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Our Thrift Store
As my husband Bob drove away from the Mountain Retreat facing yet another surgery our guests and I started our Bible study. One of the younger men asked the question “how come you are not going with him?” I answered. “If I were to go with him what would happen to you staying here?” He gave the correct answer “we would have to leave the mountain.
I then shared with him what Bob had said to me. “You need to stay here honey. These men are doing so well and we don’t have room for them at the shelter in Kalispell.” The young man then asked, “How are you going to handle not being there with Bob?” This was another teachable moment and I shared how to keep the body, soul, and spirit healthy and gaining strength in trusting Bible truths. The good news of this encounter of a young man watching an older man dying to self was observing he and the others grow closer to learning that one’s level of success in life is not minimized by the problems and setbacks one experiences along the way.
Problems and setbacks do not determine the shape and direction of your life. What they do however is reveal character. They show you how we respond to fear, disappointment, and failure. They reveal what level of resilience you possess, whether or not you are content to play the role of a victim, and also whether you are willing to take risks again following initial failure. In other words they reveal your shortcomings and call you to positive change. Problems and setbacks are the crucible of character formation, and they can be used to appraise what is truly important in life. So don’t get down when troubles come your way. They are to be expected.
Developing self-control in trusting the truth of the Bible will help tremendously as you seek to recover from life’s hits.
A gift of understanding the Bible is that self-control is both a fruit of the Spirit and a progression of spiritual growth.
As one gives respect for others in his travels of healing, respect will be returned. Demanding to be loved, manipulation and anger suck the life out of yourself and others.
If you are able to do superhuman things it’s because God gives you the power to do so. Even those who are used powerfully by God must always realize they are only human. If you don’t see the wisdom of that truth you are at great risk of failure during the times when life reminds you of that fact.
Peter who learned some difficult lessons about self-control wrote this, “Your faith will produce a life of moral excellence. A life of moral excellence leads to knowing God better. Knowing God leads to self-control. Self-control leads to patient endurance, and patient endurance leads to godliness. Godliness leads to love for other Christians, and finally you will grow to have genuine love for everyone.” 2 Peter 1: 5-7
Much to be Thankful for!
This year is one more year of watching and seeing what can happen in the lives of people who are given trust and a home to live in, getting to know them and understand the cause of their pain that brought them to our door needing a hand up to recovery in gaining the strength to go back into a world where they can be self sufficient
When our guest see a neighbor that reach out to touch their lives, it is easy to see that even ones with bad attitudes and a hard heart starts to softens in the hope of recovery.
As Mark Twain said so well “Always do the right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.” Thank you for being one of those people that has astonished many broken people thru your kindness to them.
Bob and I know with very grateful hearts that A Ray of Hope would not be a place of refuge and hope if it was not for all the donations that make it possible to keep A Ray of Hope Door open to people who have burned all other bridges in their lives and to the ones who have fallen thru the cracks of any help thru no fault of their own.
In the season of gratitude and Thanksgiving, we are so thankful to each one of you that has given a Hand up to a hurting neighbor!!
Bob and Peggy
WE NEED FOOD!
We really need donations of food for the shelter, primary need at
present is MEAT.
Please! if there is any possible way you can help do it now! If only a few cans of Spam it would be
After reading this read below for a partial description of what we
are about, what we try to do.
Many of you have been very generous throughout the Holidays but
now our people need even more what with
the coldest months of winter upon us the food and shelter we have is strained
to the breaking point.
PLEASE, HELP US!
We are the last resource for many
that have burned all other bridges for help!!!!
1 We house up to 15 people a day.
2 Bus tickets are given to people to help them get back to family that can give
them a hand up.
3 We clothe people from our Hope-Thrift store. This has helped many of them to
show up for a job interview looking good.
4 We train people to develop better job skills on a computer, and teach them
5 We advertize for the community to hire our guests for day labor. With the
good budget counseling, we get them on their feet with enough funds so when
leave A Ray of Hope they have earned and saved money or first-last month’s
posit, and needed household items.
6 Families with children come to us because they are going to lose a place to
live. If they are willing to work on a budget and live by it, we will help them
stay in their homes if we have the funds. We keep an average of five families
in a safe place with
7 Help people to get their ID'S so they can get a job.
8 We help people get their drivers license as many companies will not hire a
person if they do not have a valid driver’s license.
9 We have a Mountain Retreat at no cost for those who are struggling with drug
and alcohol problems.
10 We have taken in felons that no one will give a chance to start a new life
on the outside. Many of these individuals are now giving back to society
being a draw on the tax base.
11 We take people in under house arrest so they can keep a job and also give to
the tax base.
12 Veterans get help for needed medical and mental health issues. Some of these
wonderful servants of our country have been with us up to three years.
13 We work to refer them to programs that can help them with a hand up.
14 Sometimes people come in full of body lice. We help get them the meds needed
to destroy the lice. Clean clothes and a clean bed restore their self-esteem.
15 We have taken in many people discharged from the hospital that had no place
to go to heal.
Helmville Mountain Retreat
May I tell you a little about the ministry at Helmville? When help for recovery is denied to felons, the drug and alcohol addicted, people under house arrest, gamblers, liars, or those with mental illnesses, many times even family members will not let them live in their homes because of their poor choices and the tribulations they have brought to others and themselves. And in this mix are victims of others’ choices, and also the wonderful servants of our nation—our veterans who find their lives diminishing over trauma from that very service. So we open our doors.
First and foremost is leading them in the shelter of daily bible study. Bible study is the “happy hour” of the day, providing the tools for recovery, which in turn helps them strive for a healthier life and instilling good moral values.
The saying “the first step is always the hardest” is true. Everyone who comes to this retreat has completed Step 1 of the 12 step program. (Step 1: Each one admitted that he was and is powerless over their poor choices, compulsive behavior and good old sin, and that their lives had become unmanageable).
Residency at AROH’s mountaintop retreat is voluntary. Everyone that is here ’wants’ to be here. The Bible studies slowly changes their hearts and the stinking thinking. They search the Scriptures, and they allow Scripture to search them and to sit in judgment upon their own character and conduct. No one knows what their future holds, but they learn to hope, to walk by faith and they learn to trust.
Using God’s truth over their choices, and with their confidence growing that God loves and forgives them, shows them that He uses every hardship to mold their character and accomplish a plan that remains perfect despite their inability to comprehend it at the time. We are blessed to witness a ray of hope grow in them in trusting the Lord to lead them in the purpose that God created for them and accepting that they do not need to thrash themselves to any further extent merely to accept the Lord’s gift of forgiveness.
Upon reflection of forty years of giving a hand up, we have learned that the more primitive way of life seems to encourage and strengthen honest standards and ethics. The “back to the basics” attitude helps produce gratitude. A basic lifestyle promotes individuals to distinguish between ‘needs’ and ‘wants’.
The retreat has no running water or indoor plumbing. We carry water from a spring, and have the luxury of outhouses. (Very wonderful, especially in the winter!). Most laundry is hand-washed. Lighting is mainly oil lamps and propane lanterns. We use wood heat, (which includes the work involved!), and limited power. Trips to town are limited to priorities—grocery shopping, medical appointments, and legal matters. (This is to eliminate the temptation of being close to the access of drugs, alcohol, and influences that may have a negative impact on their recovery.)
Each person is required to contribute 4 hours of work, 5 days per week. This is to give back. Being active each day also helps to encourage good work ethics while helping to fight against moods of depression and anxiety. 4 hours per day still allows adequate time for individuals to focus on recovery as day by day they learn to trust God’s purpose for them, in recovery of their own free will.
This provides a common trait among the people here. They all have the same goal of transforming day by day into comprehensive healing and full recovery.
It takes patience and perseverance at times as we witness the miraculous power of God. Hurting people hurt others, so we strive to react to them with love, accountability and grace. We give them more than a few chances. As an example, let’s say a person has been a drunk for 20 years, and they decided to clean up their life. So they stay sober for a month for the first time in years, but then they drink again. We give them a 2nd chance. If they stay sober for six months and fail, then come back and they do not lie to us, we give them a 3rd chance. After that we give them the choice of going to our Helmville Retreat for a year (no charge). Of the individuals who stay for a year, 90% of them so far are staying clean and doing well. Some of these individuals were in and out of A Ray of Hope over a five year period. It takes more than thirty days to reverse a wrecked life full of poor choices,
We work to let you know what the ministry is doing through our Newsletter. As you read the letters from our guests, please accept it as your personal thank you for standing with us with your time, prayers and donations allowing us to do what we love to do in seeing people understand God’s love and purpose for them.
WELCOME TO A RAY OF HOPE
A Ray of Hope is dedicated to helping those in our community who need help. No one is ever turned away from our doors in normal circumstances. A Ray of Hope operates under Biblical principles, We seek to minister the love of God in very practical ways to those who need it most. We desire to heal the hurting and provide help for the hopeless. To reflect God's goodness and express His love, is our desire.
A Ray of Hope is a non-profit trust administered by an independent board of trustees made up of concerned citizens in our community.
You can contribute to A Ray of Hope through this website, or sending your tax deductible gifts to our offices.
May God bless you as you help us give the needful a hand up...not a hand out.
What Does A Ray of Hope Do?
A Ray of Hope started in 1999 in a second hand store on Hwy 2 east in Kalispell MT and in no time people began showing up off the streets asking for help and a safe place to sleep. Mattresses were put on the floor, warm food cooked and clothes provided.
Our ministry has grown into one shelter and a Thrift store. Our goal is to share God’s love in giving a hand up not a hand out. We work to help our neighbors to break the cycle of Homelessness in the following ways: We provide shelter; We help keep families with children in their homes, Provide education in computer and retail skills. In our hand up not a hand out motto; they give back hours a day and receive on the job training while self documenting hours worked to acquire job skills and good work ethics. We provide bus tickets to get those who have lost their home safely home to family members who can get them back on their feet. We take in pregnant women off the streets until they can be provided a safe home. We have a Mountain Retreat offered at no cost to those coming off drugs and alcohol to spend time in an intense 12 step program.
A Thrift store to provide needed clothing and house hold items for people who have lost everything sometimes due to their own poor choice or to fire and other issues they had not control over such as a husband and father waking up one morning and putting his family on the streets while he leaves with anything of value. Taking mental health people and giving them a place to live as they stabilize.
Where does the money come from?
It comes from churches, business and people in the community, like you, who want to invest in the future of others less fortunate. If you have a Paypal account and would like to donate, please enter the amount and click the "Donate" button.
Who is A Ray of Hope?
A Ray of Hope is made up of your friends and neighbors, and we hope you will join us too. A Ray of Hope is operated by 100% volunteer service! A Ray of Hope has zero payroll! Every penny goes where it's needed, not in somebody's pocket or a corporate overhead. All benefits go to this community, all funds stay right here in Flathead County.
What about other groups that do the same thing?
The need is far greater than the resources, just look around you. The need is readily apparent. To even make a dent in the needs around us it will take a cooperative effort, composed of government and private agencies, law enforcement and churches.
Society has shifted the burden of these needs back to local communities and churches. A Ray of Hope exists totally to serve these needs. As more and more people come our way our need of funds, friends, and other resources grows.
A Ray of Hope operates simply and without fanfare and it needs your help to continue providing these vital services to our community.
Please call or stop by so you too can become part of the solution.