Sistering Pg. 2-3
Grace Camp Pg. 4-5
Because You Give Pg. 6-7
Fall is my absolute most favorite time of the year! How about you? I love the vibrant colors and the stunning beauty as creation reminds us of what a phenomenal artist our Redeemer is. I love long conversations around the fire pit, s’mores and all things pumpkin—from coffee to muffins. I love all that comes with cooler temperatures too, like hiking, and camping, and football. The young women who reside at the “Little House on Poplar” would agree, this is the sweetest time of year. I had
the privilege to sit and visit with each of them last night and talk about the season. The holidays ahead are weighing heavy. They leaned in close, shared from hollowed places in their hearts and told stories (of both joy and grief) through tears. At times we found ourselves doubled over in hysterical laughter, unsure at that point from what place in our hearts the tears fell. None of us wanted to end that moment, as our time drew to a close. We talked about this edition of our newsletter and the stories we are sharing. Their voices became quiet as they shared their gratitude for the overwhelming support of this community in this season of thanksgiving. This edition of “Grace Repurposed” is focused on “sistering.” Momastery defines it well on their blog:
“When a builder needs to strengthen a (weakened) joist, she/he puts a new board right next to the original one and fastens the two together. Sometimes, two new joists are needed—one on either side.” —Momastery Ecclesiastes 4:12 holds the biblical definition we use for "sistering" at Saving Grace. "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken." The mentoring piece of our program was founded on this verse back in 2009, before we ever opened our doors. We knew we couldn’t do this sacred work alone. We live by this and hold tight to the truth it speaks over us—first, that we don’t have to do this life journey alone and second, that we are stronger together. You, as a supporter of Saving Grace, also live this out with us as you “sister” our unique program through your financial support, prayer, volunteering and mentoring. We are stronger because of you. My prayer is that as you read on, God will allow you to see just a glimpse, this side of heaven, of how He’s using you to change lives for generations to come. WE are ALL in this TOGETHER. ❤ God’s grateful girl,
Becky Shaffer, Executive Director
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“Sisters. There’s something special about always having someone to laugh with, fight with, make up and forgive with. Love surpasses any argument, big or small. There are times when words aren’t necessary—just being in each other’s presence is enough. You don’t have to worry about how you look. They’ll love you no matter what. I’m grateful to God for surrounding me with these amazing women. Without them, my life wouldn’t be the same.” –Jade, Saving Grace sophomore
“Grace” & Mentors doing life together.
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When God's Girls Gather
If you have ever doubted how powerful it is when God’s girls We are gutsy girls. Grace-filled girls. Mighty warriors. And in a weekgather, you would see a clear picture erasing each question mark end, we find a double dose of gumption to keep us moving forward. by watching everyone together at Grace Camp. Outside distracRestoration is a journey that all of us are on. We are so proud of each tions are quieted on purpose as we carve out time with our God girl in the program, and the ones who have passed through and are and the girls gathered around the table. Everyone now married or have moved on to new adventures. seems to understand what a gift it is to have a place These are the girls with newfound light in their eyes Saving Grace works at the table even when we show up messy with our that looks like restored hope. Saving Grace works because Jesus works. walls and defenses up. because Jesus works. We are proud of the mentors The mess means progress and taking new, brave steps. And on days when Grace girls are together, you see how the mess is the miracle and gift of showing up.
for being willing to forgo their comfort zones to connect with their girls. This is the journey of firsts that shatters every statistic stacked against them.
By the end of camp, walls are gone. Skeptical limbs that once held you at arms-length are replaced by the sweetest embrace that wraps you up. This is a safe, sacred space for life-changing decisions to be made and healthy relationships to be forged.
Every monetary gift and hour volunteered is planting seeds in the future of these girls and it is worth every tear. If you want to change the world, start with your backyard. Start with Grace.❤ — Jennifer Watson, Saving Grace friend and Grace Camp Speaker @jenniferwatson
Lilian, my 5 year old, made this picture
Christine G., Kendra, Christine W., & Sandy
after having breakfast at Saving Grace in August. I found it when I got back from Grace Camp and it made me cry like a baby.
I first heard about Saving Grace 6 days after our family moved to NWA from California and went to their fundraising luncheon 2 weeks later. Immediately, I knew THIS was the organization I had been praying for—but I had reservations. I worried about how my involvement would impact my kids and my husband. I was anxious about having JUST moved here without any family or connections and felt slightly overwhelmed by living in a whirlwind of transition. We’d just taken a massive leap of faith in the move and I didn’t feel ready to take another. However, God’s message to me was clear: Show up and do it anyway. It didn’t matter if I was ready. That’s actually exactly why I felt God wanted me to commit to being a mentor in the midst of that season—because it would be completely rooted in HIS strength and provision, not mine. Y’all—I came to SG prepared for it to be challenging and heart-wrenching (which is part of the reality), but I never would have imagined that it would be such an incredible gift! I sat during worship at camp this weekend and was just in tears
at the blessing that this tribe is to my family and me. Less than 6 months ago, I didn’t know a single person in NWA, yet here I am—worshipping and growing and doing life with this amazing tribe of beautiful, humble, Jesus loving women.
God’s message to me was clear: Show up and do it anyway. It didn’t matter if I was ready...God wanted me to commit to being a mentor in the midst of that season—because it would be completely rooted in HIS strength and provision, not mine.
This picture that my daughter drew is such a beautiful reminder that God honors our obedience and His plans truly are perfect. I know mentorship might look different for each mentor and there will always be days when we feel frustration or confusion, but this photo reminds me of how simple this all really is. When I asked Lily to describe this picture to me, her little face lit up as she told me about the beautiful “Grace House” and how pretty and fun all the girls and mentors are. Here I was worried about the impact that this would have on my kids—all the while God must have just been smiling at me. HE knows best. Always. Thank you, Lord! ❤ —Christine Gustin, Mentor for Life
Thanks to a generous donor, four members of our Saving Grace team were able to attend The National Symposium to End Youth Homelessness in New York City this past May. During our visit, we had the distinct honor of sitting for tea with the Sisters of Life at the Convent of the Sacred Heart in Manhattan. Sister Catherine-Marie gave our team an inside look at their ministry, which has been offering Holy Respite to young women who are most vulnerable to the pressure of abortion, for nearly 20 years. Most of the women served at Sacred Heart are immigrants to the United States and lack the critical support of a family unit. The Sisters focus solely on nurturing the mothers so that
the mothers, likewise, can nurture their new babies. Sister Catherine expressed with JOY that she and the other Sisters “take delight in” each of the women and babies that they get to serve, and here at Saving Grace we feel the same way about our girls. C.S. Lewis once wrote that, “We—as servants of Christ—are like little children who ask to borrow money from God that we might buy him a gift with it.” It all belongs to Him, yet He allows us to hold a little piece of what's His and offer it back to Him in gratitude. We walked away that day truly aware that we had just experienced holy and sacred sistering—the kind that only happens when we’ve encountered Jesus.❤
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BecauseYOU Give! Here at Saving Grace, we talk a lot about generational change. Much of that change seems to happen at a snail’s pace and its most glaring manifestations are still many years down the road—but there are many areas where we can measure generational change in smaller, more objective ways. Here are some of the ways your support impacted “Grace” over the last year! Counseling - Our girls have received more than 130 hours of counseling so far this year— providing them with the opportunity to grow and heal from past trauma. Life Skills - Our girls completed over 400 hours of intentional life skills training which included mock interviews, professionalism with our friends at Chick-Fil-A Rogers, organizing, budgeting, paying bills on time, physical health, conflict resolution and communication, car care, and much more! These practical life skills give “Grace” the resources she needs to live independently one day very soon! First “Pink Shirt” Grad - When young women in crisis are trying to “just survive” they don’t have the capacity to learn and dream for the future. With this in mind, “Pink Shirt Phase” was added to our program in 2017. We hoped that a strategic 6-8 weeks focusing on mental/physical health and healing would provide our girls with an opportunity to break away from survival-mode—and it’s been a huge success! This summer, we saw our first “Pink Shirt” participant graduate from our program, and in record time—only 18 months! During her tenure at Saving Grace, Alex found steady employment—eventually earning a management position in the company, paid off thousands of dollars in debt, bought a car, and moved into her own place! Most of all she learned that God can be trusted with her story. First Job - “Grace” just became the first person in three generations of her family to obtain gainful employment! This means that going forward, she will have set a new precedent for herself and her future family—one that doesn’t rely on government assistance like welfare or feeding programs. Service in the Community - Our girls have volunteered more than 800 hours in the community since January 1st, and your generosity is a catalyst for theirs! Since the beginning of 2018, people like YOU have served over 2,400 hours right here in the Saving Grace home! (Deb, SG office volunteer & mentor) Driver’s License - “Grace” is the first in her family to drive! Did you know that many people who experience poverty choose not to get a drivers license? Driving is seen as an extravagant luxury— especially when living in poverty. When girls move in to Saving Grace, many will place “get a driver’s license” at the top of their list of goals. Being able to drive opens up a whole new world of possibility! Saving Grace serves the daughters of NWA with the support of a generous community who believes with us that our girls matter to God—that’s YOU! We protect our faith-based principles by refusing to accept government funding. This allows us to stay true to the mission of breaking the cycle of poverty for generations to come through the healing hope of Jesus! We couldn’t do this work without you!❤ Gratefully,
Cherri Rodriguez Director of Development
“I’ve never known true independence. Having a license will mean that I can find a job I’m really passionate about instead of what’s within walking distance.”
Why is the Work of Saving Grace so Important? According to the National Foster Youth Institute, more than
23,000 kids age out of foster care every year in the US and 20%
of those will become instantly homeless on their 18th birthday. Half will develop some form of chemical dependency. There
is only a 3% chance that those who age out of care will earn a college degree at any point in their lives, and 7 out of 10 girls
will become pregnant before their 21st birthday, forcing them to rely on some form of government aid.
God has empowered Saving Grace to lead the way in providing
During “pink shirt” phase, each resident receives professional
we’ve provided holistic support to over 114 girls, giving them
dedicate themselves to doing “life” with her. These relationships
a solution to this epidemic. Since opening our doors in 2010,
more than just a place to sleep. Each resident receives 81 hours of intentional life skills training yearly, which prepares them to
live independently. More than a third of our girls pursued their high school diploma or GED while living at Saving Grace. In
counseling and is paired with 3 mentors—women of faith who are vital to the heart-changing work ahead. 73% of former
residents maintain relationships with mentors, staff and other volunteers after leaving the program.❤
addition, 88% of our current residents are in school or working
Want to find out how you can get involved? We’d love to give
phase of our program which provides respite from the hustle of
doing in the lives of our girls. Contact Timika by email at
full time. The other 12% are in “pink shirt”—the entrance
survival-mode and allows her to acclimate to a new pace of life.
you a tour of our home and tell you more about what God is
firstname.lastname@example.org or call our office at 479-636-1133.
Host a Dinner that Gives Back!
We all want to be generous with our time and resources, but we
don't always know where to give or who we can trust—so in the same way that we look to our friends to find the best places to eat and play, we can look to them for places worthy of investing our hearts and our resources! At your gathering, one or two members of our team will join you to talk about the mission of Saving Grace and invite your guests to give back! This event should be fun and unique to you—brunch, lunch, dinner, hotdogs and s’mores around the fire—whatever feels comfortable to you! When you "Set a place for Grace" you are pulling up a chair for your friends to join the much larger table of the Saving Grace family. We are all in this together! ❤ Visit our website or contact Cherri Rodriguez by email at
email@example.com or by phone at 479-372-1785 for more information!
Thank you to our Grace Gathering sponsors: Rapid Prototypes, Best Sign Group, Euna Mae's, Freckled Hen Farmhouse, Fork & Crust, Mountain Girl Melodies, Hannah Knoedl, Mary & Martha, Kindred Matter, Paige Meredith Art, Flossie & Marvel, Signed Sealed Delivered, Maude Leona, & Jean Monefeldt
Saving Grace NWA
Nonprofit Org US Postage Paid Permit #14 ROGERS AR
1229 W. Poplar St. Rogers, AR 72756 | (479) 636-1133
YES! Year End Sharing
We are excited to announce that your gifts of support given during our Year End Sharing campaign will be matched up to $50,000 by a generous supporter! Consider giving a Year End Gift today!
MENTAL HEALTH SUPPORT
Your support will provide up to six months of counseling for a young woman choosing healing.
$45/month CELEBRATION BUNDLE
Your support will provide gifts and experiences for many moments worth celebrating: Birthdays, holidays, and personal milestones.
Your support will provide a scholarship opportunity for a young woman pursuing her educational goals.
$25/month WELCOME BASKET
Your support will provide basic living supplies for a young woman moving into Saving Grace.
Sponsor “Grace” for Christmas For sponsorship information contact Timika at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 479-636-1133
To sponsor this event contact Cherri Rodriguez at email@example.com or 479-372-1785
Christmas “ House” Wishlist
gift cards • kitchen glasses set of pots & pans paring knives potato peeler • chef knife cutting board
There are many ways to give
c o nnec t
1229 W. Poplar St. | Rogers, AR 72756
Huge thanks to Amber with Two Feathers Photography and Jade Sinclaire Photography for their beautiful work featured in this newsletter! @twofeathersphotography @jadesinclairephotography