As a teenager I worked at Quakerdale cooking for 25 boys. My supervisor was Morris “Bud” Whitehead. We taught young men about setting the table, food preparation and cleaning. Our job involved listening to their stories, sharing our faith and showing them a new way through the love of Jesus.
At the end of summer, after my senior year in high school, I was faced with college choices and made the decision to work at Quakerdale one more year.
And then, I was fired…
Mr. Whitehead terminated me to get me to go to college. He promised I would have a job as a nurse or social worker. Within two weeks I was moving to southern Indiana to attend college in the nursing program at Vincennes University. There, I met my husband and my life was changed forever.
Part of Quakerdale has always been with me…
I have been able to see those in need as real people that God loves just as much as He loves me. Jesus tells us to love others as we have been loved. This does not mean we can fix all the problems and social issues, but we can love.
I live in rural Indiana, where poverty seems to be causing numerous issues and families are not strong. Fourteen days before Christmas, God let me see a miracle.
I have been mentoring a young woman in our community who was deep into drugs, sin and self destruction. She found Jesus in our friendship and He began the work of changing her life.
She lost custody of her children, her family gave up on her, but Jesus kept loving her.
She was in prison in Florida and looking at a long stretch of time in a women’s penitentiary if a miracle didn’t happen. Her stepdad, children, and my husband and I prayed for her and our prayers were answered. Her father drove 1,000 miles and pleaded before the court for his daughter’s release into a Christian rehabilitation program. The court approved his request and she was released into her father’s custody.
Rehab was not easy. She studied God’s word and wore out two Bibles. She received a second chance and regained custody of her children; she got a job, a house, and a hope.
We prayed, she studied and one day she opened up to me and said she wanted a real family, a husband and maybe a baby. She found a strong, sweet husband who has loved her and provided direction for her teenage children. And this year, at the age of 40, she delivered a son. As I held the baby, I watched her father shed tears of joy.
In the eyes of the world this was an impossible recovery, but with God all things are possible.
Look for the the miracles in your life, walk with Jesus, do what you are led to do and see what God can do with the most unlikely situation.
If I had not had a history of seeing Jesus change the lives of the unlovable young men at Quakerdale, I would have never taken the risk to love this young woman.
I know Quakerdale did not directly touch the lives of this family, but because Quakerdale changed me God was able to use me in this situation.
By Teresa Miller