The Blog

Proud to Be Your “Fake Mom”

But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? Romans 10:14

Hello Friend!

Recently one of the girls got into a little bit of an argument with a friend.  He asked her to do something she didn’t want to and he was mad because she was following her “fake mom and dad’s” rules.  First, kudos to her for choosing to do the right thing!  Second, I have never been called a fake mom before and it made me laugh!

On Mother’s Day I received flowers, cards, phone calls and hugs from young women who live or used to live here at Harvest House. While I have absolutely no desire to take the place of these ladies’ mothers, I am thrilled to be able to stand in that role for a time in their lives.  It is a blessing to live life with them and to model a faith-based home for them.  Even before Harvest House, I had some young ladies around who jokingly called me mom and I called them my daughters!  It thrills my heart to see the Lord put these girls in our family for a time and how long those relationships last.

I want these letters to showcase what God is doing through this ministry but this month it is on my heart to also remind of the costs that we have when it comes to providing a home for these young women.

$420 – Covers all costs for one young woman for a month
That can be broken down into…
$225 – Provides a roof over her head
$75 – Puts food at the table
$70 – Gives her warmth and water through utilities
$50 – Provides for all other household costs

Please consider if you can help meet any of these needs for the young women living here.  Also, please consider if there are people in your life – individuals or groups – that might want to know more about Harvest House, we would love to share what God is doing in these ladies’ lives.  Please know that we are so thankful for all the support, prayers and generosity that is lavished on this ministry.  God is calling us to dream big dreams for these girls and we can’t wait to continue sharing the work He is doing in their lives!

Have a blessed day,

Aaron and Elizabeth Kilby
HarvestDayton@gmail.com

We have some needed household items on our Amazon Wish List at http://amzn.com/w/1Q92QXYCJ7MZI if you would like to help with practical gifts!

(It will say Second Harvest Thrift Store but is designated for Harvest House)

 

What A Journey

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

Hello Friend!

Recently, I was asked how I initially got involved with Harvest House.  Would you believe that journey started when I was 18 years old?  Fourteen years ago I showed up at the Attic Teen Center to volunteer because I was tired of how self centered my life had become.  I knew I needed a new focus and to serve someone else so I figured I could hide behind a “job” at the teen center, put in my time and feel good about my contribution.  Little did I know.

I started to really like the people I was serving with.  I showed up more frequently and became more involved.  I remember the first time I was asked to pray when we finished a Bible study.  I remember the first time I was told I couldn’t hide behind the concession counter and that my task for the night was wandering the room and talking to people.  I was painfully shy – it was no easy task!

I started to hear stories of young women who were hurting.  I heard about a young women who slept on anyone’s couch she could that night.  Her parents often had no idea where she was and that was normal in her world.  These stories broke my heart and made me want to solve ALL the world’s problems. God didn’t see fit to place me in a ministry that solved all the world’s problems, but I could help some.  Andy Stanley once said, “Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone.”  So that is what I did.

I gave young ladies rides home after spending time at the Attic.  I invited groups of young ladies to my house for Chinese food and movies.  I met with these young women for coffee and just to hang out.  I rewarded good grades with ice cream trips.  I got involved in their lives and was just around as they needed me.

Don’t forget that you can do the same thing.  And you can start today!  Remember, God doesn’t need us to be perfect to be useful, He just needs us to be willing.  Meet with someone.  Open up your guest room to someone who needs help.  Get in someone’s life and be available.  You will be amazed how God can use your willingness, I know I was!

Have a blessed day,

Aaron and Elizabeth Kilby
HarvestDayton@gmail.com

We have some needed household items on our Amazon Wish List at http://amzn.com/w/1Q92QXYCJ7MZI if you would like to help with practical gifts!

(It will say Second Harvest Thrift Store but is designated for Harvest House)

 

March Madness @ Harvest House

And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks through him to God the Father. Colossians 3:17 NLT

Hello Friend!

Usually in my newsletters I try to keep it simple and give you one story or an update about one thing.  Not this time!  We are planted in a season of sickness, tough decisions, big events and lots of planning so my brain is firmly in checklist mode.  That mode makes sure everything necessary gets done but is in short and sweet format instead of big developed thoughts!  Here is a quick update on some of the things going on around here…

  • We seem to be in a season of sickness.  Please pray for health over this entire home and that recovery would be quick.  Being sidelined for any amount of time is always discouraging.
  • I have the opportunity to speak at a conference this month and will be focusing on the topic of discipleship to those in vulnerable or at risk situations.  It is a topic near and dear to my heart. Please that my words will be heard to the glory of God.
  • I am also working on a certification through Teen Challenge to teach their Personal Studies for New Christians curriculum.  This would give us a more structured approach to Christian education for the girls that are living at the house.  It will be a little while before we can fully implement these ideas, but it is in the works!
  • If you remember, in November I shared how I felt God whispered the number $12,000 to my heart as a goal to reach for increased funding this year, that is in addition to all funding already pledged.  We are still far from that goal but I don’t believe God whispers without following through.  Please continue to pray for opportunities to get the word out and hearts to be moved to see that number reached.
  • And finally, I just wanted to share with you how much it blesses my heart to know we are seen by God.  We had a local MOPS group make blankets for the girls as well as collect other donations for Harvest House.  A little warmth and being thought of are such a boost!  We are so thankful for their kindness.  There have also been other groups and individuals that have recently sent gifts and messages letting us know they are thinking of us…and I always consider that God prompting their hearts.  I’m so grateful.

Have a blessed day,

Aaron and Elizabeth Kilby
HarvestDayton@gmail.com

We have some needed household items on our Amazon Wish List at http://amzn.com/w/1Q92QXYCJ7MZI if you would like to help with practical gifts!

(It will say Second Harvest Thrift Store but is designated for Harvest House)

 

Small Things Done Well

And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple,
truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.” Matthew 10:42

Hello Friend!

So many times as Christians, when we hear “effective ministry” we think of the big organizations, large churches, well known authors and well read blogs.  We get it in our heads that we aren’t effective simply because we aren’t well known or because our impact may not be as large.  Friends, we are ALL called to effective ministry right where we are.

I was able to attend the IF:Gathering earlier this month.  It is a women’s conference based in Texas and live-streamed to local groups throughout the country.  The main speaker, Jennie Allen, made the point many times that we are called to do the small things well.  To make her point even more clear, she called up to the stage a lady who had been involved in her life while she was a college student.  Together, looking out into a crowd of thousands of women, with thousands more watching throughout the country, Jennie told the older woman that all of this wouldn’t have been possible without her faithfulness.

The older woman was her mentor while she was in college and Jennie told the story of availability, chocolate chip cookies and an open Bible on the living room floor.  She recounted how this woman invested her life and willingly shared her knowledge of the scriptures and her desire for the Word.  It may have seemed small and just a routine day, but the impact was huge.  The impact it is still having is huge.

I think about my life and the people who have spent time teaching and instructing me in the Word of God.  Thankfully, they didn’t think it was insignificant and a waste of time to teach just one.  People like the Sunday School teacher who greeted me every Sunday and made me feel welcome where I felt out of place.  People like Emily who met with me faithfully every week even though I was the only one who showed up for the Bible study.  People like my parents who were taught about the Lord by their parents. Then I think about the faces of the women who I have had a chance to come alongside, not just at Harvest House, but through the church and teen centers as well.  I’ll tell you the truth – my life is better with them in it, even though it can be complicated and messy and hard!

Buy that cup of coffee.  Answer that phone call.  Meet with someone even if you don’t think you know all the answers – search for the answers together.  Just don’t forget we are all called to ministry in one way or another and our faithfulness in today could have a lasting impact on more people than we could ever fathom.

Have a blessed day,

Aaron and Elizabeth Kilby
HarvestDayton@gmail.com

We have some needed household items on our Amazon Wish List at http://amzn.com/w/1Q92QXYCJ7MZI if you would like to help with practical gifts!

(It will say Second Harvest Thrift Store but is designated for Harvest House)

 

Back To Life

For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’
So they began to celebrate.  Luke 15:24

Hello Friend!

“When something that was dead comes back to life, we celebrate.”  That is what my husband, Aaron, said when I told him Lindsey, one of our former residents was coming to town for a visit. This young lady was one of our regulars years ago at the Cellar Teen Center.  She gave her life to the Lord and was baptized twelve years ago – by Aaron.  But time pulled her away and she found herself a single mother with addictions that haunted her.

We spent time at Harvest House encouraging her and speaking truth into her life.  She left here and went to Teen Challenge for a year where she beat her addictions through the help of the Lord.  Most importantly, she refocused her life on the Lord and really has a desire to live for Him.  In her words, “Jesus, He is all I can talk about now.”

I told her when she lived here we would throw her a graduation party when she earned her GED.  Two years ago I even printed a handwritten note in this newsletter where she said her goal was to pass her GED and many of you prayed she would accomplish it.  Well, this past year she DID accomplish it and Friday night we threw her a party!  As we all gathered at the house, current and past residents heard her story.  She was such an encouragement!

Saturday we gathered once again to celebrate her renewed commitment to the Lord.  Aaron baptized her again – not because it was required, but because she wanted to publicly mark this new phase of her life where she is once again devoted to the Lord.  And celebrate we did!

When I asked if I could write about her in the newsletter she said, “Yes!  Use my name, use my picture, use whatever you want.  I want people to know I am changed!”.   Please continue to pray for Lindsey as you think of it.  We are so proud of her and it was such a blessing to greet her at the door and say, “Welcome home.”

Have a blessed day,

Aaron and Elizabeth Kilby
HarvestDayton@gmail.com

We have some needed household items on our Amazon Wish List at http://amzn.com/w/1Q92QXYCJ7MZI if you would like to help with practical gifts!

(It will say Second Harvest Thrift Store but is designated for Harvest House)

 

Year End Giving

Then the people rejoiced because they had offered so willingly, for they made their offering to the Lord with a whole heart, and King David also rejoiced greatly.
1 Chronicles 29:9

yearendgiving

Greetings Friends,

This year was amazing.  God is so good and I’m thankful for the front row seat we have been given to see Him at work.  Ya’ll, I can’t even begin to share with you all the things I have seen and learned and experienced because of this ministry.  This year we have celebrated salvation, sobriety and so much more!  God is so good.  If you didn’t check it out before, you can see videos from two of our girls online where they share just a little bit of their stories.

 See their videos here.

As the clock quickly ticks toward the New Year, it is not too late to make a year end gift to Harvest House for 2016.  IRS regulations require us to close out our books at midnight on December 31st so anything received before that online or in person will be recorded for 2016’s charitable giving records (and anything after midnight will be recorded for 2017).  We are so thankful for your support during 2016 and look forward to continuing to partner with you in 2017 to give these girls the fresh start and hope they need for the future.  Donations can be made online by clicking here: www.harvesthousedayton.com/support

We are thankful to be a part of this ministry and thankful for YOU helping to make it possible.  

Have a blessed day,

Aaron and Elizabeth Kilby
HarvestDayton@gmail.com

We have some needed household items on our Amazon Wish List at http://amzn.com/w/1Q92QXYCJ7MZI if you would like to help with practical gifts!

(It will say Second Harvest Thrift Store but is designated for Harvest House)

 

Merry Christmas

Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Philippians 1:3 NLT

Hello Friend!

We could not do this without you.  I say that sincerely, from the bottom of my heart.  This ministry is possible because of the encouragement, donations and supplies provided by YOU, the ones who are reading this letter right now.  And, like the verse above says, I thank my God every time I think of you.  Sometimes in very specific ways when something crosses my path from a certain person.  Sometimes in very specific ways when something crosses my path from a certain person; and other times, in a very general way as I recognize the effort of so many people to make this ministry possible.

Thank you.  Thank you for a strong 2016 where we saw salvation, life change and HUGE steps made toward new hope.  Thank you for dreaming with us about what 2017 and the years to come will hold.  We are blessed to be a part of this ministry and thankful for the opportunity.  I can’t wait to see what God will do next!

From Our Family to Yours, Merry Christmas!!
familypicture

Have a blessed day,

Aaron and Elizabeth Kilby
HarvestDayton@gmail.com

We have some needed household items on our Amazon Wish List at http://amzn.com/w/1Q92QXYCJ7MZI if you would like to help with practical gifts!

(It will say Second Harvest Thrift Store but is designated for Harvest House)

 

GivingTuesday2016

Supporting Harvest House enables us to provide for the needs of those that God has entrusted to us. There are many different needs including food, shelter, medical expenses, and clothing. We are an IRS approved 501 (c) 3 organization that is governed by a Board of Directors.  All donations are tax deductible.


Please note, the PayPal says donate to “Second Harvest Thrift Store” but donations are designated for Harvest House. To make a monthly donation, please include your phone number and I will contact you to set it up for your convenience. Or, you can email us at harvestdayton@gmail.com

Two of our residents asked to share their stories with you!  Below the videos are some additional ways you can partner with Harvest House.

 

Other ways that you can help support Harvest House include:
1. Do your Amazon.com shopping through AmazonSmile—Just go to smile.amazon.com before you begin shopping.  Search for “Harvest Youth Ministries” (Beavercreek) and select it as your charity.  Amazon will donate a percentage to HH at no additional cost to you!

2.  While you’re on Amazon, did you know HH has a WishList?  We try to keep it updated with things needed to run the house from dish soap to toilet paper to ink for the printers.  You can find it at http://smile.amazon.com/registry/wishlist/1Q92QXYCJ7MZI  This allows you to add items to your checkout and they will be shipped directly to us!

3. You can set up a recurring donation using a credit card so that it automatically runs on the first of every month!  No writing a check, no finding a stamp!  You can email me and I will help you get set up!

4.  “Share” us on Facebook, email, etc!  The easiest way for people to find out about our ministry is through people who already love and support our ministry.  Please tell your friends and share with them the awesome ways God is at work!  Word of mouth is the best way to let people know about the impact Harvest House can have on lives!

5.  Pray.  Please don’t forget to continue to pray for us.  We are involved in a kingdom struggle for souls and we would love your support as we continue to press on!

We are thankful to be a part of this ministry and thankful for YOU helping to make it possible.

Have a blessed day,
Aaron and Elizabeth Kilby                                                               HarvestDayton@Gmail.com

Thanksgiving

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Philippians 4:4

Hello Friend!

I have a friend who used to make a list of ten things she was thankful for every week – she called it Thankful Thursdays.  I was thinking about her and that spirit of thankfulness…so I thought I would make my own list.  Now, please remember she had a weekly list and I’m trying to cover an entire year, so this is just a highlight of the highlights.

  1. Salvation – one of our residents told us she was ready to give her life to the Lord and stop trying to do things her own way.  What a miracle!
  1. Weddings – one of our girls was married recently and is looking forward to growing in the Lord with her husband!  Pray for them!
  1. Sobriety – two of our girls are celebrating staying away from drugs and/or alcohol for over a year. We are so proud of them!  Another is following close behind coming up on nine months!
  1. Faithfulness – we have friends of the ministry showing up at just the right time. I’m thankful they have allowed God to use themtreeservice in this way.  This includes a woman who decided to send us quarterly supplies – what a blessing to know that paper towels, toilet paper, napkins and more are on the way!
  1. Tree Removal – we have had an unsafe, dead tree in our back yard, and as I type this letter, “Mr. Jon is flying in the air and cutting the tree” as my kids put it!
  1. Three New Residents – we have had THREE young ladies move in this year and we are thankful to be a part of their lives!
  1. Life Enrichment Center – they have continued to bless us repeatedly with grocery donations.  I think their director Jeff gets sick of hearing me say it, but it is such a huge help and we are thankful for them!
  1. Far Hills – this local church decided to bless local ministries and wrote a check for $5,040 to Harvest House.  This is the amount needed to cover the costs for one girl for an entire year!  (See video below!)
  1. Harvest Christian Fellowship – our local church has continued to love our residents and help us love them well.  They are such a blessing and I could go on for a couple pages about all the ways they have come alongside us!
  1. All of you –  the people who pray for us, send in donations, give us words of encouragement and are a part of our lives.  THANK YOU.  We could not do this without you!

This year we have realized an increase in regular donors and in one time donations. We are thankful that God continues to meet our needs.  We are setting a goal of raising an additional $1000 per month in the next year to offset some increased costs and to make sure we continue to love these girls well.  Please pray for us as we work toward that goal!   Again, I cannot say it enough THANK YOU!

Have a blessed day,

Aaron and Elizabeth Kilby
HarvestDayton@gmail.com

We have some needed household items on our Amazon Wish List at http://amzn.com/w/1Q92QXYCJ7MZI if you would like to help with practical gifts!

(It will say Second Harvest Thrift Store but is designated for Harvest House)




Hard is NOT the Same as Bad

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.  Romans 5:3-5

Hello Friend!

Today I have been spending time thinking about goal sheets, applications and budgets.  Really, all the glamorous stuff that produces great ministry photo opportunities!  Just kidding, no one wants a picture of that.  It is in these moments of sifting and figuring that God shows me clearly how He is taking care of us every step of the way.  While they may not be glamorous, they definitely give me insight into our Lord’s love.

It is pretty much impossible to review goal sheets without praying for the young ladies that live here.  Each one of them is striving for something different.  One just got her first real job, another is planning a wedding.  All of them are working toward something bigger than what they could have imagined when they first moved in.  I told one of the girls last night I knew I had pushed her hard since she moved in – and look at all the things she has accomplished!  God is all over those moments and reminds me that He is faithful to complete the good work He starts in us.  I can push, encourage and support, but He is the one who changes lives.

A blogger that I read frequently often says “Hard is not the same as bad”.  And that phrase struck a chord with me.  Pushing these girls to do things they don’t think they can do – hard.  Figuring out budgets and how to make that last dollar cover everything that needs to be paid – hard. Consistently making wise choices to guide these young women’s lives – hard.  Sticking with it when things get difficult and when correction needs to be given – hard.  But hard is not the same as bad.  Hard pushes us and hard makes us seek God even more.  Hard produces perseverance and as the verse above states, that works into hope.  And we KNOW that He is faithful and good and our hope remains strong in that promise.

During hard times, I am thankful for the prayer warriors I know are out there, praying for us before we ask and probably for all the things we don’t know to ask.  Thank you for your support!  These girls are breaking chains from old ways of life and ways of thinking that are destructive and that is HARD.  While it hurts to see them struggle, there is great joy in knowing that they are in process and watching as God refines those parts.  Please keep praying and encouraging and walking along side our family in this ministry.  We are thankful for you!

Have a blessed day,

Aaron and Elizabeth Kilby
HarvestDayton@gmail.com

We have some needed household items on our Amazon Wish List at http://amzn.com/w/1Q92QXYCJ7MZI if you would like to help with practical gifts!

(It will say Second Harvest Thrift Store but is designated for Harvest House)