It was a Monday afternoon in early December 2012… I distinctly remember the afternoon because I was expecting many friends that week to drop off gifts for the children and other items, like a new gas grill, for Calvary Home. I answered the door and greeted my guests with a hearty, “Merry Christmas!” But things weren’t so merry for these folks.
Mark, Susan, Keri, and Keisha stepped through our doors in search of help and hope. Mark, Keri and Keisha’s father, began to tell his heartbreaking story. He had lost his job, lost housing, received temporary housing at a local hotel which had expired, was broke, and they were planning to spend that very night in the car – again! Although Mark had a temporary job, he had not worked long enough to have the funds for another night in any hotel.
Mark wanted something better for his girls than having them spend the night in their car. So, with tears in his eyes and a quivering lip, Mark humbly asked if Calvary Home could receive his precious girls while he and Susan got back on their feet. I shared with them what we do and how we do what we do at Calvary Home. And as our conversation continued, I realized there was something different about Mark and Susan. They were loving towards each other and the girls. They came willing to repay any debt the girls would have while at Calvary Home. They had not come to Calvary Home asking for a handout; they just wanted help and a glimmer of hope. So, we continued to talk.
Two hours later, I felt the Lord urging us to do more than just receive the girls. Calvary Home had to be part of God’s plan to help rescue this entire family. That afternoon, while the family played outside, I began to pray and call a few board members. By the end of the day, a strategy began to form.
Within a week of coming to Calvary Home, Mark and Susan recommitted their lives to God and were ready to “officially” commit to each other and their family in marriage. With the help of friends of the ministry, Mark and Susan were married the following Saturday! Susan had the beautiful church wedding she had always wanted, complete with a professional wedding cake and delicious reception afterwards. The groom was handsome, the bride was beautiful, and the girls were as cute as could be!
As happy as they were, things seemed dim again. That night, Mark’s car was reposed. They felt the cycle of poverty trying to bring them down further. But thankfully, we were able to help! On Monday morning, we sent out an email to the Calvary Home family, and by Wednesday, we had a car donated and picked up. For every challenge they faced, there was an answer!
I’m amazed at the Lord’s work in this family and by the ways Calvary Home has been able to help. With each corner we’ve turned with them, they have responded with joy and eagerness to learn and grow in grace. Mark said it best, “My life really began to change for the best when I came to Calvary…”
For the past eleven years Calvary Home has served over two hundred families. Mostly, we have been providing a stable and loving home for children, and we are committed to continuing to offer this much needed service to our community. But we are excited to see the Lord use us in more stories like this family’s! As we expand our ministry to the entire family, we look forward to strategically partnering with other service charities in the Upstate and continuing to utilize what God has blessed us with. We know Calvary Home will not look the same as it did years ago, but our passion and mission remains on course — help, hope, home. Come grow with us!