Bethesda News

Hope for Mothers

Donors will often tell us how much they are encouraged by hearing the stories about our guests finding a refuge for healing and the wonderful progress they have made, successfully completing their recovery with this House of Mercy. But they then ask, “Can you share how they are doing after leaving the Mission?” We want to share one of those stories, emblematic of many guests who we have the privilege to help find real hope.

Last May, with our emphasis on the Women’s Mission, our story about Denise included moments of her life in which she struggled, issues of life that many of us struggle or have struggled with throughout our lives. But we aren’t limited in a world in which we remain mired in despair. Jesus can change that for each one of us.

Denise has chosen to face the obstacles that destroyed years of being the mother that she desperately wanted to be to her daughters.  Addiction, shame, guilt, all began to tear at the very fiber of her being. She knew she wanted more …. but didn’t know that surrendering her will to His will would offer the type of peace she was seeking.  A year of a life isn’t a long time to allow God to heal many years of brokenness.  That is what Denise did – she gave God her mind, her body, her soul … to heal.

A year later… Denise has moved into a new town with a new place to live, a new church family, a new car (to her), and a new and more solid relationship as a mother to her daughters.  She says that’s the best thing one could ask for on Mother’s Day or 365 other days of the year. Denise’s life is an example of what God does on a daily basis at the Bethesda Women and Children’s Mission. Jesus meets you right where you are and takes you to places that you didn’t know that you could get to.

We want more Denise’s to come… to stay… to heal… to soar… with God.  This hope and wish is becoming a reality as we are preparing to double the number of women and children in our Shelter from 25 to 51.  We hope to see women and their children stop the cycle of abuse, despair, and years of homelessness, settling into stability and dependability on God’s protection and peace.  Women that are ready to enter recovery from substance abuse addictions will be able to let go…. and let God. And young adult women between the ages of 18-24 that are in need of a safe place to lay their heads will find a place called home, with hope that they too will decide that life recovery is worth a try.

Denise surrendered to God because she didn’t want to keep going, but He did something amazing. “God was so faithful,” she says. That’s what led her to Bethesda Women’s Mission. “Walking through these doors, they said ‘Denise, we understand what you’ve been through.’ This is a place of healing.”

Denise’s journey wasn’t a solitary move, but one that incorporated so many loving and giving people; many often sharing their life testimonies of how God brought them through the hard times in life. Through her time at the Mission, Denise has learned that God works through people. “They love you until you love yourself,” she says. The volunteers who cook meals, bake cookies, and send words of encouragement all helped her to feel loved. She had searched for God in the past but was never able to find him—now she realizes he was always there.

For Denise, what we offer at Bethesda – long term recovery – was key to her healing. It takes at least 12-18 months to fully recover and be ready to live a normal life again. Her body, mind, and spirit all needed to heal from her addiction.

Site renewal has been underway for our beautiful brand new Women’s Shelter and outdoor area. The 18,400 square feet, 4 story building that will allow us to shelter 51 women and their children has risen out of the pit, the miry clay, and is scheduled to be completed this summer. Then the old shelter will be demolished making way for beautifully landscaped gardens and play area for the children. The finished site renewal will be a very secure refuge with many safeguards in place for the protection of the women and children. Anticipated completion of the entire project is this fall with a glorious celebration of God’s handiwork, inspiring our donors to give and the many hands that have used their gifts to realize this endeavor.

The women in the old shelter have been treated to watching this entire process unfold outside their windows. They could probably write a book on each of the construction steps – excavation, foundations poured for elevator and stair towers, concrete floors poured, lumber for the framing, windows installed, and on and on. More information is available on our website about this wonderful site renewal. And, praise God, we have reached full funding for this $4M project!!

As COVID restrictions lessen, give consideration to coming to visit once the site renewal is finalized. See what God has done to enable many more women’s lives the opportunity to be transformed. through our staff and volunteers for the women and their fellow guests. If you’re inspired by this story of hope and want to come see one of our facilities firsthand, visit and click on Request a Tour. Someone from our team will be in touch with you to schedule.

By donating to Bethesda Mission, you’re participating in the work that God is doing through the Women’s Mission and our other areas of ministry. By donating, you’re inspiring hope in mothers in need of healing. As we celebrate and honor mothers this Mother’s Day, you may know that your gifts can provide encouragement and hope for so many like Denise whose lives can be transformed by the love of Jesus and in turn restore relationships with their children.

In Him,

Scott Dunwoody

Executive Director


You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God. – 1 Peter 3:4 

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