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Beacon of Light transitional home completed

• Open house Sunday

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012 2:49 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Aug. 22, 2012 2:53 p.m. CDT

A ministry group, which has been busy rebuilding an Osceola home, will now focus their efforts on serving hurting women as they rebuild their lives, said President Kim White.

After three and a-half “long” years, Beacon of Light Ministry’s first transitional home is completed, because of many hours of volunteer labor, volunteer materials and donated money. Beacon of Light is a local nonprofit, denominationally neutral, Christian-based ministry with a vision of helping women who have been caught in addiction, spent time in jail or been hurt by physical or emotional abuse.

“It’s the first house of what we hope to be many,” said White.

The ministry group began making payments on the house, at 101 N. Vale St., in 2009. The group had a vision of providing a transition housing program for women who need a place to transition from a “dysfunctional place in their lives to a life of health, well-being, success and faith,” said White.

Even before the house was completed, young women came to the ministry group. According to White, the ministry group learned first-hand how to love, mentor and begin to provide for these women.

Some rehabilitation programs end up sending the woman back to the situation she came from, which doesn't work, said White.

“The whole purpose of a transitional-type program is to put them in a protective place, to give them the love and the support they need to be successful in fighting that addiction and fighting their past demons and be restored,” said White.

The first house

A woman, who was part of another ministry-restoration program before this, moved into the transitional house in June. Although the woman is living on her own, there is a network of people who contact her almost every day to see how she’s doing. The network is also available whenever the woman needs them, said White. Those who participate in the program must adhere to strict rules.

The program creates a visitor list for each resident. The resident is not allowed to be alone with a man while in the housing program. There is no curfew. However, the board left room in its contract in case this needs to be changed. The resident must be drug-free when she moves into the house.

White said the group has the right to step inside the house at any time to address issues if they suspect any “red flags.” The resident must pay some rent, which is income-based. The rent helps teach responsibility. She must also attend church on a regular basis, get into a small-group Bible study and complete community service work. The ministry also helps with life-skill classes, like budgeting.

The life-skills classes will be “tailor-made” for each individual,” said White. An individual can stay in the program for a minimum of six months up to an undefined period of time.

“That’s a God thing,” said White.

The house will accommodate two women. However, it is only housing one woman for the time being.

“We’re giving her that space,” said White. “She needs that space right now.”

The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, is now working a full-time job and attending a church and Bible study regularly.

“She’s truly moving forward with her life and seeking God’s face,” said White.

Board members and volunteers have visions for other ministries and partnerships that will tie into Beacon of Light. However, the first priority was completing the house, said White.

SIDEBAR An open house will be held at the Beacon of Light's "House of Light," 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday. Visitors may tour the house and learn more about the ministry.

The house has a new kitchen, bathroom, plumbing, electrical and it has been repainted. Clarke Electric donated electrical material. Highway Lumber donated paint. Robinson’s donated sandpaper and other supplies. Volunteer labor included Alan Crawford, John Heilmen, Charlie Munday and Southwestern Community College carpentry class and others.

"Thanks to the the many others who donated labor, materials and funding," said White.

Board members are White, Michele Davis (vice president); Tawny Waske (secretary); Carrie White (treasurer); Elizabeth Simpson; Pat Courtney and Mary Matranga.

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