As the amazing women of H.O.P.E. Project move onto the next phase in their journey we ask that they take a moment to reflect on their past lives, how they have been redeemed, and put that story into writing. In sharing the story of their healing, overcoming, persevering, and empowerment these women can spread love to other women in the world that are in need. The obstacles that they have faced throughout their lives can shine as a beacon of understanding and hope to others who need the same love and guidance. We hope that these testimonials help to shed more light on what we are accomplishing through the love and grace of God through Jesus Christ.
Two years ago I walked into Pathways Inpatient, a substance abuse treatment facility, for 21 days. I was so broken and confused due to all of the drugs that I was taking. While in Pathways I was told about H.O.P.E. Project, that it was a women's christian transitional house, and that I had been accepted into their program. I stayed at H.O.P.E Project for a year and 8 months and during that time I stayed clean and sober and developed a relationship with Jesus Christ. Because of H.O.P.E. Project I am a stronger woman in Christ today and as an alumni I am truly grateful that I had the opportunity to be part of the program that H.O.P.E Project offers.
-Graduated H.O.P.E. Project in March of 2018 and now serves as an Alumni-
I have battled my addiction for the past 15 years. In November 2018 I got arrested and sat in county jail for 122 days. During that time I had a lot of time to think and evaluate my life. As mad as I was in the beginning, it has truly saved my life. Then in February 2019, I applied to live at H.O.P.E. Project. By the grace of God, I was approved and released to there. Since moving in the H.O.P.E. Project I have been saved and baptized. I'm getting another chance to have a relationship with my boys, learning to love myself and have amazing support. I'm also learning that with God on my side and through prayer, ANYTHING and EVERYTHING is possible. I can't wait to see what God has planned for my future.
What brought me to my knees asking God to help me was finding myself back in county jail less than 48 hours from being released from a 2 ½ year prison stay. I remember being in the dirty county jail shower, putting my forehead against the wall, my hands in the air and telling God “I can’t do this anymore; please help me!” I stood there and cried, cried…silently I cried, begging God to help me.
I ended up spending 5 weeks in that county jail. During that time a couple of girls told me about the H.O.P.E. Project; I filled out the application and after a couple of weeks I was accepted. Since I’ve been here, I’ve mended so many broken parts of myself. I’ve forgiven people I’ve hurt, I’ve learned to be still—to listen to God and learn my personal relationship with him. He has shown Himself real in countless ways; not only to me, but the women around me also.
I now walk with my chin up and my shoulders back. I walk with God on my side and that gives me unbreakable confidence!!
H.O.P.E. Project has brought some very amazing, loving women into my life. Women I will never forget. Before I came here I didn’t have women friends; I didn’t trust them. The ladies here, they know the lowest parts of me, of my past and my pain. They never judge me, but love me, build me up and genuinely care about my healing.
Being a part of this home has led me to believe I will open my own home like this in the near future. This life-changing opportunity will forever be etched in my heart—it’s the turning point in my testimony.
My name is Kirsten, I got the opportunity to change my life around by coming to the HOPE project. This time last year I was so broken and lost. While I was incarcerated I accepted Jesus into my heart and was hungry to know more about him! Since I have been at the HOPE project I have experienced nothing but genuine love! I have never felt so much joy and received so much compassion from those that God has brought into my life! I am so grateful for this blessing I have received!
My mind is racing with all kinds of good things…sometimes it’s hard for me to articulate just what I feel needs to be said…so here goes. My whole life I’ve always known I was somehow different than some people. A lil deeper, more sensitive, insanely aware of myself and others…I love LOVE and I am fascinated with humanity. And I’ve always needed a way to express that. I have searched my whole life for meaning and purpose through drugs, music, poetry and other people…and I just never ever could fill whatever it was inside of me that needed that depth. I was “attracted” to spirituality and Christianity, but before I knew God, I thought that if chose to follow Christ probably, that somehow, I would have to let go of those things that make me me. Things I love about myself. But let me tell you that’s not true at all. I have found that all those parts of me serve a purpose. God’s purpose. I just had to find balance. I had to find my worth in Christ. Not in some guy, not in someone that compliments me, not in anything that the world has to offer…so for any of you that feel that way and feel misunderstood and feel like you are searching for something that seems elusive, just know that the most soul satisfying thing I’ve ever experienced is my relationship with Christ. It’s the real deal. And I am not ashamed or embarrassed to admit that anymore. I just hope that even one person reading this will give it a second thought. I am and always will be a lover of anything that moves me on an insanely deep level. Thank you God for giving me this revelation. Much love.
After losing my home, several hospital stays, detox and rehab (all from drinking a 30 pack of beer a day, every day), I came to realize I was literally dying inside and out. I knew then I needed long-term treatment. On February 23, 2018, a Chaplin called and gave me Amanda’s number for H.O.P.E. Project. I immediately called her and she had a bed ready for me the next day. On February 24, 2018 my amazing journey began.
When I got there I was welcomed and felt so much peace and love. I had been so mad at God before then. I lost my 9 month old grandson in December 2011 and my son was in a car accident in December 2012 which left him a quadripilegic. However, through God’s love and H.O.P.E. Project, my faith was strengthening. In March 2018 I found out I had breast cancer; I had a double-mastectomy and returned to my mom’s to start chemotherapy which I finished in November 2018. I had gained enough faith before then to get me through.
On December 2, 2019 I came back to H.O.P.E. Project as House Manager to give back what was so generously given to me. God, Amanda and H.O.P.E. Project and the amazing and supporting family saved my life. Today my faith has been restored 110%. My family and I will forever be grateful to Amanda and H.O.P.E. Project.
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:44
After struggling and being lost for 15 years in addiction and self destruction, I checked myself in to Pathways rehab. I came to Clinton with a half-full backpack on my back. I was so lost and mad, sitting in treatment and ready to get out so I can go back home to where I came from. That wasn’t God’s plan, though. In order to draw me to Him, I had to obey. There was an opening at H.O.P.E. Project when I was in treatment. This meant leaving my old life behind and moving to a town where I didn’t know anybody. I took a huge leap of faith and said yes to my Father and moved into my new home provided by the Director, Amanda Whalan. While living in the house, I began college, got baptized, bought a car, made friends, learned to manage my money and renewed my life in Christ. It has been 29 months since I started my journey at H.O.P.E. Project. I am still in college making my way to a Bachelors degree in criminal justice, I teach AWANA to my 4th grade class at church, I’m getting married in 4 months and I have amazing children that have structure and more love than they could ever ask for. I am proud today to say I truly love myself and am excited to see where God takes me next!!
“Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.” James 4:8
I was abused, brain-damaged, suicidal and depressed. I had been in and out of numerous institutions, jails and prison with no end seemingly in sight. I was jobless and homeless, having lost all my worldly possessions, and was facing imminent loss of all parental rights to my youngest child. It is no stretch to say I had even lost hope.
But then, God; but then, H.O.P.E. Project. Because God put it on her heart, the Director of H.O.P.E. Project took a chance on me—believing in me and accepting me when no one but God would. I have been at H.O.P.E. Project for a year and 8 months now; it is here, with faith in God, I’ve had the chance to begin again. I am employed and have been emotionally healed, building strength through God’s word and in a close relationship with Him. Since being here, I no longer face losing my parental rights and, contrarily, have been closely reconnected with my daughter. I am no longer suffering from the traumas of my past nor addictive behaviors, but thanks to H.O.P.E. Project, I am a STRONG woman of God.
Being at H.O.P.E. Project has helped me change my life diet: I am now filled with something this world can’t take away—it’s God’s unending mercy, joy through Him and His love.
At the age of 18 is when I started my road to pure hell. During this time, I have seen someone shot, stabbed, I was raped and a victim of domestic assault. I have been to prison and lost so much time with my baby girls and my relationship with my brother and mom. August 14, 2018 is the day I declared to turn my life around. After going into treatment, I arrived at H.O.P.E. Project on September 20, 2018. I thank God every day for this place. H.O.P.E. Project has truly saved my life. On October 7, 2018, I rededicated my life to Jesus Christ; I now teach at children’s church at Save Our World ministries and am working toward prison and jail ministry. I have true joy and peace in my heart today. I am forever grateful for the love that the Lord Jesus Christ and Amanda have given to me today.
Before I came to the HOPE Project my life was ugly. I was a drug addict that lived in a very isolated dark world. I was suicidal, I had no direction and no hope. Now my life is beautiful. I have found God. I know with him anything is possible. I have been reunited with my family. I have faith and hope. Amanda Whalan excepted me in the HOPE Project, knowing nothing about me. She took the time to get to know me and didn’t give up on me. That was a true blessing. The girls showed me how to love and be loved. I am a child of God.
Generally speaking, and if you can help it, you don't cry in jail. But the tears that flowed and fell on that night came easily, steady. They were painful in nature, the kind that stem from heartbreak and total defeat. It brought me to my knees and I put my face on the cold cement floor of holding cell 3 and sobbed, silently, praying for a way out to a God that wouldn't talk back. In that moment I began to believe the hype and fed into the ideas about me that had been spoken over my life countless times before. I really was a lost cause. There was no hope for me. So I thought. But as I would soon learn, it is when we are down to nothing that God is up to something.
The jailer served breakfast at 5am. My God served me hope, in the form of a piece of paper, at 5:30. At the top of the page, and in big bold black letters read: Application for Hope PROJECT. As I enter the house, almost immediately my nerves begin to subside and give way to an overwhelming feeling of comfort and belonging. This House of God is overflowing with love, acceptance, and understanding and you can literally feel it in the air. One by one, I am quickly introduced to the 10 other women that I will soon consider family. A sisterhood of God fearing women who will love me enough for the both of us until I can again learn to love myself. I see God moving, working, restoring lives all around me. It is intense and powerful to witness and brings me to tears on more occasions than I can count. I finally grasp the concept that "surrender" is all inclusive, and when I do so, it is only a matter of time before He begins working miracles in my own life as well. I realize that I am imperfect, but I am also forgiven. And so I start exactly where I'm at, and moving forward, I do my best to walk in a way that is pleasing to Him. I ask that he continue to lead, guide, direct and protect me as I continue to seek Him and His will for my life. But I do not worry, I know that I know my needs will be met; for I AM A CHILD OF GOD.
Two years ago, I was at the tail end of a ten-year path of self-destruction. Separated from my third husband, my own family was torn apart by my own poor choices, complacency, depression. I was the poster child for “passive suicidality.” I could not have cared less if I lived or died. I was in the grips of an addiction to amphetamines that had me imprisoned for nearly forty years. My children resented me. My mom was gone years before and my dad was in a care-facility for his dementia. My home was gone, no money, no job, no resources, and my health was fading, because I could not be bothered to seek medical care for issues that require daily medications to control. I genuinely believed in my heart that I had failed at life and it was time to throw in the towel, and I was fine with that.
On August 4, 2018, I walked into the doors of the HOPE Project. I carried a laundry basket and a tote bag; everything I had in this world. That day was a springboard. I began learning and embracing humbleness, obedience, and submission. God began speaking to me a about who I am, more importantly whose I am. He began to reveal to me how loved I am, how incredibly special I am to Him. Today He calls me daughter, and I delight in His presence. My family is being restored. I am healthy. I am employed. I own my own vehicle again. I get to share this miracle and much more with the women I have encountered at HOPE Project and call them family, and I get to serve a God of restoration.
My journey with HOPE Project starts with a failure story. I lost everyone I loved. I was abused, suicidal, and facing a life threatening twin pregnancy. I was accepted into their program and it completely changed my life. HOPE Project gave me the space to seek Jesus Christ and the emotional support to keep going, saving both my life and the precious babies I was pregnant with. It has been a year and a half since I graduated. HOPE Project is still a huge part of my life. I am so thankful for the life I live now. And the privilege to be a part of such an amazing ministry!!!