My favorite bible verse describes who I am, Ashley Vaughters, as a Child of God! With the love and guidance of The Joy House and my family, I found my Faith in God. The Joy House helped me build confidence in God’s way not my way. I went from letting Satan guide my path, stumbling through life, not really understanding why so many unfair things had happened in my life, being angry, having no confidence in myself to truly understanding God’s unconditional LOVE! The Joy House gave me the tools to face Satan, love myself and restored my personal relationship with my Savior Jesus Christ. I will always be grateful to God for leading my path to The Joy House, and for the love and friendship I have been blessed with and will carry with me on my journey in life.
In my year at the Joy House, the greatest thing I ever learned was the art of doing. Minimizing excuses and giving results. For a while before my residence, I often put off work or did terrible jobs, but I now recognize the importance of the work I do. My grades have sharply risen as the new school year goes by, and my family life is better than ever. I thank the staff at the Joy House for their support, encouragement, and compassion. I’m very glad I spent my time with them, and I wish the best of luck to them all for their hard work. Without their support, I would not be nearly as successful in this school year.
Mark & Nicolle’s Testimony – Parents
When we first came to the Joy house in 2014, our teenage son was spiraling out of control. We were scared for him and didn’t know what to do. The Joy house was a drastic but necessary measure but we needed to do something to turn his life around before it got too late. Over the course of the 13 months that our son was in residence, we saw remarkable changes in his attitude, his motivation and his ambition. The counselors and house parents helped him to change his perspective and gave him tools to deal with adversity. Now that our son has successfully completed the program, he has re-established good relationships and goals for his future. And, barring normal teenage behavior, he is a joy to have in the house again. We are so grateful to have our son back.
A Mom’s Poem
Written by a mom upon her son’s completion of the program.
There’s joy in the house and that’s a lot to say
In a world that’s gone mad they’ve helped us find our way
The fighting, the anger, the rebellion and resentment
Have slowly dissolved and made way for contentment
Meeting the objective of reconciliation and peace
We’ve put aside our differences and our love has increased
We’ve taken deep looks into our motives and hearts
And put the relationship first instead of throwing those darts
We’re thankful and pleased and our hearts filled with gratitude
For the changes we’ve seen in his everyday attitude
Where strife and sibling rivalry once did abound
Now love and laughter are sure to be found.
We praise our dear Lord for the rescue He’s been
For help and healing in reaching this end
A Mom’s Story
“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness. To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.” Psalm 30: 11-12
This is the scripture I read at our son’s graduation from the Joy House. There were many scriptures (and even songs) that I prayed over my son during our several years of struggles, but at graduation time, this was the scripture that spoke to my emotion of the moment. My husband and I were a few years earlier mourning the loss of our son. The world had taken a hold of him and he was walking down a path of self-destruction. Everything dear to our hearts he would reject and we were losing him. Losing the opportunity to have a relationship with him and rejoice in his love, his joys, his desires, his mistakes and his successes. That was all being taken away and we were losing our son and mourning over that loss. We sought help from our church as well as the secular community; it took some time for us to realize that the only hope would be in God and his son Jesus Christ. That is when we turned to the Joy House. The love we felt upon joining the Joy House community was overwhelming.
The staff at the Joy House gave us on a regular basis a little taste of heaven with the love and compassion they continuously showed us (as well as the necessary doses of correction). A love that our son was not experiencing at school, at home (even though we tried) or with “supposed” friends; a love that my husband and I weren’t experiencing from the world because we were being judged by the schools, our various doctors and even by some of our church family; a love that we weren’t experiencing within our family unit for we were all hurting and unable to love each other at times; a love that was a perfect example of God’s love that we all needed desperately and the Joy House more than graciously gave. The love we felt helped us walk through a difficult journey. Behaviors had to be corrected, not just our son’s behaviors, but ours as well.
Our son spent a year and a half living at the Joy House and the angry young man that entered was not the same young man that left. He had a peace about him that you could see in his eyes that wasn’t evident before (and a more personal knowledge of a relationship with Jesus Christ). His eyes were no longer downcast but looking up. He still had the potential for anger, but he now had tools to handle the anger. He still had the propensity to not believe in himself and his potential, but also the knowledge that Satan is a liar and this is not to believed. The Joy House has supplied him with tools to live by.
“You will show me that path of life, In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11
At the writing of this testimony our son has been back home living with us for about a year and half. At first, we were feeling a sense of déjà vu. Some of the negative behaviors and family dysfunction were re-appearing. At times, despair was sinking in, thinking that the time working with the Joy House was a waste. But we had all changed and we were all unwilling to go back to the way of life before coming to the Joy House. We worked through the testing, we remembered what the Joy House taught and more importantly we kept our eyes on Jesus. Because of that fact, we have not returned. We still find our hope in Jesus Christ. We have been discouraged, but we have also been very proud of our son’s growth. While we may feel discouraged at times because of the negativity of the world, we still find hope in Jesus Christ. We know He has a plan for each and every one of us, our son included. We will just keep our eyes on Jesus and the hope he provides. We will always remember and be grateful for the Joy House and their staff.