God is definitely on the move at House of Refuge Sunnyslope (HRS)!
Here’s the quarterly message from Julie Supplee, Executive Director on where God is leading HRS…
“And the one seated on the throne said: “Look! I am making all things new!” Then he said to me, “Write it down, because these words are reliable and true.” Revelation 21:15
All things new? Yes indeed! July 1st marked the end of another fiscal year for the ministry and the completion of my first year as Executive Director. The year has been one of change. Being in the midst of change can be invigorating and overwhelming at the same time – especially when the changes involve people and the spaces where people live and work. It’s invigorating, as we think of the hope and impact that change can have for the individuals we serve. Overwhelming, as we juggle many tasks, form new relationships, and learn new skills.
Over the last 18 months our staff has felt God closing a long season of expansion. For 11 years, Paul Williams successfully led this ministry from a small, struggling program to a thriving ministry of three programs serving 60 – 70 men, women and children. God blessed us with a growing budget, an influx of volunteers, and expansions through new properties and new programs. The last of our current expansion includes two projects. We will break ground this summer on the Canyon House, a new 5 bedroom home. The funding for this was raised by our 2015 Beyond Belief Banquet and a generous grant from the Canyon Institute, and, praise God, it is fully funded.
Our second project is a major renovation to our Main Property, which we purchased for cash 18 months ago. Built in the 40’s, it is now time to update! If you have been on our property you may have seen the crowded space that houses our food bank kitchen, the need for updated resident spaces, and also the “rabbit den” layout of our offices. We will be updating the electrical system, installing a new roof, and changing the layout and usage of the kitchen, offices, and resident spaces to increase use and productivity. This project will also be paid for in cash through another generous donation from the Canyon Institute and this year’s Bowl-A-Mania fundraiser. We are so thankful for both of these projects and look forward to unveiling them over the next year.
God has opened up a new season of depth. We believe God is calling us to remain the same size for awhile and focus on going deeper with residents.
- Deeper into their relationship, new or existing, with Christ.
- Deeper into healing.
- Deeper into life skills to equip them for long lasting success.
- Deeper into instilling or restoring healthy relationships in their lives.
With all that in mind, we have made some staff changes to accommodate this new focus. Doug Barnes, our Men’s Director for the last six years is now Director of Operations. Doug felt that moving into this role enables him to tap his skills in construction and project management in order to complete these two big capital improvement projects simultaneously. In addition, he handles all facility tasks formerly included in the Program Manager positions. This will enable these individuals to devote their time to “depth” activities with our residents. During this same time our Women’s Director, Lisa Kukla, answered God’s pulling to seek a part time position elsewhere to devote more time to her family.
We are pleased that Abel Sambrano joined our team in April as the Men’s Program Manager and Sarah Esperanza came on board in June as our Women’s Manager. Also new onboard is Giselle Aguiar as a part time administrative assistant and social media expert.
Invigorating? Definitely. Overwhelming? Not when we keep our focus on Christ.