The excitement and joy of Joseph’s House cannot be contained within our home. We often have experiences where our moms travel to outside destinations to share dinner and stories with others. These excursions are always fun and educational. This happened this past Friday when all our moms and little ones including some Exodus moms traveled to Lemoyne College to share a night with Father Dolan and his students. Yesterday they travelled to the MOST for a day of learning and adventure.
This past week however, the joys and difficulties of Joseph’s House were made evident in our Exodus program. Exodus is our continuing program for moms and little ones who have graduated from the house but still need the support of “family” because they have no support from fathers or relatives to help them with problems that might occur unexpectedly. This support has become such an integral part of Joseph’s House and our Exodus moms’ continued success, we have an Assistant Director for Exodus in charge of assisting them as needed while planning special events and on-going life skills in areas such as budgeting, driving instruction and educational opportunities.
Sue has been running Exodus for nearly a year and has had some great success stories. Below are a couple of the stories she shared with us this week.
“This was a busy week in Exodus. There have been peaks and valleys all week. It has been joyful, exhausting and everything in-between. Shifting gears between celebrating and holding back tears has been a constant. Celebrations first.
Jess has been a shining star this week. She is officially full time at the hospital. With her own hard work and the financial help of JH she received her drivers’ license this week. She also received her tax refund and we sat down to budget paying off all her debt and prepaying some upcoming bills. She has agreed to set aside an emergency fund! I am over the moon. I preach emergency funds all day long to our mom's. (finally, someone listened!) Now that Jess was able to pay off student loan debt, she will go back to OCC in the fall. She was planning to go into nursing but is feeling pulled towards human services where she can help young people in a way that she has experienced.
After attending life skills on Tuesday, Cassie delivered a healthy baby girl early Wednesday morning. Thankfully and with lots of prayer she didn't experience any of the complications the doctor was concerned about.”
There are also stories of some of the ups and downs we all experience at times, made easier for moms to handle because sometimes Exodus support is simply a soft shoulder and reassuring voice.
“Kelly was in a car accident and totaled her car. Thankfully no one was hurt but it has definitely caused some stress. Here is a mom never asking for anything, who consistently keeps in touch and attends many Exodus events.”
You should also know this Exodus mom is doing well in her new management position at work and her little one is thriving.
And then there are stories breaking our hearts and highlighting the difficulties moms experience, especially those who have had problems with addiction.
“Stacy had a difficult week. After being sanctioned last Friday she spent a week in custody and appeared in court on Tuesday and we were there to support her. Today we received good news, she will be released from jail into a treatment facility. Another answer to prayer. Hoping and praying this needed treatment will be a healing and restorative experience for her. We are also in contact with the father of her child and assisting him with some needed items.”
The above examples give you a glimpse into some of the joys and difficulties our moms as well as our staff deal with weekly. These young women and their children have endeared themselves to us and it is very difficult not to be touched emotionally in their victories and in their tragedies because they are loved. This love is a love most of them are unfamiliar with and is a love we as staff has found through walking daily with Jesus Christ. Our Lord has taught all of us it is our duty to forgive the mistakes made by these young people 70 X 7 always being sure in our forgiveness, we do not enable. These are tough boundaries to straddle however we are learning through experience and through the attitudes displayed by moms in need, the ways in which to best negotiate them. Joseph’s House is an ever-evolving mission where we will always go to the depths of our being to forgive and assist those moms and little ones, we consider family. That is what we are called to do as Christians, as Catholics and as people steeped in the truth of Jesus Christ.
Be sure to check out our upcoming events. Our 5th Anniversary is fast approaching next month and we’re celebrating with Mass and Breakfast. Our Golf Tournament is coming up around the corner on June 10 as well and registration is now open. We would love to have you join us!
God Bless you my friends.
Love & Prayers,