Linda Arzu has a pretty hefty wish list.
She dreams of a well-maintained house with six bedrooms, two-and-one-half bathrooms and plenty of living and communal space.
She hopes to fill it with unwed pregnant women who have nowhere else to go and counselors who can nurture and inspire them to better their lives.
She prays it all happens in a two-year time frame.
All of this isn’t idealism on her part. To Arzu, creating a maternity home in the Mid-Hudson Valley is a God-inspired vision she believes will fill an unmet need.
“I’ve been pro-life for a long time, and I just really started feeling like we can’t tell women not to have abortions if we’re not going to help them through hard times,” Arzu said.
After she enlisted the support of those at her church, Abundant Life Tabernacle in Kingston, Arzu has been marching forward with plans for the ministry she’s calling Faith House.
“I knew God was calling me to do it,” she said. “I just don’t know how I’m going to pull it off.”
First off, Arzu needs to find a home. She’s hoping someone will donate one either in Kingston or Poughkeepsie, where women can easily get to their doctors or stores.
Arzu estimates she needs about $250,000 to get the ministry started, though a lot of that is dependent on whether someone gifts the ministry with a house.
After it is secured, Arzu and her six-member founding committee, plan to bring on counselors and volunteers to serve as house managers and coaches.
To date, the Faith House committee has been relying on established ministries like Heartbeat International and Loving and Caring for direction and guidance.
A key component to the Mid-Hudson maternity house will be equipping women, ages 18 to 24, with parenting, nutritional and budgeting skills as well as GED preparation and ultimately, job skills.
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“Faith House is not designed to be like a shelter where you just show up at night,” Arzu said.“We’ll have house parents there to provide structure and teach them the skills to be a mother. That’s what it’s designed to be.”
Arzu and the others behind Faith House also expect to build the women’s spiritual lives by holding regular Bible studies.
As far as who Faith House will take in, Arzu said it will be open to any woman facing an unplanned pregnancy who doesn’t mind relocating if she has to.
“There’s nothing here now,”Arzu said of ministries that provide similar services. “There’s a pregnancy center in Hudson, and they ended up driving a woman to a place in Syracuse, so we’ll take people from anywhere.”
For the time being, she and the other committee members are looking to raise sufficient funds to get the project off the ground.
And Arzu is crossing her fingers for that house on her wish list.
“We’d love to be open in two years. What would really spur this on so much is if we found the place. We’re trusting God,” she said.
To help, or for more information about Faith House, go to www.faithhouseny.org or call (845) 372-8052.