Being a mom is a lot of work. It is a challenge even with the help and love of a husband. But not all moms have the help or the love of a partner to help raise their child together. Moms should never have to feel hopeless or alone.
Four years ago, I had the pleasure of hearing a young mom speak at a church about the care she received at a Christian home for single mothers in Colorado. When I heard that New Beginnings, a home for single moms, was opening a location in Milwaukee I was so excited! Once the idea for our moms' night out event "Out of the Nest!" was in its beginning stages - I just knew our event had to give back to moms in need somehow and 10% of our ticket sales will benefit New Beginnings!
I am glad to share this great organization with you today and in true Amanda fashion - I interviewed them! :)
What is New Beginnings mission and purpose?
The mission of New Beginnings is to help a single mother develop spiritually in God's Word, become a responsible citizen in society, continue her education, achieve self-sufficiency and be a competent and loving Christian parent.
New Beginnings began in Denver over 20 years ago, founded by Pastor Robert Fleischmann of Christian Life Resources. Pregnancy counseling centers were achieving their goal of steering women away from abortions, but then what?
Many of these women did not have a safe environment to continue their pregnancies and raise their children in, so New Beginnings was created to be a solution for that problem.
We rejoice when a woman chooses not to have an abortion and want to not only provide a safe, loving shelter for her and her baby, but also help her become a responsible mother and member of her community and church. We hope to remove them from the negative influences that surround them and create a positive environment to raise their children in.
Is there anything specific from Titus 2:3-5, our blog’s mission, that you can comment on to encourage women?
Titus 2:3-5, “Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.”
This passage is extremely relevant to our work at New Beginnings and could almost be our mission as well! We hope to bring Christ’s love into the hearts of the women who stay with us and help them change their lives into ones that are lived for Christ. Many come from very grim circumstances and have not had much exposure to Christianity. We hope to model our lives as Christian women, leaders, wives, and mothers to them so that they understand how to raise their children and bring up future Christ-followers and Christ-leaders. And though they are not married when they are at New Beginnings, our prayer is that should they choose to get married, God brings a respectable, Christian man into their lives.
What do you feel are some barriers in giving the women the help they need?
Awareness is a big factor. We have been surprised by how many people are unaware that New Beginnings moved to Milwaukee, or who don’t even know what New Beginnings is at all. This is such an awesome ministry that has the potential to bring the Gospel to people right in our own city. Mission work isn’t only done in a foreign country; there are thousands of people right here who need the Holy Spirit to work in their hearts.
What are some specific needs that you have financially? Materials? Volunteer work?
New Beginnings is a non-profit organization that branches off of Christian Life Resources. Our financial needs are great, as it costs a little over $50,000 to sustain one mother and child per year at New Beginnings. That cost includes not just food, housing and utilities. It includes staffing, counseling, educational programs, insurances, etc. Some of those costs can be defrayed through material donations of diapers, baby clothes, household necessities, etc. We have received such generous donations already and are so thankful for them! However, some of the larger costs, such as rent, heat, and utilities, can only be covered through financial donations.
Our Change for Life program is very helpful with those needs. Churches can disperse special baby bottles to their members, which can be obtained from New Beginnings upon request (or visit www.helpnewbeginings.com). The members take the bottles home, fill them up over time with loose change, and then send the collected funds in. This has proved to be a wonderful fundraiser in the past.
In addition, we have many fundraising events coming up in 2015 that we are really excited about: Our Wine & Cheese Night in February was a huge success and will become an annual event. Next up on the calendar are two bowling events in March and a 5K race in June! Check out www.CLRevents.com to learn more about them. We also have a wide range of volunteer opportunities available for people who live in the area to donate their time. The house needs to be staffed 24/7, so we need relief volunteers occasionally when regular staff is unavailable. We need mentors for the women, tutors to help them if they are enrolled in school, and people willing to share their talents with the residents at group night sessions.
What’s next for New Beginnings?
When New Beginnings was located in Denver, a mother usually stayed until her baby was one year old, occasionally up to two years old. It was a great program to get the residents on their feet, but we’re shooting to take it to the next level and work towards complete self-sufficiency for each mother.
In Phase One, the mother will work on establishing routines with her baby, learn about parenting, and earn her GED or high school diploma, if necessary.
In Phase Two, we will help the mother enroll in either technical or undergraduate courses and earn a degree.
In Phase Three, we will help the mother find permanent housing and a career that will earn her enough money to support her and her child without being on any form of charity or government assistance.
Each mother could potentially be in the program for up to six years. We take it one mother and one baby at a time with the hopes of breaking the cycle of poverty for generations to come. We are excited to see this mission take off in Milwaukee and see where God leads it!
How did God lead you to work at New Beginnings?
Brianne - "The opportunity to be a part of this ministry presented itself when I least expected it to. I was working at Children’s Hospital as a researcher in the Pediatrics Emergency Department, and did not intend on applying for another position; however, God had a different plan for me. My parents live in Slinger, WI and attend the church where the founder, Pastor Robert Fleischmann, preaches. My brother was home from college for the weekend (which rarely happens) and we were asked to sing at church. The bulletin happened to express that New Beginnings was looking for a Home Manager. I intended to speak with Pastor Fleischmann regarding the position after the first service, but was unable to. Between first and second service, my brother and I stopped at a bakery near the church to get coffee (we went on a whim and did not know if the place even served coffee). Pastor Fleischmann happened to walk in and we spoke about the position. The rest is history! I was amazed by the sequence of events leading up to my hire. I have no doubt that God had my route for the day planned out; I am so blessed to be a part of this wonderful ministry."
Beth - "I had been working from home as a medical transcriptionist, which was very convenient with having kids and I could work during naptimes or after bedtime. However, in July, I was laid off due to the switch to electronic medical records, and my job as a transcriptionist became essentially obsolete. Although I would have loved to pour my heart into being a full-time mom, the fact that Zach has a “baby” business requires me to contribute financially to our family, which I am happy to do! Only six days after losing my transcription job, our church sent out an email newsletter with the flyer for open positions at New Beginnings. It instantly piqued my interest, but I was unsure about working outside the home while my kids were so young. I decided to apply for the Assistant Home Manager position and if it was God’s will that I work there, I would receive an interview and a job offer. If it wasn’t His will, He would make that clear, too! I did receive the interview and was offered the job, and I strongly believe that God called me to work there. Although I didn’t understand right away why I lost my transcription job, I trusted that God had a plan for me. I believe God made me lose that job so that I would be ready to take this one. There have been few times in my life that I have heard God’s voice calling me as clearly as He did with taking the position at New Beginnings."
Rachel - "Helping people is what I know I have always been good at, and being able to obtain my BA in Psychology from Bethany Lutheran College gave me a great foundation for Christian counseling. I had heard about New Beginnings from my sister, whose church held a baby shower, and she mentioned they were moving to Milwaukee. I looked into the program and thought that it would be the perfect place for me to work, since I would one day like to receive my Masters in Social Work and help adolescent and young adult women. After a good push from my parents to apply, and a lot of praying, I decided to submit my application and within a week I was offered one of the Assistant Manager positions. I feel so blessed that God lead me to help a new ministry in such a rewarding way."
What bible passage is your personal favorite, why?
Brianne - "In life there are times we feel afraid, nervous, and anxious about the future. I refer to Joshua 1:9 whenever I feel distressed. The passage serves as a wonderful reminder that God is always by my side. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”"
Rachel - "To me, Joshua 1:9 offers such comfort and serenity knowing that no matter where God leads us in our lives, he will be right by our sides. Even though moving to Milwaukee on my own was nothing like what Joshua was going through, being chosen to lead the Israelites, this passage helped me through the whole transition of being on my own and being a real adult."
Beth - "There are so many that I love and I have a different favorite for each new season of life. The one I find myself returning to most often is Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” It’s easy to get discouraged when something bad or unexpected happens, but this passage reminds me to continue loving and trusting God because for some reason, he is letting these things happen to me for my good. Everything has always worked out!"
Any words that you would like to say to any single mothers or women in need of help during their pregnancy that may be reading?
Brianne - "Even though you may feel alone, hopeless, or lost, you are never without help; God continually guides and protects. There is so much support out there for young women, but sometimes it is difficult to take the first step towards a better life. YOU have the opportunity to provide a better life for you and your child – all you need to do is ask."
Beth - "There are more people out there who care about you and your baby than you can imagine! Since I have started working at New Beginnings, I have seen such an incredible amount of generosity. It is so encouraging to see people donate generously to complete strangers who are in need. People WANT to help you and your baby and there is so much love and support out there for you. Believe in the goodness of people. Yes, there are many critics out there, but there are just as many people, if not more, who will open their arms to you and help you in your time of need. Be faithful and God will provide."
Thank you Brianne, Beth, Rachel, and Christian Life Resources for your for your work creating a safe place for women to grow in their faith and care for their babies at New Beginnings!
Stay tuned! Tomorrow you will meet a mother who was in need and whose family has been blessed by New Beginnings.