Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Fall Crafts at Village Oaks

For Thanksgiving, the kids in the Village Oaks Kids Club each created a "Mobile of Thanks" for their parents.

Our mobiles were provided mainly by nature. We went on three different nature walks around the Village Oaks property to gather up unique leaves, sticks, and acorns.  The kids really enjoyed the project, and we hope you like our finished project!


-- Jayda Ekundayo

Monday, November 28, 2011


84 turkeys were given away this year at Village Oaks and Willow Pond.  Here are a few pictures of some happy recipients!


-- Behind Every Door Ministries

Friday, November 25, 2011

Restoring Dignity


Thanks to some generous friends, we were able to send some men from Village Oaks to a Cowboys game. It is amazing that something as simple as a ticket to the Cowboys game can create so much dignity in someone's life.

We were so blessed to give the tickets to these men, and encouraged by the way that their spirits were lifted and their confidence boosted.


-- Will Dowell

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

November Update!

53 year-old Village Oaks resident Keith Smith goes by "Smitty." Smitty has been very involved with the activities at Village Oaks.

I asked Smitty: "What is your favorite thing about Jesus?"  His response: "He saves."

After a winding road from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to being homeless on the streets of Dallas for 3 years in bondage to addiction...Smitty was saved.
"Things are looking up now that I'm saved. It's a lot better."  Smitty keeps it profoundly simple.

"God wakes me up in the morning.  Then I pray before I get out of bed.  Then I study."  You like to study?  "Oh yes! Absolutely."

I should have known the answer because I get texts from Smitty several times a week with lessons from his studies.  For example, one day he wrote: "Spiritual armor for spiritual war" with a list of verses to read.

Smitty has shared parts of his story with our Real Men group. He is thankful to have his own apartment at Village Oaks. I recently asked him about his father.  "I never knew him.  Once my mother introduced me to him and he looked at me and said, 'I'm not your father.' That was like being carved with a knife.  I struggled with it for many years."

What about now? "God is a Father who doesn't turn His back on you," he said. He told me his relationship with God has brought forgiveness toward his natural father.  "When I forgive, the blessings start coming down."

And what about the future? "I could see myself becoming a preacher some day.  In God's time."
I'd love to hear Smitty preach.  And his life is preaching a profound and simple truth as we speak: Jesus Saves!


If you haven't seen the new Behind Every Door video "Vigorous, Wonderful Change"... take a look! It is a look back at the last two years. Here is the link:

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! 

-- Behind Every Door Ministries

Monday, November 21, 2011

Fall Fun at Willow Pond

Jugglers, hoola hoops, pumpkins, paint, balloons and farm animals!  This fall has been full of delightful activity.  As residents drove into the apartments last Friday, the grass and parking lots were filled with kids learning to juggle and with hoola hoops and balloons flying.  Kay, our wonderful volunteer who hired the jugglers made a comment.  She said, “ I think these kids should have the same things our kids had.”  Well, ok, maybe my kids never had a professional juggler at their birthday party.  But, lets give them something even better!

The glow on C.J.’s face said it all when the timing finally clicked and he could keep 3 balls flying in the air.  He had learned something new.  He was good at it.  So an afternoon of fun becomes something even better: an opportunity for a new skill learned and a confidence gained.


-- Suzanne Wallace

Friday, November 18, 2011

Changing Forever

Summers at Willow Pond are a little different from the school year.

We have children from all over come and stay with Aunts, uncles and grandparents.  It is a great time for us in the community center.  We get to know and build relationships with the kids who are just visiting.  This summer we had a group of 4 siblings, 3 girls and 1 boy.  Their father lives at Willow Pond; he has become my friend and is currently coming to Real Men on Saturdays.

I spent my time doing Nickle Club collectively with them.  We started reading the Gospel of Luke, and everyday they would come up and ask to read.

I didn't know at the time they had never read or learned about who Jesus was.

At the end of the summer they all went back home to New Orleans.  He told me how well his kids are doing, and what he said next made me smile.  He said the children's mother called him asking what he did to the children this summer.  She told him they had been reading the bible and praying, something they had not done before.  The father told me they had no biblical background until this summer.  It is a reminder of how much a seed will grow if planted in good soil.  One summer and these kids grabbed on to something that will change them forever.

-- Rickey Fanning

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Flag Football at Willow Pond

We are thankful for our new partner at Willow Pond: Grace Hill Church.

Recently, they hosted a Flag Football Tournament and cookout at Willow Pond.  We had a great time, ate lots of food, and played a lot of flag football.  Enjoy the pictures below!


-- Behind Every Door Ministries

Monday, November 14, 2011

WOW Girls at Willow Pond

A few of the girls involved with the W.O.W. girls group at Willow Pond!


-- Behind Every Door Ministries

Friday, November 11, 2011

Willow Pond Staff Appreciation

Recently, some residents at Willow Pond got together to host a surprise lunch for Rickey and Suzanne (the Willow Pond Ministry Staff).  The residents expressed their thanks to Rickey and Suzanne for all of their hard work at Willow Pond.  It was incredible to be part of!  There was corn on the cob, homemade gumbo, lasagna, bread, and more!  Most of all, it was neat to watch the residents appreciate two people who have served their community so well.


-- Behind Every Door Ministries

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Willow Pond Garden Dedication

"Willow Pond Going Green” is lettered on the sign of our new Community Garden.  Our Garden team leader, Mr. Mohammad, planned a cookout and dedication evening to initiate the garden.  I was a little concerned that the event was going to go late, as parties here often deteriorate into a drinking fest as the night wears on.

The evening was great, with a dedication prayer for the garden and lots of food on the grill.  As Rickey and I were leaving a little early, Mr. Mohammad came and knocked on my window.  I rolled it down and he said, “Come back for a minute.  I want you to see something.” There was a group circled up on our patio beside the garden, not having a drinking fest, but singing and worshiping God.  Gardens mean new life.  May this garden bring the community together for new life in Jesus!


-- Suzanne Wallace

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fall Festival at Village Oaks!

The Fall Festival at Village Oaks was a lot of fun!  There was a whole bunch of candy, face painting, and several games going on.  And, we were able to partner with Yums, AntiVenom, and Dunimus to give away clothing and CDs.  The Dunimus guys even brought some rappers to put on a live show for our community.  We were excited when our very own Ty Choice (Assistant Director at the Village Oaks Kids Club) joined the other rappers on the stage to do a few songs!  Enjoy the pictures! 


-- Behind Every Door Ministries