The Whole Person

Mark 12.30

I’ve been thinking recently about how B2H ministers to the whole person when we are there to help our moms and their kids.

Not only do we provide a safe, clean roomy apartment for them to rest and relax in, but we provide guidance, counsel, encouragement, instruction, transportation, friendship, and so much more.

Many of the services we so freely give are for their safety and physical, spiritual and emotional growth.

Recently we have provided transportation for our mom to the dentist, which was preceded by numerous phone calls, investigations and advice from others who were there to help us give help to her.

We give rides to other medical appointments and procedures which will provide for the health and physical needs of the whole family.

When a mom brings her family into The Bridge to Hope program she agrees to attend church with her church family.  There she receives inspiration and instruction for living her life in Christ.

It isn’t just the moms who receive the help to live a life full and complete, but her children experience the nurturing that is available from the B2H staff, church team and the church that they attend.

The process of maturing to the point of being able to support, not only herself, but her children as well, sometimes requires classes and the discipline of the mind to learn the necessary skills that enable her to be successful in the work world.

Yes, the body, mind and soul all must be nurtured to come to the place of success in the world in which we live.  In Mark 12:30 the Lord Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.”  At The Bridge to Hope we minister to the whole person.  Our prayer is that when the mom graduates she will be a strong whole person, and one that loves God with her heart, soul, mind and strength.

If you would like to learn more about partnering with The Bridge to Hope to mentor the whole person of a mother, please give The Bridge to Hope a call.

Written by Evogene Stephens, B2H Volunteer and Mentor

I’ve got this one, she’s with me

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9

This section of scripture is a comforting reminder to put aside all this world can throw at us and focus on the blessings.  It is a plea to change our focus and notice all that is excellent and praiseworthy.  I choose to focus on a very praiseworthy moment that happened at The Bridge to Hope.

God pursued one of our newest B2H mother and preparing her to choose Him.  He used many people in this rescue mission.  Barbara Wibberly, our loving, kind and patient Bible study teacher, presented the Word of God so that it began to come alive in her mind and heart.  Her team at La Casa de Cristo Lutheran church faithfully took her to church each Sunday to hear the word of God shared by their pastor.  In God’s perfect timing, one of the messages was on Palm Sunday.  The culmination was attending The Passion Play at First Southern Baptist Church of Scottsdale with her team members.  God used all of the experiences, words, prayers, love and support to make Himself real to her.

The conversation continued at The Bridge to Hope. Christ willingly laid down His life to pay the sacrifice for our sin.  Barbara also had been teaching about sacrifices, from the Old Testament.  Our mother now understood that to be absolved from our sin there must be a sacrifice.

The conversation continued and together we talked about what she was thinking and feeling, and spoke of the sacrifice He made was personal, it was for her.  I recalled an illustration my Pastor, Freddy T. Wyatt, used on Sunday of Jesus standing at the right hand of the Father and telling Him, “I’ve got this one, she’s with me”, and holding back the punishment of sin that we all deserve.  This visual was the key to unlocking this mother’s heart and mind and recognizing that Christ died for her.

At that moment she understood; accepting His sacrifice, she prayed to accept Jesus as her Savior.

Account shared by Sallie Jarboe, B2H staff

Thank you all of The Bridge to Hope, our mentors, our donors, our faith communities, for our staff, for all have a part in sharing Christ, His grace, His love and His desire for each of our mother’s to know God says “I’ve got this one, she’s with me”.

Laughing Matters!

Laughing Matters!

Proverbs 17.22

The saying, “Laugh and the whole world laughs with you” is more than an expression!

Laughter is an amazing thing!  It is a tension dissolver.  It is an antidote to anxiety.  Laughter is essentially life’s shock absorber.  If we want to have less stress in our lives, we need to laugh more.  We have got to find the fun in the frustrating.  At times this can be most difficult to do because life can get very serious.  This might be illustrated in the statistic that a child laughs 400 times a day on an average, but adults average only 15 times per day.  Who has the right end of it?

Yet laughing at oneself or at circumstances sometimes seems to be the only thing that keeps us sane. If we don’t laugh, what will we choose?  Despair?  Laughing helps reduce the stress level and enables us to keep on keeping on.  Proverbs 17:22 states, “A cheerful heart is good medicine.”  Laughter decreases the stress hormone levels.  It is good for allergies.  It helps control pains by raising the levels of our brains natural endorphins.  You might say laughter is God’s prescription drug!  “A relaxed attitude lengthens a man’s life.”  Proverbs 14:30

B2H is a ministry to single mothers who have experienced addiction, abuse, homelessness, and the loss of custody of their children.  To them life had lost all its joy.  In essence life is no laughing matter. However, as we mentor them, love them, help them get back on their feet, and even get their children restored to them laugher is restored because Hope and Joy came back into their life.  They come to understand the love of Christ and see their life has a plan and a future. Problems still come, but now they can find joy through them and turn them over to Jesus and tell Him that these problems are all His!

Laughter is good medicine, especially when we are being cared for by the Great Physician.

Psalms 34.4

Drug addiction surely ruins lives

2 chronicles 20.15

Drug addiction surely ruins lives.  We’ve seen it in a big way at The Bridge to Hope this past week.  We had one mother who after two positive UA tests confessed she had used.  Her team and B2H stepped in to help her to enter into a treatment facility.  She shared her remorse, but that night she used again and included another B2H mother.

We ask why?  Why would a mother throw away her future for an illusion of euphoria ingested into her body?  Why involve another mother with three young children dragging them down this destructive path?

Addiction:  Addition is a crafty tool of the devil to lie, steal, destroy and enslave.

Our hearts are broken; join us in prayer that the Lord would somehow use all of this to glorify Himself.  It’s hard to see how, but nothing happens by accident.  Both mothers have been exposed to God’s love and grace.  Let’s pray that it will someday become real to them.

This has surely challenged us emotionally at B2H, both staff and volunteers, but we must realize that everything doesn’t happen the way we wish or hope for.  The evil of drug addiction turns things the wrong way.

Sallie, our case worker, received an email from a team member, which we hope will bring comfort to all those who involved in The Bridge to Hope.  Each of you who volunteer or mentor a B2H family, share as Christ calls:

vigilant to discern, diligent to prove, sensitive to new info, sacrificial in following up, wise and firm but merciful in judgement, righteous and consistent in follow-through.  Yes, it feels to us like a death, a betrayal, a weight – this is life after the fall.  Sorrow and tears and failure are only wiped away after Jesus’ appearing.  We don’t win every battle, but the result of the war is already certain. God can bring good out of bad, and we have to believe our prayers will help work this out. He is always teaching us.

The choices of our mothers are often profoundly sad and discouraging, but together we trust God to make something beautiful from the ashes.

Pray for these two moms. Let us also begin praying for our next mom as the Lord prepares her steps to join our ministry.  We also pray our hearts will be open and ready to receive her.

We are grateful to each of you for your prayers that bind us, and allow us to move forward without fear and trepidation, but to boldly share the hope that is found in Christ with mothers, trusting the outcome to Him.

Psalm 147.3

Happy Birthday to You

Romans 5.2

Happy Birthday to You,

As a team we recently had the privilege of celebrating the birthdays of some of our ‘Bridge’ kids.  These children haven’t always been able to celebrate their birthdays with their mothers.

They were not in the custody of their moms, but in the custody of the State of Arizona.  Therefore, they had to receive permission to see them to celebrate special occasions, including birthdays.

As we watched the B2H moms enjoy each other and the children of each of the moms play together, celebrate together, we were so thankful that they were able to share in the birthday and experience the love that each mom gave to her children and the children of the other moms.

As we watched one mom, who does not presently have the custody of her son, reach out in love to express her care and warmth to the children of the other B2H moms, we could only feel the need to pray with her that she will one day soon be able to have her son with us on one of the next outings.

We have a loving heavenly Father who has given His Son so we can have life abundant and free in Him.  He has given parents to children to love them and care for them as He cares for us.  When addictions and poor choices are made which cause a separation between parents and children, we then realize how important that love relationship is.  When the parent, in our case, the mom, turns her life around and allows God to free her from the addiction and begins making wise choices, we can see the love relationship between mother and child restored.

As we celebrated the birthdays of the children, we had the joy of seeing the restored relationship of children to their mothers and also experienced the sadness with the mom who is still waiting and praying for her opportunity to once again share a birthday freely with her son.

The Bridge to Hope volunteers receive the opportunity to experience these blessings and longings with our moms.    We rejoice and we pray.