WINONA LAKE — Admittedly the road has been bumpy, but the purpose has remained steadfast — to help and give hope to women struggling with addictions. And it’s only a matter of time before All Things New, based in Kosciusko County, will open its doors to help women.
On Monday evening, March 21, All Things New held its spring banquet at Christ’s Covenant Church in Winona Lake. Updates on the ministry were provided, an explanation of the pressing needs was given and an overview of what the program will look like was provided. There was also a personal testimony, a community perspective given by a woman who ministers to women in jail, a Biblical message was presented and dinner was served.
Bill Fawley, a lawyer for 25 years, quit his job to found All Things New in 2014. As a lawyer, his eyes were opened to the needs and circumstances faced by those in jail. Originally a parcel of land in Tippecanoe Township was eyed for the location of the ministry, but later a much more suitable site, the former Riverwood Ranch property (23 acres) off Old US 30 near Warsaw, became available and was purchased Dec. 23, 2015.
There was some opposition to the idea of a ministry for women battling addictions. At the banquet, Fawley noted the zoning process was a long one but the Riverwood Ranch property has proven to be a better option. “It is basically ready to use, though some renovations are needed, at a much smaller total cost,” he said. “We are taking steps to get the property ready.”
Melody Barker, who ministers to women in the Kosciusko County Jail and also serves on the county jail ministry board of directors, said there has been a need locally a long time for this type of ministry. “I see women in our jail who want to desperately change,” she said.
A personal testimony was given by Faith Spriggs, who said she was a drug addict for nearly 14 years but will have been clean for two years as of April 6. At one point she slept under a bridge in Fort Wayne, even while pregnant, and reached her low point when arrested and facing a 20-year sentence with three children at home.
Accepting Christ was the turning point. “That’s when my life really changed,” she said, noting she was offered drug court in Noble County and was later released to a halfway house in Angola.
Ashlyn Fawley, program coordinator for All Things New, gave a brief overview of what the program will look like. She said it will contain several components, including ministering to physical and mental health needs, providing education and nutrition information, employment and more. “We want to offer women hope in Christ,” she said. “Our goal is to reestablish them in the community,” adding there will be a transition process.
She acknowledged the need is great in Kosciusko County, saying the county has been number one in the state for the number of meth addictions in recent years.
Bill Fawley said the date of opening is near, but when the doors open the facility must be staffed 24 hours, seven days per week “forever.” He said there is an immediate financial need of roughly $57,000 for staffing and repairs and the budget will be approximately $22,000 per month.
To make a donation or for more information, call (574) 376-9830, email [email protected] or visit the website at www.allthingsnew.us.