As I stretch my body and slowly open my heavy eyes, I’m awakened by the welcoming sound of children’s laughter from outside the window. My first morning at the James Place felt unfamiliar and scary. I didn’t know what to expect or what the next two months would look like. One thing I did know was that God called me to this amazing organization for a reason and I had to trust Him fully. Anxiously making my way down stairs, I was greeted by women with beautiful smiles that made my fear slowly turn into excitement. They were all sitting together making beads, which help them become sustainable for their lives. As I walked to the playground, kids immediately ran up to me reaching for my hands as if they were inviting me to play with them. In that moment I knew a part of my heart will always call this place home.
“What does Heal Ministries mean to you Lexei?” Tina asked me. As I thought about my answer, I started looking back on my last month here at the James Place. At Heal Ministries I help out in preschool with an incredible teacher named Aisha. There are currently fourteen students and four are graduating this upcoming January. After preschool I help the staff with childcare, which is filled with laughter and smiles from children. At the end of each day, I see joyful little eyes amplify as they see their moms picking them up. It’s moving being able to experience little things that are going on at the James Places like this. Women get the chance to work and have peace knowing their child is safe during the day. Heal Ministries gives families the opportunity to stay together. Getting to know the staff, the ladies who make rugs and beads, and the wonderful children, I’ve come to realize that this is a place for second chances. It’s a place for Healing. There are many women who have been kicked out of their family’s homes and have nowhere to go. Or women who were not provided the education needed to have a viable job. One example of this at the James Place is a mother named Parvin and her son named Benja. Parvin got pregnant at an early age and had nowhere to go. Tina took her in without question.
Parvin has now returned to school while her sweet boy participates in childcare. Situations like these show how God is using Heal to save and transform lives. Heal Ministries not only offers women the opportunity to become sustainable for themselves and their families but a place to give and receive the LOVE they deserve. When I look around me, all I see is that…love. I see people loving people just as God called us to love one another. It’s funny looking back on my first day with all the worries that came along with it. These wonderful woman and children have shown me that when you love one another and have faith in God’s plan, there is no need for fear.