From the Director’s Desk:
“I am so blessed. I’m doing normal things! I’ve never done normal things before.” Lake City First Baptist Church came for a night of fellowship on August 12th. There were small groups of people visiting throughout the house and out by the swing. The smell of pork chops on the grill, baked beans in the crock pot, and an assortment of desserts were enticing all of us. When I walked in the kitchen, Sheri was washing dishes and looked up with tears streaming down her cheeks and made the statement above. Moments I’ve taken for granted throughout the years have a new meaning now as we experience them through our girls.
Twenty-two ladies have walked through our doors since December 12, 2016. Of those ladies, 13 have left Cornerstone and 9 remain. In 1 Corinthians 3, Paul explains that some plant seeds and some water the plants but only God causes the growth. We’ve come to realize that as some arrive and leave in 90 days, no longer desiring what Cornerstone offers them, all God is asking of us is to remain faithful. We are part of the planting season, He will finish what He started in His time according to His plan. We trust Him fully while waiting on the arrival of 12 more ladies who have received acceptance letters inviting them to our home.
We praise God for the great things He continues to do on our behalf!
Bethany Davis, Director
Lowes’ Heroes in Searcy
The need for a playground had been on our prayer list for months. Since Cornerstone allows moms to bring their children for weekend visits after 30 days, we wanted to provide an outlet of activity while moms and children work on restoring their relationship. We’ve had six ladies bring their children for the weekend since we’ve opened.
Not only did Lowes’ in Searcy provide and assemble the playground, they also gifted us with a washing machine, tool caddy & tools, tiki torches and tiki fluid, a fire pit, adirondack chairs, a tiller, and small entry flag. The Lord provides above and beyond what we ever imagined!
Chicken Coop Crew
Why would we also pray for a chicken coop? Not only do we have many mouths to feed, but also tending to chickens teaches responsibility and allows for nurturing. When we pray for what we believe God has placed on our heart, we enjoy watching and waiting to see how God will provide.
The Lord prompted Ron & Linda Erwin’s Life Group at Central Baptist Church in Jonesboro (CBCJ) to meet the need. Jim Tubbs and the “Chicken Coop Crew” supplied all the materials and the labor to build our chicken coop. Chickens will soon be arriving, donated by another member at CBCJ.
Debra Jackson – Art Class
Debra Jackson, an artist, hosted a paint class for the girls at First Baptist Church in Newport on August 1st. The girls enjoyed learning various techniques. Jon Chadwell with the Newport Economic Development and Chamber of Commerce donated brushes, paint, and palettes. Charlotte George and several other ladies donated money for canvases. Debra and her husband Donny provided all the easels. Debra has amazing talent!!
Wash Me Clean Auto Detail
On August 7th, we opened the doors to our new business called “Wash Me Clean Auto Detail” so that we could provide employment from within our ministry for girls who don’t already have jobs. We wanted a title with a redemptive theme that would represent what Cornerstone is all about. This title comes from Psalm 51, a prayer written to God by David.
“Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” – Psalm 51:7 This is the message we proclaim. God’s forgiveness is available through His Son Jesus Christ. He can wash anyone – no matter the background – and make them CLEAN, whiter than snow.
Cornerstone assists women by helping them find employment such as “Wash Me Clean” so they can start paying towards their debt and eventually rent. If you or someone you know needs a clean car, boat, or truck, call 870-201-0068. Lisa will be glad to schedule your appointment. We charge $15/hr; the girls get $9/hr and the remaining $6 goes back into the ministry to support the business costs. We’ve been totally amazed by the support we’ve received. Our first week, we took care of 28 cars/trucks and one boat. Isn’t God good!?!
Female mentors commit to one hour a week with an assigned lady at Cornerstone. During this time, they pray together, read scripture, discuss challenges, and make short and long-term goals. The only requirement to be a mentor is a love for the Lord and a desire to give a hand up to a lady who is helping herself and needs a little extra encouragement. Contact us if you are interested in this type of life investment.
Charlotte George, one of our amazing Board of Directors, has such a servant’s heart. She arranged classes at Cornerstone for four weeks in April to include modern manners, professional etiquette, and social graces with guest speakers Brooke Pryor and Sheridan Chadwell.
First Baptist Church in Newport allowed us to host a dinner for several men and women from our community in May to practice what they learned.
Spa Night with HDBC Jr High Girls
Three amazing ladies brought the Jr high girls from Highland Drive Baptist Church in Jonesboro to Cornerstone in July. Sebrena Coleman helped all of us relax with breathing exercises and imaginary walks on the beach. Once the spa was over, some of our girls shared testimonies and challenged the girls on the dangers of peer pressure, hanging out with toxic company, and the importance of listening to their parents and their Christian leaders.
Central Baptist Church Newport Campus will be hosting a Beast Feast on September 21st at the Silver Moon in Newport at 6:00 p.m. Dr. Archie Mason, CBCJ Senior Pastor, will be the guest speaker. All profits made from this night will go towards Cornerstone, and we are beyond thankful! Watch facebook for more information.
Lisa Easley – OFF Parole
Lisa’s teenage years were typical. She went to school and didn’t get in much trouble. By the age of 21, she had two boys that were the love of her life! However, when she was 24, her son, Damien, was diagnosed with cancer and lived only nine months. Lisa says that’s when her life changed. She blamed God for her son’s death and grew to hate people. She began a destructive cycle: a user of meth, then cooking and selling drugs. She even dabbled in witchcraft. Lisa’s adult life has been a rotating door into mental institutions along with seven trips to prison.
Lisa accepted Christ as her Savior in the Clay County Jail back in 2008. Even though she loved the Lord and had a desire to live a life that brought glory to God, she was unsuccessful in her own attempts. Her spiritual influences on the “outside” were limited, and she just struggled to be truly free from her addiction.
Lisa arrived at Cornerstone in January of this year. She could have left five months ago after her required 90 days; however, she loves the accountability and correction she receives while at our home. This month we all celebrate with her. She is no longer on parole after 18 years which means she doesn’t have to report to a parole officer. When Lisa was asked to describe her life before and her life now, she says, “I was a destroyer. I ruined people’s lives. Now, I’m an encourager.”
Lisa loves memorizing scripture, and she blesses us with her love for Christ everyday at Cornerstone. Her life verse is Romans 12:2. She desires to live a life that is worthy of her calling in Christ. Lisa currently manages the office of our new business, “Wash Me Clean Auto Detail”. She once served in darkness, but now she shines because of her relationship with Jesus Christ, her Redeemer!
Michelle Bowers – Manager at Hardee’s Restaurant Michelle arrived at Cornerstone in February. She was very shy and insecure, yet she allowed us to become her extended family. Michelle could have left in May after completing her required 90 days, but she remains at Cornerstone.
Michelle has a strong work ethic and soon proved herself at Hardee’s to be dependable and pleasant. She began training last month for a manager’s position. We are so proud of Michelle!
Kelsey Phelan – A Survivor
“I can’t walk a block without someone hollering at me and telling me they want to love and spoil me! How can someone love a person they don’t know anything about? They only see me walking down the road. They fall for her looks, not knowing the woman who hides her hurt with a smile. I am a mother . . . I want to be treated like I am someone that actually matters.” (journal entry by permission)
Kelsey was one of our first three girls that left after her required 90 days. We knew she wasn’t ready, and it was so hard to watch her go. Within a short period of time, she started using drugs again and entered a relationship that turned abusive. Her life spiraled out of control and landed her in jail for two days by the grace of God. We were able to visit with her, and she allowed us to bring her home. She had lost close to 50 pounds in four months.
The beautiful girl you see in the picture is now employed at Wash Me Clean Auto Detail, and she brightens any room she walks in. She has a heart of love for others and needs to stay at Cornerstone even when the enemy whispers, telling her she should leave. Please pray for her!
Phase 3 and beyond
These four beautiful ladies could have left after 90 days but chose to stay, instead. They are now our resident leaders.
From left to right, Rhonda works at Unity Health Harris Medical Center in the dietary department, Kelly provides our transportation, Lisa manages Wash Me Clean Auto Detail, and Michelle is a manager at Hardee’s.
Our prayer is that more women will decide to stay at Cornerstone beyond what is required so that we can continue to show them the love of Christ.
- Food Truck – If the Lord is in this, He will provide as He has many times before.
- Monthly Donors – We currently have 23 monthly donors, and we are so thankful! Our operational costs are extensive, especially with the start up of our new business to provide jobs for our girls. We trust God completely. We simply want to put the need out there and know He will prompt the hearts of those He wants to use to continue to meet our financial needs.
- Hygiene Caddies – When girls arrive, we give each of them a caddie full of hygiene items that every female needs and a $25 Walmart Gift card to purchase under garments.