Our latest newsletter – September 2012
News from S.A.F.E. Family Ministries
Well here it is fall and we have so much going on here at SAFE. We are privileged to have had so many missionaries to help with our renovations. “Campers on Mission” have been with us for about three months helping all around the house with remodeling of the rooms and doing repairs to the inside, this has been a huge undertaking. They also have been working on the front porch. Recently we had the pleasure of hosting the Dishman Baptist Church as Missionaries from Spokane, Washington. They were instrumental in getting the outside of SAFE house scraped, pressure washed and painted. The Dishman missionaries have moved on but they have left their mark on SAFE and for that, we are so thankful!
RV Park almost done
We are still working on the RV park, even though we have campers in it at this time there is still a lot more to be done up there. We plan to do more landscaping, which has already started with a wonderful donation of shrubs and trees. We are dotting them out and about on the grounds. In the summer, there will be more places for birds to come in and nest. We welcome all donations of trees, plants and shrubs. There is a lot of ground to plant, but with your help we can get it all landscaped and animal friendly.
Open House and Car Show
We had our annual open house on the 18th of August and it was an huge hit! Lots of people showed up for the festivities and everyone had fun.
Music was provided by Worship Bands from Castle Rock Christian Church and First Baptist Church – Longview, along with the Carl Wirkkala Band. They played great music all day from Western to Gospel to Contemporary Christian. All were truly blessed.
This year’s car show had something for everyone; vintage cars, pick ups and hot rods. Even the rumble of powerful motorcycles as the ABATE Motorcycle Clubs of Cowlitz and Lewis County showed their support by riding in.
Great food in the form of taco’s, nachos and watermelon, was provided by volunteers with help from Guadalajara Restaurant of Woodland, which everyone thoroughly enjoyed.
The cute little pony, cart rides, games, and piñatas were a thrill for the kids; what could be more fun to watch or join in on?!
We ended with our
famous dunk tank and everyone had a shot at Pastor Don, all in fun.
Well, the party is over and we hope you were here, if not there is always next year. We have started working on it already so mark your calendars, the date is set for August 24th. Our goal is to make the next one bigger and better yet again!
Safe Family Ministries had a birth in 2005, a God-given idea conceived in the hearts of several dedicated Christ followers. It was a response to a very specific need in southwest Washington. A need that we can all sense must be of highest priority for a God who intimately cares about those who have gravitated to the bottom through a series of abuses and poor choices often for no fault of their own but simply due to circumstances that result in a spiral to the bottom. I speak of relationships that leave women abandoned, abused, homeless, addicted and often with children.
SFM’s mission is to provide a loving, safe and redemptive residential environment to help them gain self- respect and confidence, to learn life skills and unlearn unhealthy habits. SFM is motivated by the recognition that a spiritual transformation with dependence upon God is their only hope for any success in this change. Repeated transition through government programs without such change exposes the hopelessness of man- made answers to our current and growing social breakdown.
Dozens of women have entered the SFM program, some have not stayed the entire program lasting one year but there have been many who have been transformed by God’s Grace and have found a direction towards wholeness and leading productive lives. SFM has begun ministering to their children. Our director, Don Moor, often is in court to plead on the behalf of some who would otherwise be sentenced to a harsher facility or lose custody their children.
SFM has operated from the beginning dependent upon contributions by churches and individuals who have been deeply moved by the need for this ministry. Volunteers have donated thousands of hours in time and labor. Recent donations have enabled upgrading of the kitchen to a commercial standard. An R.V. site has been completed for vacationing volunteers. SFM has received several small grants and has recently applied for a major grant which could change the financial picture, but donations and volunteers will always be the main source of the success of SFM.
This past month SFM has retained the services of an on-site Director of House Mothers with the possibility of an additional on-site couple for property management and mentoring. These are dedicated and qualified individuals with a caring heart who are volunteers with partially paid support.
If you share this concern and sense a tug on your heart to help in this ministry please check out the website www.SafeFamilyMinistries.com or call the ministry at (360) 740-9150.
~ Dr. Dave Williams
We want to thank all of our business donors who graciously give to the program so we are able continue our work here. Without your generous donations the continued success of the program would not be possible. Thank you everyone, you are in our prayers. God Bless
[one_half]Sterling Bank, Chehalis
Lowe’s , Longview &Tumwater
Frank Dipola Reality, Centralia
LOVE Inc., Chehalis
Goebel Septic , Tank Service, Centralia
Cascade Mental Health Care, Chehalis Chehalis West, Chehalis
D&J Construction, Toledo
All County Rooter & Repair, Centralia
Colonial Residence Stillwaters, Centralia
Jobin Farms, Scappoose
Lewis County Association of Realtors, Centralia[/one_half][one_half_last]Minuteman Press, Longview
Palmer Lumber, Chehalis
Russell Matching Gifts Program, Princeton, NJ Security State Bank, Chehalis
Sterling Savings Bank, Chehalis
Weyerhaeuser Foundation, Centralia
Tom’s Plumbing, Centralia
Braden Plumbing, Chehalis
Donald Marshall Electrical, Chehalis
Top Ranked Local[/one_half_last]
Safe House Ministries
Our mission is to provide transitional housing for women and children and lifestyle training for individuals throughout Southwest Washington. We serve people who have suffered by life choices and circumstances and assist them in rebuilding their lives with dignity
and service. We provide these services to qualified
and dedicated individuals, without regard to religion or race. 100% of the monies raised goes to support these services that are provided to qualified and dedicated individuals.
We at SAFE Family Ministries will work together in partnership to seek ways to (re) connect women (and
families) to a safe and loving community. We assist them through addiction counseling, vocational train- ing, financial and personal management education, to become healthy and productive adults who contribute in a positive way to make our and their world a better place to live.
“Currently we have 7 to 10 eligible people waiting and interest is growing…”
Executive Director Don Moor
Tina Ann Thode
So let me back up at least to February 25. On this morning I took a very large kitchen knife and put it into my gut with both hands. I did not think about how I was going to end my life I just knew that I had wanted to for quite a while. Well that morning I snapped! The knife was serrated and went in 4 1⁄2 inches. I remember looking down and seeing the knife in my stomach and thinking, “that did not work”! I pulled it out. Went to my room and locked my bedroom door. I proceeded to get ready for the trip to the hospital. One of my roommates saw what I had done and was screaming and banging on my door and yelling to my other roommates. When I was ready I unlocked the door and lay down on my bed. All at once I had 4 men standing over me yelling. I was covered in blood. Skip put pressure on my stomach, Gary called 911. That is when I started crying because it did not work, I WAS STILL ALIVE!!
I had surgery that morning. I was cut open from the bottom of my ribs 6 in. down. I woke up with 23 metal staples in my stomach. I had not hurt anything but muscle and tissue. I am not sure how I missed everything but I am sure God knows. I was in and out of it for the first 5 days. I remember a lot of people coming to see me, mostly family. One visitor I remember well was my little brother Jody. He came in yelling at me, I fell back asleep while he was yelling. My oldest son Steven called from Oklahoma also yelling at me. He hung up on me and called back in two minutes telling me how much he loved me. I understood the yelling a lot more than I understood my Dad and Step Mommy sitting quietly next to my hospital bed holding my hand every day. After 5 days I was told that was it, if I could have a bowel movement, I could leave the hospital. Do you know how hard it is to do that on pain meds and after having all your stomach muscles cut in half?! I cried but I got her done.
But going home was not an option. First I had to get back on mental health medication. So I went from one hospital to another one. It really was a good thing I could hardly walk. So I spent 5 more days in the hospital got on some mental health meds. Did I mention that I am diagnosed with bi-polar disorder? I also had been off my meds for 7 or 8 months and using meth and mari- juana heavily.
When I was released from the hospital in Tacoma I went back home. I was still very raw and still had the staples. My house was on well water and we were picking up sediment from the bot- tom. So the water was very bad. I decided, to go and stay at the motel where I had worked at before. I proceeded in getting high and walking the 3 1/2 miles to my house and back everyday. I was still in a great deal of physical pain. But I could deal with that kind of pain better than emotional pain. After 3 days at the motel, I called my daddy, who had recently rededicated his life to Christ; I asked him if he and Mommy could come get me for church the next morning. Of course he said “yes”! I was out walking till 11 pm that night. I went to bed crying because of the pain in my heart and body. My phone rang at 10:30. It was my Daddy saying “good morning princess” today is daylight savings you have an hour to be ready for church.” I could hardly move but I was deter- mined to look my best for my Mommy and Daddy. When they did show up I was in a frantic mess to get ready, I started crying and told my Daddy to tell me what to do and I will do it. He told me to pack up all my stuff at the motel and we would figure it out after church.
That morning in Napavine Assembly of God church I put my life at Gods feet and asked Him into my life again. The funny thing is I don’t think He was ever really gone. All at once I felt 2000 lbs. lighter and this calming that could only be a God thing. After church some of my family went out to lunch at the Sunbirds restaurant. When it was time to leave my Dad said that he had an idea where to take me instead of back to the motel or my drug house. We pulled up to Safe Family Ministries. I have been to jail more times then I can count and prison 3 times. I was not willing- ly going to put myself in another prison. I think I was most scared of saying OK; I will do this program and then leaving and letting God and my folks down again. I had always let myself down so that was no biggy. But I went inside and they said we don’t have any beds open but if you fill this packet of papers out we will see what we can do. I started to have a panic attack just looking at the paper work. My Dad took my hand and my Mommy said WE can do this. We prayed and started working on the paper work. When we were finished, 5 hrs later, “not really but it felt like it”, we were told if we wanted to go get my stuff from my house and come back by 8pm they would have room for me. I took a deep breath and said “let’s do this”. So we went to my house. I cried the whole time. Each of my roommates came and told me how proud they were of me and how much they loved me. All I could do was bawl; I did not want to leave any of them behind. I love them all so much; they were all my Dogs they still are. I pray they will also make it out with Christ’s help some day.
So here I am at Safe family Ministries. All I do is work and sing to God. If anyone was looking for Tina they just had to find a pot hole and there I would be soon to fill it. I work until I am exhausted, so I couldn’t move any more. I think that was God’s way of keeping me here till I had completely surrendered, because I could not walk down the street to leave by the end of the day. I sang and praised God with every breath. I still do when I am not arguing with pastor Don or someone else in authority. I am trying to work on my mouth but I have given everything up now God wants me to shut up and listen!! Since coming here I have been offered a wonderful job if I leave and move in to my own 4 bedroom house. My answer was no way devil!! I have also been offered a place with my first love and my firstborn son. I know the devil is trying to get me to leave SAFE. I know I am strong with my Lord but I am not all I can and will be. I committed to a year here in this program, but what I really did was committed my life to learning as much as I can before I am turned loose on the world to spread the news of eternal life and what you do to receive what is offered to everyone. I will never stop learning, God will- ing. I have served enough prison and jail time. Now it’s time I serve my Father God.
God Bless All,
Tina Ann Thode