ESTHER HOUSE REENTRY, INC. NEWSLETTER (1Q) March 2020
Esther House Update from Judi
Dear Church Family – WOW!
We are living in some different and difficult times. May our Lord continue to protect you and keep you safe. Jesus said in John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” PRAISE THE LORD!!!
I’m sure you’ve already seen the announcement that was posted in a previous blast about the celebration of our FIRST ESTHER WOMAN . . . Angela who completed 12 months in the Esther House Reentry program.
Now, I am happy to share with you that our SECOND ESTHER WOMAN . . . Valerie, has also completed the program. She was elated to be able to return to her Mom’s house and get this extra time with her family.
They will both be missed by all of us at the Esther House and “for a time such as this” (Esther 4:14) they will always be known as Esther Women. It has been wonderful witnessing our Lord transform both of these women. The Lord has blessed us with 40 women who serve Him by volunteering at the Esther House. Angela and Val take a piece of each volunteer, their church family and their recovery families with them. We have been blessed to witness their growth over these past 12 months. We, too, have learned a lot during this time frame and have made appropriate program changes.
We already had been planning Val’s celebration. We will reschedule it when this threat is over and our government withdraws restrictions. Please join us in congratulating both Angela and Valerie. Please keep them in prayer as they begin “the first day of the rest of their lives”.
Angela Graduation Angela & Val Val with Mom
Blessings . . . Judi Courter
ESTHER HOUSE REENTRY, INC. NEWSLETTER (3Q) December 2019
Chill – Have you ever had one of those days when you just wanted to hang out and do nothing all day long? I know I sure have! You see, at the Esther House our clients have been heads down in classes, at AA/NA meetings, performing Community Service and Volunteering, doing chores, attending Bible studies and church services . . . well, you get the idea – they have been B-U-S-Y EVERY SINGE DAY from sun up until way after sundown. So, that’s exactly what I gave them . . . a day off a day where they could hang out in their jammies – veg out on HGTV – call their families all day – have a bubble bath – have a pizza delivered by me and they did exactly whatever they felt like doing with no stress, no homework, no chores, no responsibilities. They really enjoyed their day . . . but . . . I told them not to get too used to it – HA!
Giving Back to the Community – It is always such a blessing when we are able to give back to others. We packed our bags full of goodies, wrote words of encouragement on our labels and gave them to our friend who ministers to the homeless on the streets. Thank you, Lord Jesus for blessing us with the ability to bless others! Community Service is assigned as part of the sentence. Imagine how surprised we were to learn how difficult it would be to find places that would allow us to give our time away for free. Many doors were closed, but as Revelation 3:8 says, “the door God opens – no man can close”. Instead of it feeling like a “punishment”, the Esther Women returned from each session feeling truly blessed. They worked tirelessly in preparation for each event. They prayed for, loved on, served and distributed to those in our community who have less. They received payment through the smiles of the recipients who received their unconditional love. They have thanked God for putting this opportunity in their path.
Education – As you can, see our Esther Women have been EXCELLING in their education by completing the some of the classes AND advancing to the second Phase of the Reentry Program. One of our Esther Women has celebrated 6 months and been given her key tag and coin representing this achievement in both their NA and AA meetings. We also just experienced our first day of school on August 19th. Some of the skills from Phase I are certainly coming in handy such as Time Management and Coping Skills. Plus, we are truly blessed to have the best Volunteers who are very supportive of this newest endeavor. They have transported our student to Eustis for placement testing, enrollment, orientation, and each Monday through Thursday to and from school. We are additionally blessed with Volunteer Math and English tutors – who could ask for more??? We have had a tough couple of months this quarter with a lot of large items coming due – then we needed to replace four tires and a battery on our van AND our septic system had many burps and hiccups to the tune of a thousand dollars and we aren’t done yet! Fundraiser – our friends had a super idea for us and hooked us up with a great company that made T-Shirts. We purchased them, then sold as a fundraiser. For a $20 donation many of you purchased one of these great shirts and helped us at the same time. Thank you! Wahoo luncheon and Bible study Our Sisters in Christ at the Wahoo Baptist Church included us in their Bible study on August 4th AND of course some good eats too! They blessed up by showing up wearing our T-Shirts that they had also purchased. Too late for this news letter BUT they are having a HUGE YARD SALE with the proceeds going towards Esther House on September 28th. There are no words to express the love and support they continue to show us!!!
Who Is in Our Spotlight??? All of our donors – without you our house would not be able to stay open – wounds wouldn’t be healed – lives wouldn’t be transformed. Some of our donors send monthly, some are one-time gifts, some provide us with provisions like coffee, creamer, paper and plastic products, food items, clothing, hygiene products, Walmart gift cards – we even have a donor who works for those in his neighborhood and when they insist on paying him, he asks them instead to write a check to the Esther House. We lift each and every one of you up in our prayers for the blessing you are to us. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Some of our donors over the last quarter have included: Beyond The Wall Food Pantry, Calvary Chapel Villages, Episcopal Church Women, Faith Presbyterian Church, CUMC’s Rebecca Circle, Sacred Fire Ministries, St. Vincent de Paul Food Society, Van Heusen – Brownwood Store, Women Warriors of Wahoo, and countless individuals. And we couldn’t do all we do in support of our Esther Women without our wonderful volunteers who have counseled, wiped away tears, enjoyed the laughter, taught classes, tutored, prayed with, talked with, loved on, and transported them to places such as: AA / NA meetings, attorney / court / probation meetings, medical / dental appointments / college classes.
Thank you to all of you for all you do!!! Proverbs 11:25 tells us “The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help others are helped.” We thank God for you!!!
Oh – in case you are wondering, our rescues (cats), Esther Louise and Ellie Blue, are thriving just like our Esther Women. They turned a year old – love on everyone who comes into the house – and have forgotten they were once abandoned and rejected – all they know now is love You can visit us at https://estherhousereentry.weebly.com/ Donations may be made to Esther House Reentry, Inc., P.O. Box 682, Fruitland Park, FL 34731. Please continue to keep us in your prayers.
Blessings and love . . .