Archives for Chelsey

Lay Down Your Burdens, Love Awaits

Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2

I’ve recently been embraced by a wonderful community of Jesus-loving women. These women come to my house every week. We enjoy scripture together, sharing our lives together and growing in Christ’s love together. We have quickly created a bond of safety, trust and sisterhood.

This year, during Lent, we decided to journey together through a release of baggage or burdens that we are carrying. Each of us were given a rock to carry with us throughout the 40 days of Lent. The rock represented the weight, obstruction, accommodation and presence of the burdens in our everyday lives. The idea is to be able to name your burden, identify how it affects your life, your relationships with those around you and ultimately your relationship with Jesus. For me, I had done this powerful activity during a retreat a few years ago and laid a very heavy burden at the cross. It was freeing and allowed me to fall deeper into God’s perfect love for me. This time, however, I wasn’t sure. There was no one big, heavy burden taunting me or holding back; or so I thought.

The assignment was to carry this rock everywhere, yes, everywhere. To work, to events, sitting there at the table while you’re eating, in the bathroom while you’re getting ready…everywhere. While carrying this rock, this burden, we were to meditate on what we were learning about carrying this around. Well, by the end of week one I had already failed. My rock remained perched where I had left it that Sunday afternoon; on the side table next to my comfy chair. Throughout the week I would glance at it, knowing exactly where I left it. Seeing it there reminded me of the assignment and how clueless I was to what God was calling me to let go of during this time. It wasn’t until about two and half weeks in that I realized how God was weaving a beautiful message for me.

It has been a desire of my heart and prayer that the Lord would take me deeper and into purer relationship with Him. That he would reveal to me anything and everything that was holding me back from a pureness of heart that only comes from His love. Day after day, as I glanced over at my rock sitting on that side table, I began to see it. That little rock started to blend into the décor of my household, no would know its significance but me, and the Lord. People may not even notice it sitting there or feel its presence; but I did. No matter how small it was I knew it was there, nagging at me to pick it up. Sometimes, I would; it felt smooth in my hand and I found it kinda pretty. But as I set it down that final time it hit me…I knew what burden my rock represented. I suddenly knew why I had not felt an urge to ‘follow the rules’ and carry it every day. Why it sat there inconspicuously taking up space in my home.

This little rock represented the hardness and ungodliness that still took up space in my heart and was keeping me from the deeper, purer relationship I desired with God. You know, the prideful things or judgmental things you may not say out loud but are thinking, before you say what you’re supposed to say or feel, before you ask God to change your heart. Those things are always there, taking up space in your heart. No one would know but you, and the Lord. Oh, how hard it is for me to admit that my first mental responses are not appropriate for public ears. But God has always known what’s in my heart and what I’m thinking or feeling, He’s always loved me despite this ugliness.

After I was able to get over my initial disappointment in myself, I thought I had come so far, He asked me to lay down the hidden burdens of pride, judgment and control. He promised to replace them with true humility, authentic understanding and a kind of peace that only He can bless us with. Yes Lord, that is what I know you are calling me to but I do not know how. His grace showered over me as I sat in this truth and prayed for mercy to help me let go of these ungodly things.

I admitted my sin to the godly women of my weekly study, and they listened and loved me anyway. They loved me the way Jesus would. And on that last day, before Easter, as we released our burdens and prayed over one another in my front yard, I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit bringing us comfort and peace; His presence never failing to lift us up, sustains us for our journey. Thank you, Lord.

Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken. Psalm 55:22

Live Loved,
Bridgehaven: Chelsey

Chelsey McDill

Executive Director

Longing for Unity Among My Community

Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. Ephesians 4:3-6

This scripture from Ephesians 4 is one we frequently use to describe how the Bridgehaven team is inspired to work together. It has quickly become one of my favorites. Not because we do it well 100% of the time, but because when our little community becomes one in the Lord there is the hope of peace.

I am so grateful that our Lord intends us to live in community with one another. He doesn’t intend for his children to live in isolation from each other. So many people feel alone, or that they don’t belong. We’ve all experienced times of our lives that we think no one will understand or no one will accept us. That is a lie. Jesus says, ‘You do belong. Keep coming. Keep coming.’ The truth is, God already knows your brokenness and loves you anyway.

He created us to be unique and different from one another. To live in harmony, complementing the God-given gifts that he’s blessed us with. Ok…so that sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? But is that what’s happening? Most days, as I look out into the world I see a vast divide. I see people using their God-given gifts in self-righteous and hurtful ways. We are quick to condemn those that don’t respond, act, think or share the same views as we do. Satan is playing with our egos like I’ve never seen before and it’s heartbreaking.

Unity is a part of community. All of us have a community of people we know and love. So how do we turn that community into unity? How do we love bigger, forgive more, remove our own agendas and grow closer to the Lord?

‘To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.’ Micah 6:8

Hard stuff. I know, but isn’t it worth it to live in God’s peace? Our internal thoughts and our inability to love is, in many ways, the cause of the divide in our community. I think that if we followed Micah 6:8 more often we would see more people doing the right thing, no matter how difficult it might be. We’d see people’s hearts breaking and bleeding for one another, especially those that have wronged us. And we’d see a removal of self, we’d move through life with no expectation of return.

Today my prayer for my community, all those I know and love (including you) is 1 Corinthians 12:25-27:

‘That there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.’

Amen.

Bridgehaven: Chelsey

Chelsey McDill

Executive Director

A Godly Marriage

A Godly marriageFebruary! The season of love, romance and all things pink and red! (Ohhh, how I love all things pink, I really do!) This sweet season of giddiness, googly-eyes and constant hand-holding means one thing; Valentine’s Day is just around the corner.

Honestly, I’m not the mushy type anymore, but I used to be. Now, there’s just not a lot of opportunity for mush. Between rushing from here to there, managing a busy family schedule not only diminishes the time available for the lovey stuff but doesn’t necessarily leave you in the snugly mood. But when Valentine’s Day comes around each year, those butterflies in my heart are awoken and ready to profess my love to my love.

Well, the mush and romance may not happen every day but I truly do love being Mrs. Don McDill more today than ever before. How is this possible? The only way this is possible is with God. The day we allowed God to be at the center of our marriage, everything changed. Don and I both have failed relationships in our pasts and this time, we vowed it was different. We never wanted to go down that broken road again. However, those words didn’t mean much without our acceptance of God’s presence within our marriage. With God, we have vowed to put our selfish needs and wants aside, choose love and move forward in unity.

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” Mark 10:7-9

I have to admit, however, I am truly an imperfect wife. I’ve gone through seasons where I try to be perfect and fail miserably. I still experience times of struggle where I want to take control and then other times when I have no interest in control. I still send mixed messages and make mistakes; essentially, I’m a work in progress. However, as we began to learn and live out God’s plan for marriage, we found a renewed sense of harmony and grace between the two of us.

“Wives submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.” Colossians 3:18-19

I know this is an unpopular way of thinking when measured by the world’s view of womanhood and I certainly didn’t think this way ten years ago. But as I began to embrace God’s idea and plan for me as a wife, it empowered Don to be a better husband and father, and ultimately, brought us closer together. This calling upon my life is not easy and not a natural place for me to be. I am used to taking the lead, making decisions and moving the team forward. God is using this stirring in me to teach me a new sense of discipline and obedience that brings not only Don and I closer together but it brings me closer and more intimate in my relationship with Jesus. Proving that some of the hardest transformations bring the most fruit in our lives.

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made in perfect love.” 1 John 4:18

When we are functioning within God’s plan for marriage, the love is powerful. There’s…

  • no fear; only confidence and strength in each other
  • no confusion; honesty and trust wins out
  • no arguing; tenderness and authenticity in our partnership prevails as we work through the ups and downs of life
  • no stepping over each other; only kindness, patience and respect

Despite my natural tendency to lead, I am making a conscious decision (and effort) to give him space to step into his role. God has grown me so much in my marriage to Don. He is constantly reminding me of how my pride is the killer of a godly marriage. I am daily making a choice to move my ego aside and allow my rock solid, loving husband to take the lead in our marriage. I proudly take my place as his helper and partner and am reaping the blessings of a love that knows know fear.

Heavenly Father, this Valentine’s Day, I celebrate the fearless and beautiful love You want for all married couples. May these couples experience the humility, grace and unity that you desire for a life-affirming and life-long marriage. May husbands lead with dignity, strength and truth and may wives come alongside their husbands with support, wisdom and grace. Remind us, Lord, that marriage is gift and blessing created for your people and a covenant to be entered into with the utmost honor. Amen.

Bridgehaven: Chelsey

Chelsey McDill

Executive Director

It’s a Wonderful Life


Like most women, there’s really nothing like a Christmas movie on a blustery snowy night to put you in the mood to snuggle up in your flannel jammies & slippers and begin knitting that scarf you’ve been putting off for the last few weeks. Last week, It’s a Wonderful Life fit the bill for me and my family. I hadn’t watched the movie in quite a few years. Honestly, my husband and I don’t get a lot of TV time with an eight year old in the house and if we do get the chance this time of year, I coerce him in to watching my favorite Christmas movie, White Christmas! He loves it, I’m sure.

This year the movie took on a new and deeper meaning for me. As most of you know, the story follows Mr. George Bailey as his journey and actions to help others move him further and further away from the dreams he holds for himself. George experiences great success in terms of being a hard-working, big-hearted and talented man. He finds an adorable woman who loves him dearly, they marry and have children. George continues to battle feelings of inadequacy and failure to make his dreams come to fruition while he’s deeply immersed in a community of people that love him. But as in many cases, the demons he battles makes it hard for him to see how wonderful his life truly is.

I won’t give it away but as most of you know George hits a breaking point and believes that his family would be better off if he were dead. An angel intervenes to save George from himself and show him just how wonderful and full his life really is. The angel, named Clarence, decides to show him what life in Bedford Falls would be like if there had never been a George Bailey. He lived a day in a life where George Bailey had never been born.

What if YOU had the opportunity to experience what George did? In my case, I’m sure there’d be some things that turned out just fine without me, but I’d like to think there would be some drastic changes in this world because I’d never been born. Since starting my journey at Bridgehaven, I’ve met many people for whom this question is a very real part of their journey on this earth, “What would life be like if I’d never been born?” These people, friends of mine, know that their parents faced a decision. They either attempted an abortion or greatly considered it. I shudder every time I think of a world without these influential and amazing human beings.

This movie, It’s a Wonderful Life, reminds us how precious life is; every life. It shows us the impact that one human being has on, not just their intimate circle of friends and family, but an entire town. This story is a classic, not because it’s a terrific movie but because it’s a great story that all of us can understand and identify with. Life has very low times, many times it’s hard to see out of the darkness that consumes us. It’s hard to see the blessings that surround us in the midst of our darkest seasons. In this story, George Bailey mattered. We all matter; YOU matter. God created each of us for a purpose.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10

Each year millions of lives are taken through abortion. How much more wonderful would life be if these lives had a chance to bear fruit? In this lifetime, we will never know.

Father, as we approach this Christmas celebration, we are grateful for the lives we have. Let us reflect upon the how closely our lives are knitted to those around us, in our community. Help us to cherish our life and the lives of the unborn. For we are not the creator of life, You are.

Bridgehaven: Chelsey

Chelsey McDill

Executive Director

What About Tomorrow?

untitled-designWell, today’s the day. It’s finally here and while many are relieved that after today there will be no more ads and the decision will be made, I am questioning our future now more than ever. What will tomorrow look like? How will one side or the other respond if their candidate is not chosen? How can I look some of my Facebook friends in the eye again after their messages hurt my heart so much? What is our nation turning into?

Honestly, I refuse to blame it on politics or the presidential candidates, for these two individuals are a direct reflection of what our society has become. We live in a culture that sees only what we want to see, what will satisfy our current desires. We are an unforgiving people. We are quick to an opinion or a judgment without thinking about how it affects those around us.

This election is the buildup of years and years of allowing the wrong things to get our time and attention. We’ve lived a life believing the lie that everything that sounds good, looks good, and feels good, IS good. We’ve been told to be successful, you have to watch out for #1, while cheating, lying and stomping on others to get there. We’ve allowed all of this yuck into our workplaces, homes, schools and relationships. Shamefully, we’ve turned a blind eye to so many wrong doings and injustices.

For all this, I am guilty.

But no more. No longer will I allow pride to rule in my heart over kindness and the respect of others. Pride is killing our nation and we are the only ones who can stop it for the sake of our grandchildren and great-grandchildren. One of my favorite scriptures is playing over and over again in my heart this morning;

“Be completely humble and gentle, be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” Ephesians 4:2-3

Take this into every situation. Where there is conflict or unity, these words will heal and help us all to share in life’s journey together. Take it to the voting booth today, start now.

No one person will fix this mess, only God can. So I ask you all, after today, whether your candidate wins or loses; be kind, selfless and respectful. After today, what we have seen played out over the past few months will most likely continue in some shape or form. But we don’t have to buy into it. If we choose kindness, selflessness and respect from this day forth, we just might save our nation. We have to answer the Jesus’ calling. He does not say to love ourselves; what we do, say and feel. No, He says, “Love they neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” (Matthew 12:31)

So…

  • Instead of questioning your neighbor’s motives, go seek to understand them better. Ask them why they feel the way they do. Share your heart and encourage them to share theirs.
  • Instead of making a statement and telling the world what you think and feel, be humble and ask the Lord to reveal the time and place for your message to unfold and to whom it will serve the most good.
  • Instead of blasting out wrongs and rights, be encouraging and uplifting.

This route is the hardest route. This route takes self-control, patience and love. But what do ya say…let’s give it a try?

Live Loved My Friends,

Bridgehaven: Chelsey

Chelsey McDill

Executive Director

We Survived the Flood

2016 Cedar Rapids Flood

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12

On September 22nd, our staff shared reflections of God’s faithfulness in our morning prayer time. Little did we know how that day would unfold. Just five hours later, I would be hovering over my computer listening to our mayor share a message that I hoped never to hear again in my lifetime. Both locations, Bridgehaven Pregnancy Support Center and Treasures Quality Resale Shoppe, were just inside the projected flood zone and decisions had to be made.

We chose to evacuate both locations but it had to be done quickly. So many people came. I am still blown away by the love, persistence and determination of those who showed up to help. If you were standing in the middle of the center on Friday afternoon, you would have experienced a whirlwind of people rushing past you with hands full of items and furniture on its way to our second floor. You would have seen people from all over; young people from Kennedy and Xavier High Schools, faithful volunteers who know our ministry inside and out, new volunteers who were just getting to know us and even people right off the street who were just walking by and decided to jump in and help. We had approximately 130 people over a two-day period between both buildings working with us to protect our ministry.

God is so good! Cedar Rapids was spared! He gets all the glory for uniting our ministry through a very difficult experience. Everyone played a role, from helping hands-on with the efforts, to praying every day that Bridgehaven and the city of Cedar Rapids would be spared and protected. Thank you to all who played a part and are yet to play a part in our recovery as we continue to put things back together.

We experienced the joy in knowing that our hope was in Him because we knew the miracles He performed for Bridgehaven in 2008. We were patient through our time of waiting to see what the flood waters would do. And we will continue to be faithful with our prayers of thanksgiving and worship to our all-powerful, all-knowing and faithful Lord God!
Bridgehaven: Chelsey

Chelsey McDill

Executive Director

Releasing the Power

power switch

For a moment in time this power switch represented the life of this ministry.

A few weeks ago we were faced with the fact that the Cedar River was on the rise, again. Bridgehaven and its resale shop, Treasures, were predicted to be in the flood zone. How much water would we get? No one really knew what to expect. In the end, the decision was made to evacuate both buildings. That meant that everything from the first floor of the Bridgehaven building needed to go up to the second floor with some things taken to another safe site, and everything at Treasures needed to be relocated. So much had to be done!

But Jesus just looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” Matthew 19:26

For some reason the image of this power switch, the switch that cuts off power to the entire building, was with me throughout the two days of work that needed to be done. In my mind, the idea of flipping the power switch to the building made me emotional. I couldn’t think about it too much or I would cry. The idea of flipping the switch and walking away felt final. I also knew that once that switch was flipped, the work was done and the hardest part was next, the waiting to see if flood waters would swallow the first floor of Bridgehaven Pregnancy Support Center. In the moments leading up to this last step before leaving the building, it was like the switch represented the life of the ministry and my heart was breaking at the thought of shutting it down.

When it came time to flip the switch, it was just me, my husband and son in the building. The place was already dark, already quiet. It was calm and peaceful, like the building was slumbering after a couple of days of hard work. I’m not sure what I expected or what I thought would happen when I flipped that switch. I knew my anticipation had nothing to do with fear but rather a sadness I wasn’t looking forward to.

My family stood with me as I placed my hand on the switch and pulled down. The funny part is that I couldn’t pull the switch on my own. I had no clue how difficult it would be to flip that switch and turn off the power to the building. So my husband and I did it together.

With the power off, the center was still alive. The darkness did not consume and I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit with us in that hallway. I was so focused on this switch, this silly act of cutting off electricity to the building, that I lost sight of where the life of this center truly comes from–our Lord and Savior.

I’ve always felt God’s presence here. I’ve always known He was the life source of who we are and what we do. And the power within this building is His as well. All things are His.

What I had anticipated to be a sad act of release turned out to be a spiritual act of release. As that switch flipped, I released all power I had into God’s loving, kind and comforting hands.

Dear God, everything this center is, has been and will be is Yours, Lord God and I thank you for humbly reminding me that you are the true giver of life, the life that surrounds us and is everlasting.

“For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.” Matthew 6:13

Bridgehaven: Chelsey

Chelsey McDill

Executive Director

Royalty Awaits You

Bridgehaven Staff with Princess Tiana (From left: Kelli Hansen, Prevention Coordinator; Therese Mefferd, Nurse Manager; Princess Tiana; Kylee Pusteoska, Director of Development; Chelsey McDill, Executive Director

Bridgehaven Staff with Princess Tiana (From left: Kelli Hansen, Prevention Coordinator; Therese Mefferd, Nurse Manager; Princess Tiana; Kylee Pusteoska, Director of Development; Chelsey McDill, Executive Director

Last week, several Bridgehaven staff members traveled to Orlando, FL to attend the 2016 National CareNet Conference. While there, we were blessed to have a few hours to jump over to Epcot for a little excitement. Upon our arrival into the park, we noticed Princess Tiana (from Disney’s The Princess and the Frog) standing there taking pictures with precious little girls. I don’t recall who mentioned it first but we all thought it was a great idea to get our picture taken with Princess Tiana, so off to the line we went. When our turn arrived, Princess Tiana held out her loving arms and said in her best southern accent, “Well, who do we have here?” All of us, each one of us grown women, were speechless. We just bit our nails, looked at each other and let out a big sheepish GIGGLE. That’s right, we giggled…like little girls.

Most little girls dream of being a princess. We love the elegance, the glamour, the mystery, the romance of it all. As we grow older the fairy tale fades and is replaced with the reality of life. Our life choices, the twists and turns, the ups and downs we experience, lead us to believe that princesses are created by Disney for little girls and someday their dreams, too, will be crushed by the realities of life.

So then, why did we all have such a vivid, child-like reaction to the presence of Disney royalty? And if I have that kind of reaction to her, what kind of reaction will I have to the one true King, when He comes?

And now the prize awaits me–the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing. 2 Timothy 4:8

My goodness! I sure hope I have a more dignified response, but I may not. My natural reaction may be to giggle and sit in awe of who He is. But what He will remind me is that I AM royalty. I am His princess and always have been. Therefore, I should conduct myself as one today. I should be confident in His love, kind and generous, honest, forgiving, reflecting beauty from the inside out.

I have not lived the life of a princess, mostly by my own doing, but my relationship with the Lord has changed all that. I still have to live with the mistakes of my past but I am no longer defined by them. Accepting my place as one of His many princesses on this earth changes everything and means that I now have a responsibility to bring other women to their rightful place as a princess of the Lord our God.

You see, we women are more precious than any jewel. When did we stop believing that? When did we let the world around us take away our beauty, our zest for life, our child-like innocence? As we enter into the fold of God’s unfailing love we are washed by his perfection. We are made new. We are all deserving of our royal position the Lord blesses us with.

You are a princess of the Lord, whether you feel like it or not. You are royalty! Embrace it, share it, and grow into the grace that has been bestowed upon you. And if you feel like wearing an extra poufy dress, a sparkling tiara and a big child-like grin, shine on Princess of the One True King…shine on!!!

Live Loved Princesses,
Chelsey
Bridgehaven: Chelsey

Chelsey McDill

Executive Director

Don’t Let Your Struggle Become Your Identity

struggle header

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Trouble? More like devastation, heartache, loss, deception, disappointment, sadness, emptiness, loneliness…the list could go on. Yes, we know this world is full, and I mean full, of struggles that leave most of us drenched in a puddle of our own feelings of doubt, unworthiness, anger, and frustration. Whether the struggle is brought on by our own actions, brought on by other’s actions affecting us or someone we love, or is something that just happens in life, these struggles define our thinking, attitude and life choices.

A few weeks ago, I posted a simple picture to my Facebook page. It read, “Don’t let your struggle become your identity.” Let that sink in, read it again if you have to. Now, try to stop thinking of the 10 people you know that need to hear this message, and focus on your heart. All of us, at some point in our lives, have allowed ‘the struggle’ to take hold so strongly that letting go of it meant we would have no idea who that person staring us back in the mirror was anymore. When that struggle gets into our spirit, it begins to take over with feelings of self-righteousness, bitterness and jealousy towards others, entitlement, judgement, and a continuous cycle of brokenness and hurt. That’s how it defines us, it grips us and refuses to let go.

This way of life, this painful circumstance or experience that started as a struggle has now become my identity. Many times we turn to God and ask, “Why me?” But until we realize it’s not God’s doing, it’s MY doing in many circumstances surrounding my struggle, the cycle will continue. The enemy has lied to us one too many times, telling us that we are justified in our pain and thinking that we’ve earned the right to be bitter and angry about our circumstances. But what if we don’t have to be angry or bitter any longer?

Jesus. He was beaten in the most heinous of ways, cruelly tortured, and murdered. If anyone would be justified by their circumstances to be bitter, angry or self-righteous it’s Him. But what does he do throughout it all? He loves us! He loves bigger and more selflessly than any of us can fathom. Jesus shows us that in the midst of the most evil that love can and will prevail! AMEN! Jesus knew that he would be betrayed and was patient in the course of circumstances that took place against him. He even begged the Lord for mercy upon these evil doers: “for they know not what they have done” (Luke 23:34).

Now, because Jesus died for sinners, we receive grace? Yes, we receive what we do not deserve; grace and mercy, love and forgiveness; hope for all who believe in Him. You see, Jesus isn’t known for his circumstances. Jesus is known for his great love; He IS love. Jesus calls us to love others as He has loved us, but we cannot do that if we are stuck lost and identified by past and current struggles, battles with others or pain that has crippled our hearts.

If you are in the middle of a struggle today, please know that Jesus is with you, walking alongside you through this. It is no surprise to him. You have not disappointed him. What He wants is to take control, He wants you to love well and He will take care of the rest. So I ask,

  • Do you constantly feel like you are taking sides or that others are against you for one reason or another?
  • Do you feel the need to defend yourself and your decisions?
  • Do you tend to gravitate to people that are like-minded?
  • Are you frustrated by those that you perceive to ‘have it all together’?
  • Do you frequently look for opportunities to take a ‘break’ from life as you know it?
  • Or gosh, are you just plain tired?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, it might be time. God may be calling you to a way through your struggle and on to a life that you didn’t know existed.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

Friends, dear ones. Please hear me. We are ALL sinners and our fallen world is responsible for our struggles and challenges in life. I am telling you today that there is HOPE and LOVE, his name is Jesus.

Father, I ask a blessing over each person reading this blog today. May your love, Father, reach deep into their hearts and spread to every life they touch. May their struggles be something that is happening FOR them and not TO them. Lord, may they grow stronger, wiser and closer to you and your will for their lives.
Bridgehaven: Chelsey

Chelsey McDill

Executive Director

Volunteers make a difference

At Bridgehaven, our volunteers are the life-blood of what we do and how much we accomplish. In just the first six months of 2016, our volunteers have put in an astounding 10,153 hours, which correlates to 10 full-time staff! We consider our volunteers an amazing gift for which we are very grateful.

Leanne Rezac welcomes and supports volunteers in her new role of Volunteer Relations Manager

Leanne Rezac welcomes and supports volunteers in her new role of Volunteer Relations Manager

In 2015, we began to notice the many changes in the organization affecting the volunteer experience. To get a better handle on this and to ensure our volunteers were well taken care of, Leanne Rezac, formerly Volunteer & Special Events Coordinator, was transitioned to the role of Volunteer Relations Manager.

As Volunteer Relations Manager, Leanne has three focus areas: Recruiting, Engagement and Retention. In addition, she is responsible for on-boarding, training, connecting with and organizing volunteers for various projects. Currently we have 218 active volunteers, working out of two locations (Treasures Quality Resale Shoppe moved to a new location on 8th Ave. SE in 2014). A network of this size needed full-time resources allocated to their care and support. We are blessed to be able to make this happen for our dedicated and loyal volunteers.

In an effort to stay connected with each other throughout the year, we recently launched Friends 4 Life. This new group will provide opportunities for staff and volunteers to come together periodically outside the walls of Bridgehaven and Treasures. We had a great turnout at our first event, a Backyard BBQ, held on June 24 at Bridgehaven which included food, fun, fellowship and some great music.

On behalf of all our dedicated staff and volunteers, I thank you for your support. Without you, we would not be able to make changes like these that benefit the operations of the entire ministry. These changes are strategic and in the end make for a life-changing experience for our clients.

Bridgehaven: Chelsey

Chelsey McDill

Executive Director