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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

New Beginnings Explanation

So - I think that often my friends, family, and loving blog readers don't quite understand what New Beginnings is all about, what we do here & how we are run. Soooooo..... let me enlighten you.

Nick and I function as house parents at a maternity home, meaning that we can have up to six pregnant women living with us at all times. These girls range in age from twelve (which we haven't had, but are sure is very sad) to twenty-three. When I turn 25, we will be able to have 24 year olds, but for now - we keep them all under my age so there isn't confusion about authority. YWAM started the ministry, not us, and it has been running for 26 years. The directors of our ministry are also the founders and are also our next-door neighbors. They've been the houseparents for the bulk of the time New Beginnings has been established, so they always have tons of wisdom for us.

Our house is split up into three sections. The downstairs is all shared. We have a large kitchen, living room, TV room (lovingly referred to as the dungeon), two porches, and an office. There are also three bedrooms for girls to live in and two bathrooms for them to share. The upstairs is set up into two different sections that are detached - our house & Lauren's house. Our house has bedrooms, bathrooms, & an office/guest room for Nick to study in or for us to house guests. Lauren's suite is over near the girl's rooms and it has two bedrooms and like 16 closets, but no bathroom. Kind of silly:)

Our job as houseparents is to set the tone of the house and to help guide the girls through their pregnancy. Make sure they have medical care, counseling, a schedule, plan meals, oversee dating, and help them in ways a mother or father would. Lauren functions as the house assistant - taking the girls places such as appointments or fun activities and helping out with our family when we need to focus on ministry.

We stay totally neutral about what the girls do with their children as far as placing for adoption or parenting and for the most part we just try to provide a place of peace for them while they grow their babes and plan their next step. We get all types of women - homeless, teenagers who've been kicked out of their homes, and often times missionaries who have made a mistake and need a safe place to decide what to do next.

We also live off of support. We get a lot donated and certain things covered by the ministry, but every penny we spend ourselves is raised by us. Our monthly budget is $2,000/month and we currently receive around $1,300/month. Lauren's monthly budget is $1,000/month and she currently receives $200/month. It costs about $20/day for us to provide a place to stay, food, & utilities for the girls and the actually ministry isn't at half of what it needs to operate on a consistent budget. If you'd be interested in partnering with us in ministry by providing financial support, please email me and I'd love to give you more information: jessiconnolly@gmail.com

If you're in the area & are interested in volunteering/participating - there are also SEVERAL other areas we could use help. The girls love people teaching them certain skills or crafts (knitting, sewing, budgeting, manners). We can always use old maternity clothes, baby clothing, or baby equipment for the girls that choose to parent their babies. The girls could also use outside mentors or friends that would be a positive, Christ-like influence in their lives since sometimes they end up not wanting to always get guidance from us, or talk to us 100% of the time - which makes total sense.

Most of all, we'd really appreciate your prayers. Most of the girls that live with us have lives that are filled with turmoil or conflict and they are usually trying to break that cycle for their unborn children. Most of them face a lot of tough decisions concerning what to do next, who should raise their children, and where they should live after leaving New Beginnings. Lastly, our main priority is that all of them come to have a lasting relationship with Christ, and prayers of the saints never hurts that cause.

We love our job and we feel really blessed to be here during this season of our life.

7 comments:

Demi Eliese said...

Seriously-thank you for writing this, I was thinking just the other day to ask you what exactly you did over there...I kept hearing "house full of preggos" in all your blog postings and I was so confused! haha. well I would love to help in any way I could, send me and address and I can send whatever I (we) are able to..clothes, baby toys, money, etc. I never knew something as such existed and boy am I glad it does! What a great thing. You guys are amazing.

Amanda said...

this is such a great ministry. we will definetly keep these things on our prayer list and be praying for you guys and the girls. You guys are awesome.

kellycowan said...

you guys do an AMAZING job at new beginnings and it just fits right. i'm proud of you guys for being christ to these girls and serving them well. (plus i secretly mainly just love having y'all here)

Hi, I'm Amy! said...

I have wondered what it's all about & it's nice to get a rundown :) I do have baby boy clothes and toys that I can send you way. So, when the need arises for boy things, please let me know. I would love to send them your way.

gloryrevealed said...

You'll have a big bag of maternity and baby clothes from the Brinton's early next year. I can't wait to be done with some of these things!

Pinkie Winkie said...

I'm glad you blogged this. I'm really excited to learn more about this amazing ministry.

ktabs said...

Hey Jessi!

Even though I knew about what you were doing out there, it's still good to be reminded. I wasn't sure what Lauren's role was exactly, and I'll make sure to be praying for her as well as you and Nick. You have been blessed and I'm pretty jealous you've got such a great gig :) at this time in life. I have several great friends in ministry raising their monthly salary, and i know it's SUPER tough. When I make my millions I'll be sure to send some your way! In the mean time, I'll be praying for each girl that's already been chosen to come to your house and for you and Nick to be able to breathe God into them. You are already SO full of wisdom and have such a passion for growing closer to Him each day. I gain insight each time I read your blogs.