By Chad A. Parker, LSW
Executive Director of Residential Services
When we look at the account of Jonah’s call to Nineveh, as it detailed his rebellion, his pride, and self-pity, we can all have hope that God is able, and willing, to give his children another chance. What an amazing opportunity has been presented to us through His grace. As it says in II Corinthians, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Oh, what a Savior!
One of the many things we do at Tupelo Children’s Mansion is to try to help our children understand the grace of our loving God. Through prayer, teaching the Word, and Godly counsel, we try to help them understand that they are not bound by their past mistakes, abuse, or circumstances. This incredible opportunity is never more evident than in our Haven of Hope program. When a young lady comes to Haven of Hope, she is angry, confused, and wounded. Her emotions are erratic; physically she’s been beaten and/or abused; most of the time, her innocence has been stripped from her; often times she’s been exposed to or experimented with alcohol and/or drugs. Either because of decisions she has made, or through no fault of her own, these girls are longing for a second chance.
After spending twelve months at Haven of Hope, these young ladies realize that they are a priceless treasure for whom God loves and cares. They understand that with Him all things are possible! Just recently, we had another young lady successfully complete the program, and we held our first Bridging Ceremony in her honor. This is an event we intend to do for each young lady successfully completing the program.
During our program, the young lady was honored for her accomplishments during the past twelve months. Our Haven of Hope Supervisor, Annette Manual, and Assistant Supervisor, Hollie Day, each charged her to continue striving to please God, and complimented the tremendous changes made during her stay. Kathryn Slagle, Haven of Hope Program Manager, presented her with a desk plague acknowledging her completion of the program, and offered her words of wisdom for her future.
After receiving her plague, the young lady then walked across a small bridge to meet her new TCM houseparents, Ben and Emily Goman. This small, short walk symbolized her growth, success, and her desire to move forward, and embrace her second chance. As tears were shed, the young lady thanked everyone for giving her this opportunity, but isn’t that what the grace of God is all about?! Thank God that He is a God of second chances!
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