The Dwelling Place program

A Note from Linda...

Executive Director, Linda Wiza

Executive Director, Linda Wiza

Throughout this year we have experienced the pleasure of seeing many volunteers work to renovate Esther’s Place, our newest home (which opened in May) where we are able to support up to 14 women and children. 

We have watched women and children grow in their knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, heal from the trauma of abuse, and prepare for their new lives, free from abuse. 

With the additional families we have many more toddlers as well as a baby on the way. It is so heart-warming to see these little lives and know that they have a much better future. 

The Lord is changing their story right before our eyes!  

I know you don’t get to see and experience this first hand so I want to help you know the significant impact your support is really making. Here are just a few recent quotes from our residents:

  • "The program helped me a lot to heal and understand and believe in God's way to handle the struggles and battles we fight in this life.”

  • "My faith has been renewed and strengthened, my healing has continued and I have the joy back in my life that has been missing for so long.”

  • "I can't thank you enough for standing by me in my deepest need when I had to leave my home and my babies were so sick. Now I see how the Lord has provided for my apartment and income!  I feel so blessed."

  • “Here at The Dwelling Place, you just give so much hope. I can see a future now and the things I prayed to God for coming true.”

If you'd like to join in helping other women be free from abuse and heal from trauma, please check out our How You Can Help page. 

 

Praising God for Another Graduate!

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Please join us in congratulating one of our residents and her family for completing our program and securing safe housing.

Soon they'll be moving out and beginning their new journey as a family living on their own!

Please join us in praising God for the faith and strength He has given to this woman: for His faithfulness in providing all that she needs to get on her feet, for the grateful and humble heart He has given her and for the smiles and joy we now see radiating from her.

Thanks for being with her and supporting her, friends. God has used you beautifully! 

God is so good!

All Things New: Lydia's Story

Lydia's baptism at Eagle Brook Church

Lydia's baptism at Eagle Brook Church

"I met my abuser and he moved in to my apartment. For six months this man abused me mentally, physically, spiritually and financially.  I was basically held hostage, he would not let me out of his sight.  Not only did he cut me off from everyone, he held my ID and debit/credit cards, my cell phone and tablet.  

He had no money the entire time we were together so I was forced to withdraw my 401K to live on. 

He forced us to move to Colorado.  After being there three weeks  an opportunity presented itself for me to get away from him.  This was all of God.  I ran from him and called the police and with the help of the police I got away.  My sister helped me find The Dwelling Place, and I moved in on Oct. 30th.

I love walking and started downloading sermons to listen to as I walked. With these, I began really self-reflecting and realizing the part I played in getting to where I was.

As Pastor Andy Stanley says, “You can’t pray your way out a mess that you behaved your way into…you can follow your way out through Jesus though!” 

I always knew that pre-marital sex was wrong, but I didn’t really know that it was WRONG!  Wow, my sin goes back really far and long. But the beautiful thing is that with Jesus dying for my sin, the second I repented and asked for forgiveness it was wiped away. As Pastor Jason Strand says, “My starting line just moved to right now, and it’s about finishing the race well!” Heaven is my ultimate reward!  

 Believe me He has provided me with all that I need.  

I feel like I’m still me - just a better version."  

Lydia was recently baptized at Eagle Brook and is finding ways to become involved through service in the local church.  

Anti Child Trafficking Class

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We are SO thankful to Jessica Bartholomew of ACT United (Anti Child Trafficking) for coming to The Dwelling Place and training our staff and residents on all things regarding sex trafficking.

The information she passionately presented was absolutely invaluable.

We were educated on how to spot victims, grooming tactics, warning signs/red flags of traffickers, how to get victims help, Minnesota laws pertaining to sex trafficking and so much more.

Thank you, Jessica!

To learn more about ACT United, visit:http://actunited.org/

Mom's Group Gets a Visit from an Author

Children's Program Manager, Julie Sexson, with Becky Danielson

Children's Program Manager, Julie Sexson, with Becky Danielson

We were excited to receive a visit from Becky Danielson of Faith First Parent who is the co-author of "Raising Little Kids With Big Love," which is the book our Mom's Group is currently reading.

Becky is a speaker, author, consultant and Licensed Parent & Family Educator.

The book is based on 1 Corinthians 13. The ladies have talked about their family of origin and how to let go of parenting habits that are not of God. They also talked about different parenting styles.

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We are so grateful to Becky for teaching a class during her visit, and for bringing our women beautiful coffee mugs!

Graduates Make Room for New Residents

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Recently, many women have graduated from our program and have moved into new homes with their children. We rejoice at God's healing in their life, and their amazing progress!

Please pray for their continued healing and growth.

On October 2nd, five new women and their families desperate for help, moved into our homes.

Please be praying for our staff and new residents. 

We are SO excited to get to know these wonderful families and to see how much Jesus is going to work in their lives during the time they spend with us.

They are an answer to prayer, and we believe God has sent them to us for His own very special reasons!

We pray that each one may know the peace and grace of God and His very personal love for each and every one of them!

She got in!

Northwestern St Paul

Exciting news!

Congratulations to one of our residents who has been accepted into the University of Northwestern - St. Paul!

Her reaction was priceless.

We gave the parcel to her just like it was a piece of everyday mail. She took it, looked at it sort of confused about what it was (since it was a small box) and said,

"You got in...you got in....I GOT IN! I GOT IN!"

Four churches throw a baby shower for our women

"Diaper" cake.  More photos    One mom wrote, "I would like to take a moment to thank all the staff and organizing committee, and all who participated in our baby shower. May our good Lord richly bless you all. Again, thanks!"

"Diaper" cake. More photos

One mom wrote, "I would like to take a moment to thank all the staff and organizing committee, and all who participated in our baby shower. May our good Lord richly bless you all. Again, thanks!"

When a woman and her children are left homeless and need to seek safety away from those who would normally be their support network, it usually means they have no one nearby to contact for support or help, or even to affirm them in their
choice to keep a baby, or successfully raise a child.

This is where the Body of Christ, the local church, makes such a difference!

Thank you to the women of Five Oaks ChurchRedeemer Covenant ChurchRockpoint Church and Faith Christian Reformed Church for coming together on May 24th, and throwing a beautiful baby shower for four of our residents!!

Our moms are so grateful for the loving support shown them through the smiles and hugs of the givers, and through their gifts, food, cake, and stunning decorations.

We had an amazing and sweet time celebrating our moms and their babies: the ones born recently and those that are on their way!

"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward."-Psalm 127:3

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)