A Father’s Gratitude

Katherine was a heroine addict who nearly lost her life, but by the grace of God working through the ministry of Haven of Rest, she is now celebrating one year of sobriety.

Recently, Katherine’s dad spoke to the annual donors banquet for the women’s ministry at Haven of Rest. He said, “As you know, Katherine has struggled for many years with addiction, ultimately affecting her health, and resulting in emergency heart surgery last May. Following a lengthy hospital stay, she ended up in a fourth attempt at rehab at the Haven. By the grace of God, and with many thanks to the staff at the Haven, we survived. Without your compassion, patience and teachings, I do not know where Katherine — or we —would be right now.”

The women’s ministry at Haven of Rest operates a three-phase program for women where discipleship, recovery, and life skills are emphasized. In phase one, the women stay in a two-story home for three months, where they receive counseling, classes on discipleship, a regular exercise routine, and chores. During phase two, the women move across the street to a different house for two to four months, continuing the discipleship work and developing life skills and educational plans to help them gain meaningful employment. The final phase continues for five months or longer, according to the needs of the individual. During this final phase, two “transitional” houses become home for the women. One is located across the street from Calvary Children’s Home, which works with the Haven to help the children of the women in the Haven’s program. The entire program takes at least one year.

Haven of Rest was founded in 1960 in Anderson as a rescue mission and has grown into a discipleship program with men’s ministry, women’s ministry, the original rescue mission, and several thrift stores. The women’s ministry began as a shelter for battered and abused women 15 years ago, growing into a more comprehensive discipleship ministry as the epidemic of addiction became evident to the leadership.

Executive director Sid Stewart says, “Haven of Rest Ministries exists to see those people bound by life-dominating problems rescued, restored and released while experiencing the love of Jesus Christ.” The Haven’s ministry model is the Great Commission given by Christ in Matthew 28:18-20. Stewart notes, “In my estimation, that is one of the characteristics that sets the Haven apart. Rather than focus on the reasons people come to us, we focus on a heart change through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Then we put the tools in their hands to become disciples of Christ and to disciple others.”

Katherine’s dad said she has now earned South Carolina nursing assistant and phlebotomy certifications and is working at a Columbia medical clinic. “She has applications in at the major area hospitals and plans to work her way through advanced levels of nursing school — determined to achieve and take care of herself. We are forever grateful for Haven of Rest Ministries.”

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