April 2017 Newsletter – Exodus Ministries

Eli Hammonds General

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The purpose of the Exodus Women’s Council is to raise awareness in our community of what God is doing through Exodus Ministries and to encourage Christian women to come alongside the women and children of Exodus and support them through prayer, by volunteering and with financial resources.

Becoming a member of the Exodus Women’s Council begins with financial support, but it doesn’t have to end there.  You will be reminded through newsletters of special events such as our newly renovated children’s center dedication and fall fundraiser, as well as opportunities to give and volunteer at Exodus.  There are no meetings required.  Become a member at the level you feel led and jump in with us as you are able.

Our launch of the Women’s Council in 2016 was a humbling effort and a gratifying success!  We hope you will join us this year to support the women and children of Exodus.  Learn more at www.exodusministries.org/womenscouncil

 

Clay Shoot 2017

 

Please join us for this year’s 10th Annual Classic BMW of Plano Sporting Clay Shoot Challenge, at Elm Fork Shooting Sports, 10751 Luna Rd in Dallas. All proceeds from the event will go directly to benefit the children and families served by Exodus, in Dallas and throughout Texas. Elm Fork has developed into one of North Texas’ most challenging shooting venues. Featuring two sporting clays courses located in a naturally wooded area, creating many unique and challenging targets that you and your team will be sure to enjoy. The tournament consists of teams of four shooters, shooting clays on one of two courses that are designed to simulate hunting various game birds to test all skill levels.

Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. with coffee and a breakfast snack. The “shotgun” start is at 9 a.m., followed by lunch, a raffle and an auction of some incredible prizes! Plus there’s the chance to win great prizes at several of the stations!

terri

 

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Terri grew up in a home with parents who struggled with mental illness, alcoholism, and drug addiction. Her dad had a lot of anger inside of him, and her mom was an enabler and codependent. Life was difficult and unstable from day one.

Terri grew up in a very poor household, her mother succumbed to writing hot checks in order to put food in their bellies, and her dad was very abusive – physically, verbally, and mentally. There was nothing keeping Terri in school, so she dropped out shortly after the 7th grade. Around this time, her father goes to prison on drug charges, and her mom finally gets caught writing bad checks. She is put in jail, leaving Terri and her brother to their grandparents.

At 14, Terri turned to alcohol and the next few years are a blur. At 17, alcohol turned into hard drugs and staying out all night. Even in the midst of chaos and the beginnings of addiction, Terri had a very strong work ethic – she showed up to work on time and did a good job.

At age 20, Terri met a man and moved with him to Louisiana. He was a drug dealer, very abusive, but he kept her stocked with drugs. Terri would do anything for him, she wanted to please him – she even went to prison for him on a drug charge. She was with this man for 11 years before she realized this man was a lot like her abusive father.

Around this time, Terri began feeling the Lord move in her life. She saw glimpses of God’s hand in everything. She was originally given a ten year sentence, but it was shortened to five. That five year sentence was shortened to 2.5 after attending a bootcamp. Terri believes this season of her life was a blessing – she served 2.5 years and was able to get sober during this time.

March 27, 2011, Terri got out of prison and went to a halfway house. From there, she moved back to Texas and stayed with her parents. Everything was okay for awhile, but eventually that relationship became rocky and she ended up on the streets. She began a relationship with another man, and shortly after that, discovered she was pregnant at 40 years old.

Terri always dreamt of being a mother, but never thought it would happen. After all this time, it was bittersweet. She felt like she was sleepwalking through life, with no purpose.  She lived in her car during the first few months of her pregnancy. Terri was caught in the eye of a storm —unable to hold herself together.

She ended up getting caught with another drug charge. She remembers this day like it was yesterday. They brought her in front of the judge and they put her into custody. Terri remembers how kind everyone was to her – they kept telling her, “We’re doing this to help you, not to hurt you. You many not see it now, but you will.” She felt the grace of God poured out on her this day.  They told her that they were going to put her into jail until a bed at Nexus Recovery Center opened up.  She knew she needed a recovery program in order to truly remain sober. Unable to deny His goodness, her relationship with God became more centered on prayer and listening to God.

At 6 months pregnant, she was given a bed at Nexus, and was there for 104 days.

She was hesitant to apply for Exodus, because of the amount of structure and rules she would have to adhere to. The day after she tentatively applied, she was instructed by her Case Worker to pack her bags, because she was going to Exodus!

Terri had never had an apartment to call her own. She’s always lived with her parents, with a man, or in her car. She walked in to a fully furnished apartment, with a 6 day old baby in her arms. There were diapers, a bassinet, food – everything she could possibly need. As she sat down the first evening in her new apartment, she felt safe for the first time in forever. 

A few months after she arrived at Exodus, she was offered a job at a local café. The owner was a strong believer, and wanted to invest in Terri. She started out by being a dish washer.

 A year after she got the job, the owner decided to sell the business, and she offered it to Terri. Terri was unsure, being a single mom, if she could take the risk at that time, so she waited. The new owner offered to keep Terri on as manager of the café, and it was a huge blessing!

 He ran the business for about a year, and again – the current owner offered the business to her. Through prayer, and the counsel of many mentors, Exodus staff and board members, Terri felt ready to take a leap of faith and buy the business.

“It feels weird to say, but now I’m a small business owner.”

 Terri is thriving, and is no longer sleeping through life. She is plugged into a local church, and is a kind and gentle mama to her 2-year old son, Brayden.

“It makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something. At first, I didn’t want to talk about it owning a business, because it didn’t sound right coming from my mouth. But the more I think about it, I have so many people rooting for me and it lets me know that I can actually do this! Where I’m at today, I owe it all to God, Exodus, and Nexus. ” – Terri, Exodus graduate

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Prison Ministry

Two of our staff were invited to speak on a forum at Bridgeport prison. Courtney Starr [Case Manager/Resident Manager] and Eli Hammonds [Children’s Director/Resident Manager] were given the opportunity to encourage these incarcerated women, and share with them about what Exodus does to unite and reconcile families after incarceration. They were able to meet and hold mini-interviews, talk to the women one-on-one, and share about the cause and hope that Jesus brings.

If you are interested in going into the prison with us, please e-mail eli@exodusministries.org and she can give you more information about training and dates

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Children's Center

 

 

We are extremely excited about our new Children’s Center at Exodus Ministries and very grateful to the Trevor Rees-Jones Foundation and the Moody Foundation for making it all possible.  Our new facility will allow us to better serve the children of Exodus more extensively and effectively!

Pop in and celebrate with us.  Take a tour of our facility, meet our residents, graduates and their children and see what God is doing at Exodus Ministries.

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North Texas Giving Day is not until September 14th, but it is such a big day for Exodus Ministries, we wanted to ask you to begin thinking and praying now about how you can participate.  Please save the date and consider how Exodus Ministries might be a part of your planned giving on that date.

 

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Exodus Ministries

Phone (214) 827-3772
Fax (214) 827-0072

Office Hours:
Mon - Fri 9am - 5pm

Volunteer Application

Please call or message us for more information!