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tp hj 03Tamar’s Place is a SFP ministry located in one of the roughest areas in Cincinnati known as Over the Rhine (OTR). I began volunteering with Sister Grace Pleiman who is the director of Tamar’s in the spring of 2012. Tamar’s is a “place of hospitality” for women who are involved in prostitution to support their addictions.

tp hj 05From 8am-noon, Mon – Fri, all who come are welcomed. We provide light breakfast fare, drinks, clean clothes and a place to wash up as well as comfortable chairs to rest and relax in. And of course we offer prayers and lots of non-judgmental love.

Now that Tamar’s is going into its 6th year we are experiencing the beauty and power in building up deep relationships with the growing number of women who are now in recovery.

In the late summer of 2012 Sister Grace and I went on our first “in-home” visit to see Hope a former Tamar’s guest who at that time had been in recovery a little over one year. That was my first time to meet Hope and there was an immediate connection of our spirits. Hope’s son Nathan was 9 months old then and Hope was expecting daughter Eveline that December.

Hope had just completed a 12 month Residential and Outpatient Chemical Dependency Treatment Program for women and their children. Even though she was committed to staying clean there were many challenges still to overcome.  Having been an addict and living on the streets for 15 years meant a loss of driver’s license, a criminal record that included a felony, thousands of dollars of unpaid fines bad credit ratings which all also meant employment was going to be difficult to impossible.

 

tp hj 06Sister Grace, myself and other volunteers began regularly visiting Hope and helping her out in any way possible. 

Hope, being a very determined and motivated person, researched and tapped into every possible resource she could find. We assisted with physical needs such as clothing, diapers, food and household items etc. We provided transportation to Dr’s appointments and resource agencies and childcare so she could attend classes.

Blessings that we didn’t expect, but all received were the relational and emotional bonds that formed.

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December of 2012 until today, Hope has accomplished the following:

~Has continually deepened her relationship with Christ and press into her spiritual growth
~Delivered a healthy son Nathan in December 2012 and a healthy daughter, Eveline,  in December 2013
~Has lived in comfortable subsidized housing
~Paid off all of her fines/fees except for medical expenses
~Had her driver’s license reinstated
~Qualified for the Changing Gears car program through a local agency and purchased a used mini-van with an interest free loan
~In November 2014 was hired as a teacher’s aide at an After School Program in OTR (the same street she lived on for years as an addict)

 

tp hj 02Through all of these changes Hope has remained humbled by the amazing depth of God’s grace. She always gives Christ the praise and glory for all good things in life. She feels it is a miracle and privilege to now be able to give back to those in the very community where she lived on the streets.
What started out as volunteers helping someone in need blossomed into beautiful relationships where all are equals. We all have experienced help; we all have given and received growth and knowledge through the Holy Spirit from each other throughout this process. It is through the sharing of the gifting and talents of many that this has come about.
It is this example of the coming together of people from many different places, with many different social, economical and spiritual backgrounds to be used and united by the spirit that inspires me to embrace the future with hope.

Associate Pam Rouster

* The name has been changed to protect the identity of the person

 

Pictures of: Xuan loc Xuan, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Published: July 22, 2016