A Renewed Hope

By Seth Ellzey
My family and I have been in house parent ministry four years and have been blessed to serve in such a capacity. Our family consists of myself, my wife Jenn and our little boy Luke. Jenn and I have found that being house parents is about creating and maintaining a home environment that is centered around the Christian life. We do this firstly because it glorifies God in our love and obedience to him, and as a result, it opens an opportunity to minister to those who have not experienced this lifestyle in their own familial circumstances. We chose The Joy House because we saw in this ministry a commitment to the same beliefs that we as a family find in Scripture, namely the faith in the trans-formative power of the Gospel. There is something within the setting of family worship and discipleship that changes the dynamics of the individuals within the family unit and sets a loving and hopeful atmosphere for the entire household.

We have found that The Joy House is a wonderful place for families to explore the hope of redemption in Christ and lasting reconciliation in families. Residents gain the opportunity to learn Biblical and practical principles such as accountability, forgiveness, conflict resolution and family order. We also enjoy using opportunities such as baking cookies, playing board games and taking walks together across the campus to better connect with the girls on a personal level. We desire not only to be a voice of direction and influence but to share the kindness of Christ with each resident to better minister to them as individuals. Our hope is to see the residents carry the values they learn over into their home life, knowing that through these Biblical principles and encouragement from the Joy House staff, these youth can have a reset within their home environments that will both glorify God and shine renewed hope into their future.

From the time we looked into joining the Joy House and its mission till now, we have seen the commitments made by the ministry held true in the everyday practices across the campus. As a house parent, it is wonderful to see the common Gospel philosophy shared with the teens and their parents by each dimension of the ministry. It is rewarding and inspiring to continually see the hope and tangible results that The Joy House offers to struggling families and youth who are willing to turn their attention to the Lord and help in their circumstances. I am certainly glad that God has allowed our family to be a part of this wonderful work He is doing in North Georgia and would highly recommend this organization as a resource to families struggling with teens.