The Dwelling Place

One of Our Mothers Shares...

"Before I came to The Dwelling Place, my life was lost, without hope of the future. It was really hard to hope for the future, as a single mother of two, after escaping my abusive relationship.

We love seeing the joy God brings to those we serve! (this is not a pic of the author and her boys, to protect their identity).

We love seeing the joy God brings to those we serve! (this is not a pic of the author and her boys, to protect their identity).

Finding/being accepted into this program was an answer to my prayer! The six months I spent here has been the best precious moments of my life.

When people hear that you live in a shelter, whether it's short or long term, all they understand is that you are homeless and miserable - which is not the case for The Dwelling Place.

Ever since my first day I got here, not even once, have I ever felt like I was homeless - but instead I felt I was a child of God who is highly loved, cared for, a sister in Christ for my roommates and staff, and a good mother to my two sweet boys.

God showed me His love through this temporary home. He gave me comfort and offered me a time to heal and learn about His words. Now I live for Christ and for the purpose of the life He chose for me.

Now I strongly know how much God loves me and my boys and nothing will ever take me away from Him.

I want to encourage anyone who is going through trials to keep strong and trust God because He is alive and He is way bigger than any trials and whatever you are dealing with.

There is nothing He can't fix, all you have to do is trust in Him and let Him be the Conductor of your life.

Thank you so much, The Dwelling Place, for being a light through my darkest moments and for giving my life a brand new direction through Christ our Lord!"

- Name withheld to protect this mother and her boys

20 Year Anniversary: Imagine the Impact of God's Love!

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February 2018 marked the 20 Year Anniversary of The Dwelling Place!  

Do those who founded and led this ministry 20 years ago imagine the impact The Dwelling Place would have on the lives of so many women and children who found safety and hope here through Christ's love?  Or imagine the impact of the volunteers who gave of their time and talent, or the impact of generous financial partners who supported the ministry in so many ways, or the impact of The Dwelling Place staff who expressed their hearts through their work as they walked the path with very fragile lives every day?

We know that they desired God would use it for His purposes, but doubt anyone could have imagined (even now) how God would transform and impact so many lives in the span of 20 years!

What we know…

  • Countless women and children have experienced the love of Jesus Christ faithfully shared through multiple staff and volunteers. Many have trusted their lives to Jesus, receiving His redeeming power and hope that heals and restores broken lives.

What we see…

  • Women and children, broken by abuse and loss (in ways most cannot even imagine), discovering a new identity in Christ that, through faith, produces the confidence to move forward (through many barriers) to heal, gain hope, and live free from abuse and fear.

What we believe…

  •  "Our God is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.  To Him be all glory and honor and praise!" Ephesians 3:20, 21
  • God is continually drawing us close to His heart. He guides us step by step on this path to serve women and children well, lay the solid foundation for growth, and depend upon His mighty love, power, and provision every day!

Our trust and hope is in God, believing the past 20 years is just the beginning of what He has in store for those connected with The Dwelling Place!

Thoughts from Linda

Executive Director, Linda Wiza

Executive Director, Linda Wiza

"Honestly, I didn't know the word of God could change me like it has during my time here."  - a woman currently residing at The Dwelling Place

This statement was shared at staff meeting this week by a Case Manager. A message like this encourages our hearts and I hope it will encourage yours as well.  It bears witness to the love and power of God that works through His Word. It creates a sense of awe and wonder.  

How does He do it?  

Sometimes we wonder if anything is happening at all, if the little things, the daily tasks, really matter in the big picture, THEN God provides a glimpse, an assurance, that it DOES MATTER and He is "working all things together" just as Romans 8:28 promises.  

It is the Word of God and Love of Christ that transforms lives.  

Yes, it all matters as God takes our daily work and blesses it with His transforming power. It is this transforming power that we see at work enabling women who were once hopeless to take steps to obtain their GED, or apply for college, or obtain their drivers license, or take their child to therapy, or have the courage to face their abuser in a child custody hearing, or seek the credentials to work again in their field.  Each step taken is a step closer to a life of freedom in Christ and freedom from abuse.

Your prayers for our women and children, and those who walk this road of healing with them everyday matter to us!  

Your love expressed by the sharing of  time,  talents, and  financial treasure matter as God uses each gift to transform us all!

Soon, we will welcome more women and children into The Dwelling Place at "Esther's Place," our newest home.  As God provides everything needed to prepare this new home, we are confident that His heart's intent is to rescue and save more women and children who need help and a safe place to call home.  

I am so very grateful for everything God is doing, for each of you, and I am blessed beyond measure to be here to witness it.

Linda Wiza
Executive Director

Every Story Begins Somewhere, by Kristen Nelson, Director of Programs

Director of Programs, Kristen Nelson

Director of Programs, Kristen Nelson

"Every story begins somewhere." This is what we learn more and more each day as we journey with our women and children.

As women begin to feel safe, we discover that the history of fear is often longer than any of us had known. The legacy of abuse, studies have found, can live in our muscle tissue and our DNA. It not only passes on through behaviors, but through deep-seated histories.

The women in our healing program begin to unpack this history as they find a safe Dwelling Place. They often discover that they are remembering adverse childhood events that have been buried for years. They often feel old feelings and begin to name old fears that have been living in the recesses of their memory.

The power of God, however, is the ongoing biblical promise that claims healing for all of life’s pain. This is a promise of restoration: that no matter how difficult or frightening our stories may be, we have a God that promises to restore our lives to sanity and hope.

We have the opportunity to see hope ‘alive and well’ as babies arrive, and some babies are literally born into our program.

As infants grow within our community and become toddlers we are both surprised and overjoyed to see that they show no signs of trauma. These little ones that learn to walk in our midst remind us that, no matter how unlikely this movement may seem, God does create us all to stand on our feet and move forward.

Every story begins somewhere. For these little ones, their story begins here, with us. For their mothers, a story of healing is being written.

“And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.” 1 Peter 5:10 (ESV)

Slumberland's Home for the Holidays Event

Executive Director, Linda Wiza, with Lisa Olson of Slumberland, at the Event.

We are proud to partner with Slumberland Furniture, who has supported us greatly with bedding and furniture over the years.

This month, Slumberland will give away over 1500 mattresses and box spring sets to organizations helping children in need of beds.

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From the desk of Executive Director, Linda Wiza

Fall is a time of transitions.

A new season (the crisp cooler air and leaves changing colors) brings a variety of transition experiences: churches transition to a new ministry year, children go back to school or off to new schools, and young adults begin new jobs, new adventures! Many transitions are exciting! Some transitions are scary.

Think about a time in your life (and it could be right now) that a transition was scary for you. What did you do? Many of us rely on family and friends and our church community and we lean on God through prayer. When women and children come to us it's one of the scariest transitions in their lives. They often lack a support system like those identified here. Often they have been cut off from their support network over the years by their abuser.

They come to The Dwelling Place without hope of a future that could be bright and safe and filled with peace. Through your support and caring, we are able to offer them the assurance and experience of a hope they can't even imagine.

We show them the love of Christ and teach them who they are as a precious, loved child of God with many gifts and talents. We empower them to take one small step at a time into a new life through a process of many transitions and small steps. Along the way, there are bumps in the path, just as there are for each of us. But, the transition from a life of abuse to a new life of peace is possible.

A verse I have come to love is Isaiah 61:3 (NLV):

To those who have sorrow in Zion I will give them a crown of beauty instead of ashes. I will give them the oil of joy instead of sorrow, and a spirit of praise instead of a spirit of no hope. Then they will be called oaks that are right with God, planted by the Lord, that He may be honored.

This gives me great hope for the women and children who are with us for a relatively short period of time at a very critical season of transition for them.

I also have great hopes for the ministry of The Dwelling Place as we place our trust in the One who is able to help us through all types of transitions to move us forward with praise and to experience His joy, so that “...He may be honored."

Executive Director, Linda Wiza

Executive Director, Linda Wiza

Lots of Jumping Fun!

Our staff members (pictured) enjoyed the day as well!

Our staff members (pictured) enjoyed the day as well!

Sending a GREAT BIG THANK YOU to Froggy Hops Inflatable Jumpers!

On Wednesday (6/29), Froggy hosted a fabulous party for our women, children and staff, which included four bouncy activities, cotton candy, popcorn, snow cones, and fun art projects. Their staff "jumped" right in and made the day extra fun! Members of our staff (pictured*), enjoyed the event as well!

It is Froggy Hops’ mission to serve the community by providing fun and lasting MEMORIES for children and families through play, and that is exactly what they did for us.

What a blessing! Thank you friends at Froggy Hops!

*although our women and children took part fully and loved it, we do not post public photos of them, to help keep them safe.

Tenenz Donates Gala Invitation Printing

Executive Director, Linda Wiza, with Tenenz owner, Bob Tenner, at the   Tenenz, Inc.   headquarters in Bloomington, MN.

Executive Director, Linda Wiza, with Tenenz owner, Bob Tenner, at the Tenenz, Inc. headquarters in Bloomington, MN.

Many thanks to our friends at Tenenz, Inc., for donating gala invitation printing again this year!

With a heart for our women and children, owner, Bob Tenner, seeks to bless as he serves.

Standing next to the printing press that will print our gala invitations is Executive Director, Linda Wiza, and Tenenz, Inc. owner, Bob Tenner.

Thank you to Bob, and to all those at Tenenz. Your gift is making a difference. Your friendship and support, encourage and lift us

Program Committee

A program committee meeting pausing to pose for you. Bless you for your love and labor that lifts our women and children, ladies!

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L to R: Chris Chell, Board Member and Committee Chair; Jean Ebensperger, Case Manager; Julia Dembeck, Graduate Program Manager; Julie Sexson, Children's Program Manager; Monica Groves, Mission Advancement Director.

Not pictured: Kristen Nelson, Director of Programs; Becky Zvonar, Case Manager; Bev Holm, Volunteer; a current resident.