Jesus has called each of us to a mission. What mission has He called you to? Are you open to hearing what it is?
Meadows of Hope
Have you ever known a girl who needed more to succeed than her family, community or church could offer her? Meadows of Hope in Holtwood, PA began as an outreach of Camp Andrews to provide a much longer place than a summer camp for struggling girls to heal and change. Our goal is to disciple each teen girl at MOH into a healthy relationship with God and others and into responsible life choices so she can be successful at home.
Because of the need, we are planning (as God leads) for future expansion in the surrounding acres to serve more families and girls who are willing to commit and change. Right now, there is one residential home for up to 10 teenage girls who stay for 1-2 years, living as a revolving group with 2-3 single female mentors.
Activities throughout the day and year include:
· Wake-up routine and personal quiet time.
· Regular mealtimes around the table.
· Feeding the horses and mucking out stalls.
· School. Counseling sessions one-on-one.
· Creative Expression and Culinary classes. Equine therapy sessions.
· Siesta. Circle-ups as a group to solve problems.
· Cleaning. Lawn-mowing and flowerbeds.
· Working on personally-created goals.
· Extended wilderness backpacking and canoe trips.
· Group-planned fun evening activities.
· Journaling to which the mentors write a response.
· Reflecting on our day as a group.
Living in a group at Meadows of Hope leaves very few hidden emotions, choices or weaknesses. The girls’ strengths and insight help each other as they process anger, anxiety, self-harm, lack of motivation and focus, disrespect, physical/emotional/sexual abuse, manipulation, lying, difficult family dynamics, and adoption issues and choose a better way to live. The mentors and other staff provide an incredible amount of structure, nurture, wisdom and love, but there’s something unusually powerful and healing about girls’ mirroring each other and speaking truth into their group.
I am involved at MOH mainly in the office, but I also interact with the group as a backup mentor, supervisor or teacher. Relating directly with the teen girls gives more meaning to my back-stage duties, and so often, I can identify with a girl’s goal or struggle. It has been true in most, if not all, mission work where I have been involved, that the toughest terrain to claim for God’s kingdom is the hard, unredeemed ground still inside me. I’m so thankful Jesus’ living water is available to heal both the dedicated staff and the brave girls here!
Grace Thompson has served at several different missions and has a heart for people and children from hard places! She is and continues to be a blessing to many. Thank you Grace for your willingness to share with us today!