They Came Home: Breanna's Story

 

    "Look and see, for everyone is coming home! Your sons are coming from distant lands; your little daughters will be carried home. Isaiah 60:4

    At 8 years old she sat down feeling the loneliest she had ever felt, her parents got divorced. Her mother quickly dove into drugs to calm the isolation and pain, setting an example for Breanna’s future. Breanna watched drug use, and a slew of unhealthy people. Along with those people came abuse, and neglect. Her perception was triggered by seeing the world through eyes of pain. She was broken. Living with her Dad she ventured down the path of shadows searching for light in the midst of the dark within her. Though her dad and her stepmom were good people she was lost. At Age 11 she was raped for the first time. Hanging out with other youth, she came across a man who showed her attention, and she ran to his comfort. This led to the screams that nobody would hear because the shame that left her in fear. She began drinking and smoking pot. At age 12 she was taken back to her mother. She dove heavily into drugs and dropped out of school. At age 14 she met her first child’s dad and gave birth when she was 15. After having her son, she went back to school, and graduated from high school. Her son’s dad however began abusing her as well. She didn’t know her worth. She finally got the courage to leave. She wanted to break a cycle she didn’t even understand. She was searching for love in all the wrong places, until her fate met it’s maker. At age 24 she met a new man, who was kind and gentle. At age 25 she had her second child, followed by her 3rd child 2 years later. Happy, she began to trust again, and she thought her world had changed. Until, she married this man, but was later abandoned.

The abandonment set off a spiral into life of severe alcoholism and fighting any who came into her path. She also allowed a man to come into her life who would abuse her, and set an example for her children of what it is to feel worthless. They watched her despair, and they watched her get beaten. Breanna dove head first into an addiction of meth. At age 32 her life fell apart completely. CPS Took her children, she lost her home, she lost her soul, and she lost her hope.

After many recovery programs, several relapses, and multiple transitional housings opportunities, Breanna decided to change her life after an encounter with God. She witnessed a car accident that left a life departed from earth. This shook her to the core and made her realize she needed God. God had purpose for her, and he was going to restore her.

For Breanna the seed was planted by a CPS worker a year prior to her pursuit of a life of transformation at Acres of Hope. Acres of Hope is a faith based renewal program that transforms the lives of women and children through the power of Jesus Christ. One night after crying herself to sleep Breanna wanted to be renewed, and in the early morning "Acres of Hope" kept repeating in her mind. She knew she needed to go after multiple encounters of revelation from God. The nurture, provision, and patience began on April 1st, 2016 when Breanna stepped onto the Acres Campus with the intention to transform her life, and reunify with her children who were residing in the Foster Care System. Breanna wanted her children to experience safety, stability, and a mother who could love and support them. During Breanna's time as a resident at Acres of Hope her dreams for her family became a reality. She was reunified with her children. The family went through the process of transformation, and they had a hope that could not be shaken. Breanna's family grew stronger together, and received the support they needed to move forward in their relationship with God in their lives. As Breanna grew stronger she wanted to give back and help other women and children break the cycle of homelessness. She got involved in volunteering at Acres of Hope, during and after graduating from the program. Breanna went through the training to assist with the Genesis counseling program for residents, and helped aid women through Road to Recovery courses. Breanna reflects on Isaiah 60:4 Look and see, for everyone is coming home! Your sons are coming from distant lands; your little daughters will be carried home. Breanna says this scripture is a testimony to her life. Her restoration was God came into her life and he brought her family home. He loved her when she felt unlovable. Breanna and her children have been growing up out of the fertile soil Acres of Hope has provided.

Today Breanna is an Acres of Hope Staff working as a Recovery Specialist. She helps women discover the root cause of addiction issues so God can water the positive seeds sewn and transformation can occur. Breanna is walking in the purpose she was meant to live out.
Breanna shared, "God definitely wanted us here to grow." It is an amazing opportunity to see Breanna and her family's life come to full bloom.

                               Visit: acresofhopeonline  or Call 530-878-8030

Is This Really My Life?

And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2nd Corinthians 3:18

I felt it the first time I walked into my own office at work. My new coworkers came and looked me in the eyes. They shook my hand with smiles on their faces. They told me they were glad that I was a part of the team. I went to the coffee machine, and headed for my desk. I sat down and realized, “I have a job”. I worked my first full day and as the day closed, I came to understand and accept that my life was not going to be the same. I headed to my car, and reflected on the many days of not knowing how to drive. I pondered the support I had from my Acres of Hope family in pursuing my license, I succeeded. There I was driving to get my children from daycare. I could afford for them to go to daycare. I sat outside of the daycare center and I cried. I have come so far. People in the community don’t even know what my past was like. They don’t know I was a resident at Acres of Hope. They don’t know how hard I have had to fight, or that my life did not begin like theirs. I am accepted, I am thriving, and the transformation is true. God has changed my life. The love I have experienced at Acres of Hope, and the support from staff and volunteers has given me a new way to live. I often question, “Is this really my life”? Before I would ask that question in despair, since my life was shattered, but now I ask that same question in overwhelming joy, because renewal and transformation have consumed my family. I will never forget Acres of Hope. I will never forget how this loving community was used to change our story.

Transformation begins at Acres of Hope. To join in the journey of transforming lives,

Visit: acresofhopeonline.org or Call: 530-878-8030

A Child's Voice: You're Safe Now

I was scared, but only because I was confused.

I wished someone could tell me what was happening.

I wished they would tell me I was safe.

I need you to show me, that I can trust.

Let me know that it is safe to open up again.

Tell me it is okay to let you in.

Show me you wont let me down.

Show me that I can reveal me.

Show me that I can seek you out for help.

I need to know you will catch me when I fall.

Show me that I will get through this.

Let me know you will always be there to help me.

I need you to love me.

Reveal to me, show me, and tell me, that it is okay to come out of hiding.

You will show me I’m safe now, and I will say I’m done hiding.

A child’s journal

At Acres of Hope children go through true transformation. Their hearts experience the security they need to open again, and to trust. We watch children go from hiding to healing. The true of measure of success is when a child can trust again.

Won’t you join us in the mission of transforming lives, and breaking the cycles of homelessness and the issues that have led to it.

Get involved today:

Call 530-878-8030 or Visit: acresofhopeonline.org

The Witness

I know he witnessed me, when he couldn’t sleep

I was sprawled out on the kitchen floor

Directing my fingers to not grab more

As I was captured by his eyes

My mouth too dry to say baby don’t cry

I know he witnessed me when what he needed

Was a mom who would show up to his kindergarten class and see his achievements

Instead I filled him with my lies

Ignored the silence when he saw the deception in my eyes

I went to my bedroom and I cried

I know he witnessed me, when they took him away

He reached out for my hands saying mama stay

As the cold cuffs hugged my wrists

I looked at my little boy asking, how it came to this

I sat in that car and I cried

But then he witnessed me, when I fought to change my life

I looked into his eyes and said no more addiction, alright

I went to Acres of Hope and renewed my life

Reunified with my child, so we no longer cried

I give him my best, and each day I try

To share with him the love, I feel deep inside

So that he can witness me, no longer in despair

But rather a woman who is strong and filled with hope, he’ll have a mom who loves and cares.

Watch him witness me.

Alive: The First Night Homeless

I looked death in the face, I saw it’s shadow come towards me, and I just knew I would have to fight to survive.

I had been walking in the cold for hours, the sky was overcast, the shivers running up and down my body. My mind was racing, where was I going to go. I walked by the church parking lot, I saw a life-sized doll house on the play ground. I considered tucking myself inside for the night, but realized I had no food. With a baby growing inside of my belly, I had to find something, somewhere. I came upon a mini mall, there was a laundromat still open. I went inside, and I sat savoring the warmth. I listened to the television set, hung above the washing machines in the corner. For a few brief seconds I was able to escape my reality, until the bell rang above the door, and a woman walked in asking for help. She asked if I would help her carry in some of her laundry bags, as if God knew I needed some help, she offered me a few dollars for my support. I walked next door to a tiny mom and pop restaurant and ordered some fries. I closed my eyes, and pretended I wasn’t about to spend my first night out on the streets homeless. I left the restaurant and walked back to the laundromat, but the manager was at the door locking it up for the night. The fear settled into my heart and mind. I began walking into the night wondering where I would end up, it felt like I wouldn’t even survive the night. I came upon a gated garbage area. I went inside and closed the gate. I flipped up the lid and rested it on the gate to make a bit of shelter. However the water trickled in on the ground beneath me. I sat there in the corner on the ground, shivering cold, I began to cry. I then got an idea to open a few trash bags and use the plastic to offer some protection, and make a cover from the rain. It worked for keeping me dry, but the cold still sunk deep into my skin. As I laid there and listened to the rain falling on that garbage lid, I wondered if I wanted to survive. I was sure there was a bottle I could break, and slit my wrist, and be done with the pain I have known. Yet as quickly as the thought came it was undone, by the thought of the baby in my womb. I knew I would have to fight, I had to fight for the life growing within me.

Many of the women who come to Acres of Hope have seen some of the hardest things that are offered in life. Many have experienced loss, many have experienced abuse, some have experienced addiction. However one thing they all have experienced is homelessness. The first night of wondering how they will survive, how they will feed themselves, where they will lay down their heads is frightening. For a mother with children, or with a baby in the womb, it is even more threatening to be out on the streets alone. At Acres of Hope we tell these women who are ready to change their lives and break the cycles of homelessness for themselves and their children, we are here. We have food, shelter, safety, love, community, and the tools you need to transform your life. For some women homelessness is a matter of life or death. Acres of Hope is equipping women to be able to live, and thrive.

To help break the cycles of homelessness,

Visit: acresofhopeonline.org or Call: 530-446-1621

Second Chances: A Mother's Courage to Hope

Alone, it’s like a cold, dark, blank hospital room. At least for me it is. I reached out over the phone only to hear my ex-husband’s dark solemn voice. My relatives were at his home, they were peering over my newborn. My heart was ripping, cracking, as if in a million scatterings across the floor. I pumped milk, which was liquid gold to me. It was the sole gift I had left to give my son. It broke me to have it all dumped away. Regret and guilt entered my soul. This was just another day. Filled with deep sadness, and confusion, making me question my life.

This was my first holiday as a mother, spent away from my son. I was locked away in a mental health facility. I felt not only the pain of separation, but also I felt the remnants of a brutal beating from my ex-husband. Feeling distraught, I was still grateful to have my life.

I remember thinking, there must be more than this.

Five years later, at Acres of Hope, Thanksgiving held so many new blessings. Gratefulness had gone from a distant concept to a new attitude. It was as if my silent, uncried prayers were answered. I had the evidence of God’s great love for me in a new holiday experience, with my son and daughter. I am gaining confidence in my ability to be a mother, and given opportunities to grow.

I am not alone. Through second chances, I have found a new life of hope.

The mothers at Acres of Hope each have a story to tell. Some tell stories of abandonment, some of neglect, some of abuse, some of addiction. Each story opens our eyes to the need for renewal. Each story is an opportunity for God to transform a life. He is doing just that, lives are changing, women and their children are finding hope. Each family experiences a second chance at life.

You can help us give more women and children a second chance at life:

Visit us at: acresofhopeonline.org or Call us at:530-878-8030


Bring In The New Year With Hope

This year so much has been accomplished, because of the kind, and loyal community that you are. Acres of Hope has been able to witness mothers graduate from the campus into their own homes. We have watched as mothers finished their education. We glanced upon children taking their first rides on the school bus to their places of learning. We celebrated as several mothers began their journey into the workforce. We smiled and cheered with jubilant hearts as babies were born, and began to take their first steps. We watched as mothers who felt like they were alone found friendships, and forever families among their peers.

In the year 2018, we saw the cycle of homelessness end for several families. As the New Year enters in, we will see new families graduate from Acres of Hope. We will see new families figure out their value, worth, and identities. We will see new faces of children who will go from hiding to being embraced. New families will find safety and comfort inside their family cottages. New voices will whisper the words, “I’m doing this for my kids”, and “I never knew a love like this existed”.

As this year closes, and a new year enters in, this one thing will remain here at Acres of Hope, we will continue breaking the cycle of homelessness for women and children. We will do it, with the love and support of our community, who each and every day joins in the battle of helping Acres of Hope families.

If you would like to bring in the year 2019 giving women and children Hope,

Visit: acresofhopeonline.org or Call: 530-878-8030.

Until The Shakes Stop: A Story About Recovery

She was a little over 90 days clean, yet her talking would speed up, and the shakes would begin. However, it was one sentence she held onto, one sentence she believed. A mentor sat with her one day, and she said these words, “I will be here to support you, until the shakes stop”.

The shakes she experienced throughout her life each held a different story.

When she was an infant her caregiver would get overwhelmed with her cries and she would get shaken until she stopped making a sound. Silently she would lay in her bed, until she learned not to cry. As she grew older her tears remained as stagnant waters in her soul.

When she was in her late teens the shakes came from a boyfriend, who she thought loved her. In the daylight in front of others he was the perfect gentlemen. Yet, behind closed doors he would beat her, and grab her by the shoulders to shake her. He would force her to look him in the eyes, as he demeaned her. When she finally got the courage to leave, she was homeless.

The third set of shakes, came from a plunge into addiction. The shakes from her past, and the uncried tears left her desiring a release, only she didn’t know how to get rid of her pain. She got high to silence her cries once more, to ride the waves of temporary joy. However the side effects of such a joy ride, was shakes. From her head to her toes, her body would tremor. She began to lose control of keeping herself still. Even as she became clean one thing remained, the shakes.

At night when she went to sleep, the nightmares would come. Her old boyfriend, the caregiver of her childhood, hard nights on the streets would leave her undone. She would wake up, drenched from a cold sweat. This time the shakes were from her nightly fears of returning to trauma. She would grab a pillow, close her eyes tight, and scream.

Yet there was something that would change this young woman’s life, it was Hope. Hope came when a mentor stepped in, and said: “I will support you from now until the shakes stop”. Each conversation opened up the lock boxes of pain she held within herself. Each prayer and reading of the recovery Bible gave her new insight into a life filled with truth and freedom. Each day that her mentor showed her that someone was willing to fight for her, opened her eyes to see, that she was not alone. The more she shared, the more she learned. She began to take back her power over the fear that she let control her life. Her mentor helped her build a community of people that had walked the path of recovery as well. The more she opened up, the more she began to feel, and the stagnant waters that sat in her soul began to pour out, so that true healing could shape her from the inside out. In time, the nightmares stopped, the shakes from her bout of addiction had ceased. She rose up, and she became a mentor for others, and her words still echo in my mind today, “I’ll support you until the shakes stop”.

Would you like to support Acres of Hope women recovering their lives? You can donate Recovery Bibles, Resources, or Teachings.

Visit: acresofhopeonline.org or Call: 530-878-8030

I Open My Eyes To Christmas Hope

I see them

My children laughing

Singing and dancing

Without a care in the world

My son, my daughter

Rejoicing in what Hope has to offer

Delighted, my boy, my girl

Hear the sounds of Jubilee,

As stockings are hung,

The children cry, “ MOMMY”,

While taking in the beauty of lights on a tree

Is this really my life, is this happening to me

My children are here, we have a home

We have a community, this year we are not alone

My whole heart could burst, as the children play

For this morning I opened my eyes to Christmas Hope,

As my cares drifted away

I look at my kids

I feel grateful for all that Christ did

To take our sufferings and sorrows away

Coming as a infant, and showing us someone would stay

Bringing us true Hope, that nothing could steal away

I see how that truth has become a reality

When I look around me and see our serenity

I listen joyfully as my kids sample candy ropes

What a day to see my life changing, at Acres of Hope

To help more experience opening their eyes to hope,

Get involved today!!

Visit: acresofhopeonline.org or call: 530-878-8030

But I've Lost So Much Already

I can’t do this again, I am so afraid!! I am afraid to open my heart like this, yet I’m starting to feel, heal. I can feel my heart beating inside of my chest. I am no longer cold and numb. It terrifies me. I feel warmth and my heart is so full, as I think about the love I have for others. Love. Real, pure love. How did this happen, how did they break through my walls, make it past my defenses, how did they get so deep inside my heart. I thought no one would ever be able to reach me there again. I thought I would remain void and empty, but now I feel, I feel so deeply. I am loved, and I love.

People may not understand my wrestling, they may not comprehend what I have seen. They may not know what it is like walking a mile in my shoes. They don’t know of the losses, the instability, or the lack of nurture. They don’t understand the painful agony of being stripped from the ones you’ve grown to know, and having to start over. Perhaps they don’t know what it feels like to have what is meant to be love, leave you in shattered pieces. Yet I know, I’ve lost so much already, and now I am being called to trust that this time my story will be different. That love will prove itself faithful.

I am terrified, but I cannot deny the fact that something is awakening inside of me, that perhaps I have never known possible. I have people who look at me with eyes of joy. This community speaks to me, as if I have value and worth. They build me up, and tell me the amazing things they see in me. They treat my children like they are gifts not a burden. I find myself, falling in line with their example. All I want to do is encourage others, show love to the community around me, and build my fellow mothers up.

This love that is shown, makes me feel like I can have Hope, as if I can breathe, as if I too can go out and make something of my life. The love here at Acres of Hope is so powerful. Maybe it’s time. Perhaps this go around will be different. I know I have lost so much already, yet this time, I feel like there is so much to gain. Perhaps my new life and beginning starts here. Already the numbness I use to know, I have forgotten what it feels like, because I feel so much love and compassion. More than anything else, I feel like I can open my heart to trust.

I know I have lost so much already, but now I have hope, and I can see, me and my children have so much to gain.

You can be a part of changing the story of the women and children at Acres of Hope

To get involved today:

Visit:acresofhopeonline.org or Call:530-878-8030

If These Walls Could Talk

Hello There,

I am the walls that hold up an Acres of Hope family cottage. I have seen many families pass through my refuge over the last few years. Each of them came to dwell inside of my safety, and I watched as they built their lives. It is so special being the walls because you get to see a mother change from fear to faith, and watch a child go from hiding to being seen.

It is a precious moment watching as a mother turns the key inside my lock for the first time. The look on her face when she closes the door, and her children settle into their own little beds, is priceless. Some of the children scream in the middle of the night, from the nightmares they hold, as their mother comes close to them to reassure them they are safe now. I have watched many mothers pull their children’s bed close to their own, and I have seen little boys and little girls jump in their mother’s bed to find security and safety in her arms. It is so amazing to watch the moments however, when that same child will go rest in his or her own bed. Even more so is the moment when the child begins to feel complete safety and drags the bed away from mom’s, because he or she is ready to try steps of independence.

There have been many drawings crafted upon my paint, as children tend to think Crayola was meant for me instead of paper. Yet, when I looked a bit closer to see what was being crafted I have realized they were pictures of a child’s smiling face, from a child who use to weep all the time. There is a picture of a family together, from a child who use to be in foster care but now is reunited to his mom. Instead of toys thrown all around, there is a neat pile of books at a rocking chair, where a mother was reading her children a story. There are puzzle pieces scattered on a table where a family sat connecting.

Being the walls of a family cottage at Acres of Hope has allowed me to see that lives really can change. I have seen the tears of a mother when she whispered into the night, “I am loved.” I have seen the laughter of a family over a game of who can find the shoe. I have watched a skinned knee turn into a game of tickles and kisses with laughter that shines like sunlight entering the window at morning. As each family eventually graduates from Acres of Hope their legacy of fingerprints is held beneath the fresh coat of paint that acts as a new canvas for an incoming family. It’s amazing the legacy of families held in the layers of my existence.

My hope is that more walls will get to experience the transformation of families that I have seen. I know there is a waiting list for families who are seeking the refuge and hope that walls like me can offer. I hope you will help us here at Acres of Hope to give the families who need the stability of coming to live here on campus a real chance at transforming their lives.

Some walls are built so other walls can be torn down. I am the physical walls of hope that offers refuge to Acres of Hope families so they can have the safety and comfort to trust that they can tear down the emotional walls that have restricted their lives from becoming all they can be.

Will you help us provide more walls of refuge for families to grow?

To Donate today:

Visit: acresofhopeonline.org

A Different Kind of Christmas

“When I reached out for help in 2014 my kids were removed from my care. That Christmas I was alone and my place in the world felt empty. Christmas was the darkest night my soul had ever felt. I remember scraping the inside of all of my old syringes for hours trying to get high so I could escape that dreadful feeling. I wanted to die. For the first time in my life I no longer had a purpose to live. I was sicker than sick. ~ An Acres of Hope Alumni

The women and children who are seeking to end their cycle of homelessness at Acres of Hope haven’t always experienced the joys of Christmas. For many the holidays were intensified by loneliness and despair. They took desperate lunges into their addiction to relieve pain, and dysfunction. Some were separated from their families or children. The joy they saw in the faces of strangers only drove them deeper into the shadows.

At Acres of Hope our families will experience a different kind of Christmas. They will experience the true meaning of Christmas, one overflowing with love and community. Families will build new traditions and exchange gifts, bake tasty treats, and a tree will decorate their tiny cottage. They’ll enjoy the chance to decorate the campus working alongside kind hearts like yours from the community. They will experience a Holiday Season filled with Hope.

My Christmas at Acres of Hope was beautiful. That Christmas at Acres of Hope was extremely different from anything I had ever experienced. Where I had always dreaded the whole holiday thing, I learned to see the joy and true meaning of Christmas. That year was full of blessings for my family and traditions that we continue each year. ~ An Acres of Hope Alumni

You can be a helping hand of Hope this Holiday Season to women and children breaking the cycle of homelessness. Give a gift that will show Acres of Hope families a different kind of Christmas.

To donate today visit the link below:

https://www.acresofhopeonline.org/givenow/

Panoramic View: A Mother's View of Hope

Very rarely do our lives allow us the opportunity to partake in a panoramic view of someone else’s world. We do our best to empathize from our scope of life. However, today I would like to invite you in. I desire to share with you the panoramic view of a mother, who has recently begun the process of renewing her life, and the lives of her children. The following are her words, from her panoramic view.

My Son: “You Are Safe Son"

"You are safe son," mother said, as she held and consoled her son who was bitterly kicking, hitting, and screaming into the air. What could she do? His behavior needed to be addressed. The next morning was brisk and cool, the sun still rising as she stepped into the child care building. "I have something for you," declared the child care teacher. “This would be perfect for your son who loves animals; I was looking for someone special to give it to."

From behind her back, came a discovery book full of animal projects to create safari animals. Zebras, lions, monkeys, and rhino paper figurines and backgrounds were included.

"Thank you so much," she said. In the afternoon, the smell of cheesy pepperoni pizza filled the dining room. "Son, look what the teacher left for you." He turned each page, to find all the animals and facts about them. With a bite of pizza in his mouth, he said, "this is the best day ever, I get a pizza, a new animal book, and one on one time with mommy."

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Daughter's View: Mommy’s Here

The two-year-old girl in pigtails jumped and sang, as she danced happily around the playground. She climbed up the play structure. She put one leg above the other, and waited hesitatingly at the top of the green swirly slide. With a rush of courage and mommy in sight from a distance, she slid down. "Mommy, mommy," she exclaimed as she hopped off the slide and ran across the brown playground into her mother's open, outstretched arms. I smiled inside, I knew she had her mama.

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My story: A Mother’s View

Her mind was dark and clouded with lies telling her, “she couldn't be a mom, she wasn't good enough.” Her actions reflected that. She was in fact lazy. Each day doing the bare minimum and lacking motivation. She needed a change, a sense of urgency and pride in her work as a mother was desperately needed.

Her move-in date was approaching. During her interview on campus, she could voice positive qualities she owned, not just the negative. While on campus her sense of inadequacy was replaced with a sense of hope. She was welcomed to a mommy boot camp, and she was excited to do it. "We are getting your cottage ready for you." It was the best news she had received in her life, especially as a mother. It would call for her to have discipline, and would teach her responsibility and pride through daily hard work. She would learn how to be a strong parent. Months passed, she stood a little taller. She could look at herself in the mirror directly and know, she was beautiful, she was loved. Her face relaxed into a pleasant expression. She practiced approaching each day with gratitude and forgiveness. She thought daily on good things, as her foundation was being rebuilt. She was challenged each day to grow. She was achieving success. Not only did she now have stable, and secure housing, but she also gets to share it with her son and her daughter. She has the opportunity to grow and thrive in her newfound community. 

The lives of women and children are changing at Acres of Hope. They are working hard each day to renew and transform their lives. Attitudes, behaviors, and inner belief systems are filled with hope, as a mother and her children walk the life changing road found at Acres of Hope.

We invite you to come and tour our campus, and gain a perspective of your own. Come view women and children in the process of building thriving lives. They are breaking the cycle of homelessness.

To view what goes on behind the scenes at Acres of Hope

Visit: acresofhopeonline.org or Call 530-878-8030

I Belong: Building Healthy Communities

“I never knew a love like this existed”

When I leave Acres of Hope I know I won’t be alone.”

“It’s so cool to see all the people that support us, they show us their love.”

“Mommy I want to play with Grandpa Joe.”

Quotes from Acres of Hope Women and Children

Behind the scenes at Acres of Hope, after you have sown your seeds of kindness and love, the Acres of Hope families are sealing in their hearts the memories of your support. From holiday meals, to raking our plentiful falling leaves, and everything in between, they experience your love. From the volunteer who drives a mom to her next appointment, to the Angel Grandparent who comes to play with the children at the park, they experience your love.

Acres of Hope women come to change their lives, often leaving behind old friendships and relationships that helped keep them in a life of dysfunction, abuse, addiction, and homelessness. When they arrive, they begin to discover what it feels like to be part of a good community that will help edify and encourage them on the path of breaking the cycle of homelessness for their families.

You are that loving, healthy, safe community.

Each day Acres of Hope families are blessed to have the support of you and your groups - churches, civic and community organizations, scout troops, men’s and women’s clubs filled with individuals who invest their time and care to show our families there is another way of life. It is because of you, the champions behind the scenes that our families are breaking the cycle of homelessness. Your time has shown our residents your love. Your financial contribution has provided the stability and met the physical needs to provide for each family at Acres of Hope. Your efforts to keep the campus in shape offers fellowship with our families and keeps Acres of Hope looking beautiful throughout the year.

The Acres of Hope families are experiencing healthy community life because of you. They no longer feel like they are fighting alone. They now know they have a place they belong, in all of your hearts. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for the love and support you show Acres of Hope families.

To be a part of the healthy community changing the lives of women and children breaking the cycle of homelessness,

Visit: acresofhopeonline.org or call 530-878-8030

Triggers: No longer Afraid

The time on the clock, reminds me of when it happened. The scent in the air, takes me back to the wet cement beneath the bridge. When someone says his name, it reminds me of the fear. My body seizes up, I want to run but I can’t move my feet. I want to scream but I can’t open my mouth. I want someone to see, but it seems these nightmares are locked inside of me. The triggers bring me back to the places I once knew.

At Acres of Hope we see women and children defy odds every single day. Triumph after triumph happens with each mile marker that is reached. It may be reunification with children, perhaps a new dish prepared for dinner, a bedtime story read at night, or a deeper understanding of God’s truth. Acres of Hope is transforming lives. However one of the most powerful moments revealed of transformation is when a woman or her child can say “I am no longer afraid.” When the things of yesterday that used to trigger responses of fight, flight, or fright are dismantled by the safety, stability and love offered at Acres of Hope. It is here that our staff and volunteers get to see lives transformed right before our very eyes. That is when their story changes.

I use to be afraid of everything, afraid of what would trigger me throughout the day, and make me feel like I was back in a place of pain or isolation. Now I walk freely, I take a deep breath of the air, and smell seasons changing. I look at the clock, and think, “Time to pick up the kids from daycare”. I hear footsteps behind me, and welcome the coming embrace from one of my new “sisters” trying to catch me to give an encouragement that spurs me onward. Those old triggers have died down, and my children and I are the evidence of Hope lived out.

To be a part of seeing triggers fade away and hope sprout forth,

Visit: acresofhopeonline.org or Call: 530-878-8030

When I look in the Mirror: Andrea and Xyla's Update

But we all, with unveiled faces, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. 2nd Corinthians 3:8

Andrea is not the same young woman that walked through the doors of Acres of Hope back in March of 2016. She no longer dwells with her daughter in an Acres of Hope cottage, she now lives in her own home. I went to visit Andrea and her daughter recently. When I arrived at her front door, she stood with a great big smile and a warm welcome. I could hear her daughter giggling in the background as she peeked around the corner with a shy hello. The smell in the air of fresh homemade beef stroganoff, made with great care to sustain her little family. A fine meal after a long day at work and preschool. There was no hint of the fact that this special moment almost did not come into existence. No hint of the day she stood in the middle of the road and closed her eyes to embrace the vehicle that would strike her down in a suicide attempt. No evidence of the instability of a family or a home in her earlier years. Andrea and her daughter Xyla are thriving and filled with hope.

Andrea once desired death, but now she is helping others to find joy in life. She was once an at-risk teen and now is helping other at-risk individuals have hope. Andrea was once searching for a family, but now has created a community and family of her own. The transformation and renewal that happens at Acres of Hope is a reflection of what your love and support has done to change lives and break the cycle of homelessness. This women use to look in the mirror and see her shortcomings, loss and pain. Today she looks in the mirror and sees the evidence of hope and a renewed life.

Watch Andrea and Xyla’s story and get involved in changing the reflections of families needing to see themselves in the mirror views of hope.

VIEW VIDEO

Visit: acresofhopeonline.org or Call 530-878-8030

I Believe You

"Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?” Isaiah 58:6

She was crumpled on the floor, her pale knees colored with the markings of the rug she knelt upon. She pulled her hands slowly down her face. The streaks of dry tears made white trails from her red rimmed eyes to her chin. “Do you believe me”, she asked in a soft voice. I looked her in the eyes, and responded back gently, “I believe you”! Her physical and emotional scars told her tale, with no words even needing to be spoken. Yet she just had to hear those words, she needed to know that she was not on her own. She needed to know that more than the courts could reveal, more than the scars could tell, that someone who loved her, believed her. The moment she heard that she was believed was the exact time she rendered a deep sigh from the core of her being. Barely audible a whisper escaped from her lips, “Thank You”.

The words “I believe you” are so powerful for a woman who has seen dark days. The effects of abuse, either emotional or physical can be enough to damper the light of hope within a person and make them feel they walk alone. When a woman at Acres of Hope finds the courage to begin reclaiming her voice, her worth, and declare that she is more valuable than what she has seen or experienced. Staff and mentors are there to help her find the courage to thrive. She will know she is supported, loved and believed.

You can be a part of breaking off the chains and cages of silence that some of our Acres of Hope families have lived in. You can be a voice of hope, a listening ear, or heart of love that breaks the strongholds of fear and reveals a story of victory.

Get Involved Today:

Visit : acresofhopeonline.org or Call 530-878-8030

Healthy Choices Produce Healthy Lives

The scene was beautiful. The sun was shining in brightly through the window. A baby carrot rolled across the counter to the floor. “Uh Oh”, a little voice declared. At that very moment a young boy marched into the kitchen, with his mother’s hand attached to his. “Up here mom, the apple, please”. His mother knew exactly what to do, she grabbed the apple, and peanut butter, and the little boy’s dream of a great snack time came true. Healthy choices, made by healthier moms was being established at Acres of Hope.

It’s amazing to watch women and their children grow stronger and wiser in making healthy choices that will impact their lives. Each day at Acres of Hope women are learning new life skills and practical skills, so they have the tools they need to make the choices that will help them thrive as they renew their lives. To see families go from homeless to independent strong mothers and children is a powerful story to watch unfold. Mothers who read their children stories at night before bed. Women who know the importance of sending their children off to school prepared for success with backpacks full of completed homework and nutritious snacks. Mothers who step out confidently into the workforce and shine brightly in their field of employment. Children once timid and fearful, lacking proper social and behavioral skills, who are now thriving in their fellowship of friends at school and home. Ultimately the reward of these healthy choices are revealed in Acres of Hope alumni who are living in their own homes. This is the evidence of the transformative power of Acres of Hope. Healthy choices produce healthy lives.

To be a part of seeing families make healthy choices

Visit: acresofhopeonline.org or call 530-878-8030

The Evidence

A smile from a child who once screamed at the idea of being touched. A mother learning self defense after experiencing domestic abuse. A family finding their way out of homelessness after a long cycle of running from program to program to find refuge. This is Acres of Hope.

Acres of Hope is changing lives each and every day. Your support has been a key factor in seeing women and children climb out from the dark places they have seen in their lives, into the light of hope. Recently Acres of Hope has experienced new babies born, watched as babies have started walking, and advancing in talking. Acres of Hope cottages are overflowing with families are growing stronger. Mothers are stepping into the work force. Some are finishing their education. Mothers are achieving full reunification rights with their children. Alumni have created a community of support and connection with the current residents and their peers. They come to share their stories, connect residents to job openings, and encourage families to keep going. Acres of Hope is having a huge impact on lives because of your support.

In the process of sharing all this great news of how Acres of Hope is breaking the cycle of homelessness, we always want to remind all of our great supporters of the need of continued help. We have a full house at Acres of Hope of lives being transformed. Yet there is a waiting list of women and children still hoping for a life of transformation. Your impact has been piercing through the darkness of those who have been, and are currently going through the process of renewal at Acres of Hope.

Today I would like you to read a letter from Acres of Hope alumni Jennifer. Jennifer’s family has been transformed because of your care. Jennifer wants you to know just how much your love is appreciated. Click the link below, to read Jennifer’s letter to you. Also take time to watch her video about what it was like for her and Gio, to find their own strength to stand.

The evidence of your support in transforming lives cannot be denied.

Jennifer’s Letter to You

Jennifer & Gio’s VIDEO

You Don't Have To Do That Anymore

“Don't fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine.” Isaiah 43:1

They ran quickly into the little yellow playhouse. The giggles were loud, the children’s speed remarkable. Some made it in, some weren’t quite fast enough to step inside before the barricade went up. Among the youngsters who made it inside was a little girl and a young boy, whose impact on my heart is still beating strong as I write to you today. The little boy quickly began grabbing items to barricade the door. “Quick Quick” he yelled, as he put up a mesh foldable tent up against the door. “We have to keep the bad guys out”, the young boy screamed. The little girl, listening to the kids on the other side of the makeshift wall of protection looked at the young boy and said, “We are safe here, you don’t have to do that anymore.” She took the corner of the blockade and pulled it down, and said, “Look they’re safe”.

Watching the children’s interaction revealed the power of what is happening at Acres of Hope. Each and everyday that story is played out in the reality of our women and children. The blockades, and walls of protection to survive are coming down. The shifting eyes of mistrust are turning into glistening eyes of joy. The scars are healing, the emotional trauma is being overcome by the words of truth spoken into identities. Self esteem is growing, most importantly safety and stability are declaring to Acres of Hope women and children, that they don’t have to live in their old ways anymore. They are free to walk out into the light of joy. A child’s play is even more beautiful when you can see it through the eyes of Hope!!

At Acres of Hope we are transforming the lives of women and children breaking the cycle of homelessness. You can get involved.

To learn more visit: acresofhopeonline.org or call: 530-878-8030