Several years ago my DH and I became involved as volunteers at Freedom Village, USA, a Christian residential campus for troubled teens. We go there for Sunday morning service and then have lunch with our "gang" - several girls who have been our Adopt-A-Teens.
In 1999 our church backed us with a missions project to make new curtains for the boys' dorm. When the curtains were ready to be installed, a couple young men in the program and a young man in the maintenance department helped my DH get the old window coverings down and put the new curtains up. We became very good friends with two of the helpers, Rod and Mark.
A couple years or so later, one beautiful young lady named Rachel came to the Village as an unwed teen. She was required to attend school, do chores, clean her room just like every other girl there. Just before her baby was due, she moved into the Gift of Life Home where she had a room for herself and her baby. After she had her baby, she was required to care for him - feeding, changing, bathing, etc. - AND still attend school, do her chores, clean her room, etc. There was child care available for the baby while she was in school. At all other times she had her baby with her just like you and I would have to do.
This is Rachel and baby Ryan.
Rachel continued her schooling and everything she was required to do and eventually went back home to her family. We didn't see her for a couple years.
Then she came to the graduation ceremony in 2007 with Ryan. Look how he has grown!
She told us she was engaged to a wonderful young man that we also knew from his time at the Village - Rod!
They were married later in 2007 and are now serving the Lord together on staff at Freedom Village.
Don't they look happy?
We are so happy for them to have each other, the Lord and Ryan.
It has been our joy to see them both mature in the Lord and seek His will for their lives.
They both are on staff as a way to give back to the Village the chance they were given to change their lives and give other troubled teens a place to go for help changing their lives.
Until next time, Blessings,