The Refuge is a collection of people who come together on Thursday nights to meet the grace and healing of God through issue-specific support and discipleship groups.
A typical evening starts with dinner and fellowship followed by worship, teaching and group time. There are many different groups to choose from, each one meeting different needs. (Learn more about Refuge support groups here.)
Tara has been attending The Refuge for five years now, and has found peace and restoration through the transformative teachings and intimate fellowship. She is currently participating in Courage to Change, a group focused on creating healthy relationships and setting appropriate boundaries.
When Tara was eleven years old, her mother passed away from a drug overdose. Her grandfather took her and three other siblings in and raised them in a house with three rooms and seventeen children. In her time of grief, Tara’s cousins took advantage of her vulnerability by sexually assaulting her. From that time on Tara lived in darkness, turning to drugs and alcohol to cover her pain, but found they could not fill her.
Tara first encountered Jesus at The Refuge. She says, “In the midst of the storm, God had favor on me. He saw me. He saw my hurt. He healed me. I found Christ. I found me. I found Christ in me.” Before, she had only experienced darkness, bitterness and loss. She felt voiceless and numb. The Refuge taught her how to love herself and others and how to express her emotions in a healthy way. She continues to learn how to set respectful boundaries and live as a Kingdom-minded individual.
Today, Tara has a lot to celebrate. She says, “By God’s grace and mercy and the fellowship of the church, I am now a queen.” She has been sober from drugs and alcohol for 23 years. As a mother of five, she is continuing to restore her relationships with her children through truth and honesty. She is also a proud grandmother of four boys.
Her time at The Refuge has opened many doors. When she first arrived, she did not know how to read or write. After being encouraged by the community, she went back to school to learn. Now, she can fully express herself through writing. She loves poetry and has a new-found passion for art. Someday, she would like to write a book about her life. She says, “I just want to live for God.”
For those who are considering attending The Refuge, Tara extends a warm invitation: “Come find love and peace. Come find Christ.”