Saturday, 05 December 2020
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What Happens when a Ministry Out-Grows its Goal? A Family of Ministries is Built.

Founded by Anne and Jimmy Pierson in 1972, House of His Creation is believed to be the first maternity home in the United States to use a family model for its ministry. The Piersons served as the ministry’s first houseparents, when they purchased and opened their Coastville, Pa. home  to up to 17 pregnant young women at once over the ministry’s first dozen years.

Fast-forward to 1984 and three homes serving mothers with different needs were alive and well in House of His Creation. But the Piersons felt called to something new. It was time to step away from the day-to-day at House of His Creation, and share their experience—which was in high demand.

That’s when the couple began Loving and Caring, Inc. to “minister to the ministers” of other life-affirming pregnancy help organizations—particularly in the maternity home setting.

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Both organizations have thrived and grown in the 31 years since, adding new programs and connecting more and more with local and national programs, including Deeper Still abortion recovery retreats and Beautiful You events—pioneered by Janet Pearson, a mother once helped by House of His Creation.

Callie and Matt Neff have been involved in House of His Creation since 2005, when they became live-in houseparents. Right away, the couple began supporting and re-evaluating the Loving and Caring curriculum and materials. It didn’t take long for both to take on new leadership roles.

“None of this is in my background,” Callie Neff said, “I’m kind of just an everything-role now.”

Just as Callie has taken on new administrative roles with House of His Creation, Matt is now serving as the Executive Director for Loving and Caring. Meanwhile, both still serve on the ministry team for Deeper Still, where an even bigger opportunity is showing itself.

Tweet This: Neff family merging housing, leadership retreat ministries under one roof. @NMHC

Working together, House of His Creation and Loving and Caring are in the process of obtaining a new property in Lititz, Pa. for their work – just 20 minutes from their current location. With this purchase, the ministry reach will grow beyond what anyone expected. To reflect that change, the ministries will join to be called Family of Restoration Ministries.

With this new property, Family of Restoration Ministries will have not only an on-site maternity home, but a space for the Deeper Still and Beautiful You events. There are even apartments on the property that are currently leased to tenants to fund the ministry, but will likely serve to expand House of His Creation’s ministry by housing women who already have children.

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Opening up new spaces also allows for some dreams to come true—including space to host new parenting classes that are designed to look more like discussions over dinner, and an opportunity for a more specific focus on adoption education.

After seeing adoptions drop significantly in the area, the Neffs had a chance to hear from a maternity home that has a very adoption-centric model at the 2015 Heartbeat International Annual Conference. With that in mind and the opportunity for different living spaces with different focuses now closer to a reality, the Neffs now hope to bring adoption back up in their area.

In all of her work with Loving and Caring working to be a unifier for maternity housing and serving mothers directly in House of His Creation, Callie Neff says she has been blessed and inspired by many.

Tweet This: @HeartbeatIntl raises the standard, and being part of @NMHC is so great.

“I have so appreciated getting to know Heartbeat,” she said. “Heartbeat raises the standard, and being a part of the National Maternity Housing Coalition is so great. We’re all in this for the same mission and doing it together.”

Although there is still a 15-month timetable on the final purchase of this new property and the official launch of Family of Restoration Ministries, the Neffs are thrilled to be gaining this new chance for an even wider ministry reach, and they refuse to be overwhelmed.

As Callie says, “It’s been good—big, but good.”

Jennifer Wright

Passionately seeking the truth, Jennifer spends most of her time reading, talking philosophy, and analyzing the world around her. Whether it's singing at Church, hosting friends, or walking around town, she's always looking to make connections or learn something new about the world, God, or people. That makes her work writing and editing at Heartbeat International a perfect fit, and her dream job!

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