By Lilly Price | Reporter
Grace House, a recovery home that helps rehabilitate women in addiction has served the Waco area and its residents since 2009.
The program, a ministry of Antioch Community Church, can house up to six women at a time, completely free of charge. The organization’s website says the ministry adopts a “holistic healing process [that] consists of four general phases individualized to each woman in the home.”
These phases include counseling, re-establishing life skills and working towards job readiness through volunteering and financial management. Rachel Freeman, a graduate of the Grace House program and former resident of two years, described her life before entering the house and how the program changed her.
“I was smoking, doing crack, going to school,” Freeman said. “I talked to Amy Jimenez, who worked at the Cove, and she showed me a couple applications for rehabs and the Grace House is the one that stuck out to me.”
While Rachel was quick to describe living at the Grace House as “great,” she added that the adjustment when arriving was very difficult.
“From doing drugs everyday to doing nothing, that was really hard. I left so many times but they always welcomed me back,” Freeman said.
When talking specifically about how Grace House integrates faith into the healing and recovery process, Freeman struggled to put it into words.
“Like I grew up in the church but I kinda stepped away from the church in my teenage years so it was good to rekindle that,” Freeman said. “There’s a book that we read … about the father heart of God and what he has for us and where some of the things we went through are not what he has for us, but his arms are open.”
Freeman, 22-years-old, expressed gratitude for the way that Baylor volunteers included her in community, and invited her into the college programs at Antioch Community Church as a young adult looking for friendship.
“They came in and took me under their wing. I felt like I related to them more, even though I come from a totally different background,” Freeman said. “They would always invite me to life group and next thing you know I’m going to Awaken, which is a mission trip down in the south.”
Madison Young, a recent graduate of Baylor, volunteered at Grace House from her sophomore to senior year of college. She said that the fellowship at Grace House has been deeply impactful for her.
“We always hear about God working miracles, but Grace House allowed me to see that first hand … and it strengthened my faith a lot because of that,” Young said.
In a statement on the Grace House website by Missy Morris, the Grace House Program Director, the concept of the Christian call to care for those on the outskirts of society is expounded.
“Jesus was always modeling how to extravagantly love those on the fringes, the unseen, the broken, and vulnerable because they were valuable enough for him to give everything he had,” Morris said.