He was small at birth, one month premature and in the NICU for over a week. His parents were both addicted to drugs - even with a deep love for each other, they were ready to give up on life. They felt powerless to break free from the drugs that were destroying them. But then, there was a positive pregnancy test. They decided to try one more time to live, going their separate ways into recovery programs for the sake of the child. Though he was the still the size of an almond, this small thing was making a big difference.
Meanwhile, we had been able to purchase, at an affordable price, a new home for families. It needed some real work and we had big plans for a volunteer led renovation in the spring. But in February, 2020, everything changed. The city went into quarantine, volunteers weren’t able to come, supplies weren’t available, staff worked from home – and the baby was born. His mother had been in Lower Lights Recovery program and both parents had found new life in Christ and sobriety. Now they were looking for a new home for their family in the midst of a crisis that seemed to have all avenues blocked. We were able to provide emergency housing in a small apartment, but really wanted this new family in their newest home-but it was so far from ready!
Brave volunteers from Grace Fellowship and New Albany’s Grace Life Nazarene Church, along with dedicated staff, began doing the work. Led by Tom and Amy Hanes, the little group made small but steady progress on what appeared an overwhelming task.
The small child wasn’t even sitting up yet when his story made a big difference. Several Columbus corporations heard Lower Lights was trying to get this home fixed up in the midst of the crisis and they reached out to help. Elevated Integrity Construction Services, Summit Construction, Executive Construction Services and Budget Carpet and Flooring came together to get things done. Slowed down by the pandemic, but not stopped, they and the volunteers shored up weakened beams and walls, bought and installed all new windows, hung new drywall and installed all new flooring, painted walls and more. The renovation project became a home.
This month the family moved into their beautiful new house. The father, a carpenter himself, contributed to the renovation and put on the finishing touches. The mother, worked tirelessly and turned the house into a safe place for the family to thrive.
They both are full of plans on how they can help others find freedom from addiction.
And the small baby? As soon as they moved in, and for the first time, he pulled himself alongside the couch and stood smiling at his family. Sometimes, the small things makes the biggest difference.
By Jan Ruark, CEO
Would you like to see the chubby little legs that stood up that day?
Watch the video below to the end and be amazed!
"All I can say is WOW!!! I thought the documentary was informative and extremely heartfelt. It made me feel proud to be part of the LLM family and I believe it will incline new people to do the same." - LLM advocate
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