This spring will mark 37 years since the first young woman came to live with our family! I remember it well. Amber was just as scared as I was, and full of apprehension about entering into a strange family. My second born, Chrissy, was only a few months old at the time. We did the best we could to shine the light of Jesus to her. Since that time, over 500 women have come through our doors. With each encounter, I grew a little more dependent on the Lord, and less concerned about my own lack and inabilities.
   Eventually, we became a refuge for pregnant teens, many of whom had experienced abuse or neglect.
   For the more fortunate residents, they dealt with less complicated issues. Their families simply struggled to cope with difficult family issues like teen parenting and rebellion. The years have brought many tough learning lessons and many joys and delights that we would never trade for anything. Our children weathered many storms, as we navigated the tumultuous waters of parenting those who had experienced various kinds of abuses in their family of origin. We appreciate them more than they know. I never felt skillful, just willing. We were willing to be a vessel in the Lord’s mighty and capable hands as we grew up together with these women! The individuals that came alongside of us in the journey were amazing and generous servants, some of whom brought their professional skills as a gift to the women of Jesus Cares Maternity Program.
   Transforming our 3 bedroom home into a 9 bed facility was no easy task, but one that stands out as a miraculous and divine intervention of the Master planner. The Lord clearly has a sense of humor as the birth of the ministry began in a small, modest home in a family friendly neighborhood with parks and schools nearby. We had three young women with three babies besides our own two very young children, and to put it mildly, we felt like sardines in a can! Our neighbor thought Tom was involved in polygamy and was keeping a “watch” on that guy who has pregnant women in and out of the home and, by the way, how many sister wives are in this household? One evening, as Tom was working on the family car, she moseyed over to the house and struck up a conversation. To make a long story short, she heard the gospel that evening and rushed home to tell her husband. They both became believers and they quickly entered into our world. We told them of the dilemma. We were living in tight quarters, our privacy was surely being invaded, but these women felt the security of our home and did not want to go anywhere else! The husband was changing his career from banking to general contracting. Our hearts to reach these women seemed to exceed the space we had to adequately house them. This neighbor sprung to action and took the floor plan for his own home to an architect. His floor plan was exactly like ours and it wasn’t long before we could finally see a way to house women comfortably under our roof. We added on over 1,100 sq. ft. which included 4 bedrooms, 2 more bathrooms, a laundry room and a dining room with a large table. It was nothing short of a miracle as this newly born again couple made possible what we could only imagine. We will never forget this glorious time in the ministry. We will never forget the many who made it possible.
No Pain, No Gain!
   Birthing and sustaining a ministry of this sort was no easy task! Danger was sometimes present, yet we never felt unprotected. In our eyes, it was worth the pain to get to the gain: lives restored and renewed, wounds healed, and eternal souls for His Kingdom. The following article speaks of an ongoing harvest of changed lives…
Tonya’s room…
   We will never forget the first young woman who settled into the new addition. Tonya came to us at 15 years old. Richard, her son, was the first baby boy born into the ministry! She was quite happy to have her own room and decided to paint on the closet wall: a cross and praise to God! Tonya received the Lord as her personal Savior but was so challenged in her walk for years to come. She still clings to her faith and has kept in touch with us over the years. Recently, her adult daughter, Baylee, surrendered her life to Jesus.
Baylee getting baptized 
   There are so many joys, a few tragedies, and many answered prayers to look back on as we juggled life with a houseful of pregnant teens. This chapter of the ministry is closed but the memories will linger forever.
Launching Others Into the Field
   There is a great harvest out there and many of you know that the laborers are few! Our focus in the past few years has consistently centered around providing training materials and training venues for those ready to launch into the fields that the Lord described as…”ripe for harvest.” (John 4:35) This passage has never been so alive to us as it is right now. We received the following report from Isabella, the young woman from Elpis. In less than a month’s time, doors have been flinging open.
"Some of Isabella's harvest" 
   “Wow!  The plans unfolding before me as I take one step at a time, continue to astound me! I see not only was God preparing me, He was preparing the road I would walk on. Upon arriving in Romania God has opened doors to come along side and help lead a group for teen girls with the mission to let them know their true value in Jesus. I will be starting a new program in which I will be working in a village with teen girls heavily exposed to violence, prostitution and trafficking.  People here are hungry - in my small group an elderly man asked if I'd share the truths of the gospel and basic Christianity - they want to know more. Mostly I see one person at a time, seeking, reaching out, longing, looking, receiving His love.  One smile at a time.  One hug at a time.  One prayer at a time.  One heart being healed at a time...right in front of me”. 
Joy in the Morning!
Joy has found her delight in the Lord 
   This delightful woman is an example of how the Lord encourages our hearts. Many times we have wept over hearts that have wandered far from the Savior. We have weekly and sometimes daily prayer times specifically targeted to draw the prodigals back to the Father. When Joy dropped off her daughters to volunteer at Jesus Cares during summer breaks several years back, I sensed this was going to be a bit of an adventure. As time went on and summers swept past us, we came to realize that Joy was a prodigal! She had never fully developed in her walk but the Lord quickened her and she began to come alive again. We invited her to a women’s retreat and she began to take steps back to obedience to the Savior. She attends a fellowship right down the road from the ministry and she has matured so much in her walk with the Savior. Her journey of dormant seeds made alive encourages us to keep praying for the prodigals of Jesus Cares. You never know when those dormant seeds will sprout!
A special thank you from Joy…
   “Since my participation in the Jesus Cares Ministries retreat over 6 years ago, my life has changed. I pray, I trust in God and His plan. I speak praise and confirmation to my children. I have learned to tithe, study His Word, do service work and I can’t even list all the monetary blessings I have received. But most of all - I get it! 
   I GET THAT JESUS LOVES ME AND THAT HE DIED FOR ME. That he loves us all.  Everything has always worked just as he had planned and nothing he set up for me is a mistake. His plans are better than mine.  It was the love of Jesus Cares that showed me this. 
I thank you and my family thanks you.”
Grief and Loss
   A group of us dived into a series that will equip us to better walk alongside of the grieving. Weekly and sometimes daily we encounter needs in the community. Many of these needs revolve around great losses. We are grateful to have resources as well as individuals who are willing to serve those coming for counseling and discipleship. We are able to purchase these training materials/certifications through the generosity of faithful supporters. Contact us if you are interested in gaining insight into the grief process and/or you would like us to present our grief conference: Beauty For Ashes to your church or organization. Doreen @ 480 831 1737.
Children: Our Heritage
Tom teaching "Theology of the Family" 
   This February, we were blessed to conduct our parenting series at Beth Emanuel Messianic Congregation. Two participants, James and Jonny, did a fantastic job recording the sessions. James volunteered his professional services to put together a new and improved series. It is now available to all on our website along with a newly revised handbook. We are grateful for those who made the conference a success by helping with various tasks. Thanks to Chris and Carmen from Fortified Marriages Ministry for joining us with their resources. Please contact us if you would like us to teach this parenting conference in your church. We can also help to train facilitators to use the materials provided.
for the full seminar Contact: Doreen @ 480 831 1737.

Sown in Tears, Reaped With Joy



   Our hearts are overjoyed as we see the years of ministry produce a harvest. The difficult times in ministry prepared us for many of the personal challenges we have faced and enriched our lives beyond description. We continue to seek avenues to support other like-minded missions, especially fledgling ministries that have a heart for the truly broken and the “… least of these.” Tools and training opportunities were few and far between in those early years of the mission. So few were doing what we were doing, so it necessitated developing our own training manual and training tools. This has fueled our passion to sow into others. We are grateful to the supporters that have made these training opportunities and materials a possibility!
   Are you experiencing growing pains? Do not avoid it, friends! Go for the gold and press in for the prize. You will never regret the time you spend sowing into His Kingdom. Sowing equals growing and we are so glad for every season and the harvest it brings. I close with words that adequately describe our heart in a way that we cannot express better:
   “Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have laid hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize of God’s heavenly calling in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14