Friday, July 6, 2012

Moving Mountains

It’s not the traditional lifestyle, family, or home. But it doesn’t need to be. It’s where you’ll find a mother and her child(ren) day in and day out. Sheffield Place is designed to build this relationship and help the mother in the journey to rise from homelessness to self-sufficiency.

During Spring Break 2012, I went on a mission trip with St. Isidore’s Catholic Church, my home church while I’m at school at K-State. We went to St. Louis and had the opportunity to serve more than four different places and use our strengths in different areas that were needed at the time. I knew help wasn’t needed in St. Louis alone, so I looked into how I could help in Kansas City and almost immediately got set up with Sheffield Place.

After a series of e-mails, I walked in on the first day and had no expectations except helping to make a positive difference in the lives of the mothers and their children every moment I could. That first day I saw shame, fear, guilt, anger, abandonment, contempt, and self-centeredness, and I knew this was where I needed to be.

From meeting the child therapists Stephanie, and Mickie, and child care workers Janise, and Patty, I could tell that their hearts were so eager to feed love to the children at Project Hope day in and day out! They help mothers learn to make sounds decisions and have better judgment per each situation. It’s been incredible, and a life-changing experience at that, to see teachers and volunteers put in valuable time to instill values in the mothers that can be transformed to the children. In the short time of two months that I’ve been volunteering, I can see progress being made everyday. And this is just one of the reasons I keep coming back.

Sheffield Place is not just a brick building where fourteen mothers and their children live. Sheffield Place allows mothers and children to find hope in their home. They change the direction and perspective of their lives. It hasn’t been easy and it’s not about the past. I’ve learned it’s about moving forward, day by day, and it teaches children to find refuge in the comfort of their own family. Sheffield Place is positivity, humility, love, growth, progress, happiness, and most of all… hope. This is Project Hope.

This journey I was expecting to help others on, inadvertently became a journey for me.  In the end, I was the one who was moved and blessed beyond belief. There are quite a few lessons I have learned from spending my time in here three times a week -- From how to discipline children to seeing different perspectives in the right light.  But the greatest of these is this: Mountains can move.

By: Abby Guenther