House.”

She agreed to come to Charis House to seek lasting help. “I couldn’t speak in a complete sentence in the beginning – my mind was overwhelmed by the drugs. After the first 3 months of sobriety, my mind started coming back. I remember I was with my mentor who told me, ‘The Lord has set you free from addiction.’ Something in me believed her immediately, and I held on to that hope, trusting that the same Lord who she followed was speaking to me through her. I thought to myself, ‘I will not go back. This is my life now. I have changed.’ I had been through 10 rehabs, probation, lost my family’s trust, and lost all hope – I didn’t think there was an answer. I have now been clean and sober for more than 10 years.”

The Charis House is an intimate, home environment that is clean and safe. Residents attend daily classes with a Christ-centered curriculum, as well as weekly meetings at The Most Excellent Way substance abuse support group. The ladies take classes in anger management, relapse prevention, and power over addiction, in addition to parenting classes provided by CDAC Behavioral Healthcare. The Gospel of Jesus is poured into the ladies on a daily basis, in the belief that as they deepen their relationships with God, they will move further away from their lives of addiction.

“Life has completely changed since graduating from Charis House,” said Karla. “It took 3 years to get my life together after 9 years of destruction. I’m now married to the love of my life — to a God-fearing, hard-working man who knows my past and loves me anyway. On the streets, I had been beaten and sexually abused by men. Now, I have a Godly man who loves and cares for me, treats me like a queen, and is absolutely incredible. God has blessed us with 2 precious boys who are the joy of my soul. Being able to wake up to their love and hugs every day is just amazing. I now have my own home and vehicle — I have a life now where I definitely did not have a life before.”

“I recommend Charis House to many people,” says Karla. “Jesus Christ used the Charis House to save my life and I believe He will use it to save many others. As long as I live, I will preach the gospel and share the goodness of the Charis House – what it did in my life and how it can change others. When they have been to other institutions, when they have been to jail, when they have been to their rock bottom – I believe that the Charis House is the answer.”

To learn more about the Charis House at Ministry Villageclick here.

The cost to house and care for one woman for one year at the Charis House is more than $14,000. No one is turned away for inability to pay. Every dollar makes a difference in changing a life. $28 helps provide transportation to residents for one month. $100 provides one month of food for a client. $200 provides books for a resident’s classes for one year. $1,200 provides one month of room and board. $2,000 provides one year of licensed professional counseling in which all clients participate. If you would like to make a donation to Charis House, click here.

Volunteers are needed daily to help with the Charis House in a variety of ways. To learn more about volunteer opportunities at Ministry Village, click here or call (850) 476-1116.

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