Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Compact Family Services

We all have basic needs as humans. We need food to eat, water to drink, a roof over our heads, and someone, anyone, to care about us. Some people are fortunate enough to get those needs met through their family, while others have no family of their own. And when you have no family, it can be hard to find food, water, and a roof over your head, especially when you are young. Compact Family Services is a Christ-centered ministry working to help those who fall into that last category of people.

Compact Family Services is a ministry of the Assemblies of God, located in Hot Springs, Arkansas, serving in 5 different ministry areas: Hillcrest Children’s Home, Highlands Maternity Home, Adoptions, Foster Care, and Transitional Living. You can learn more about each area at

Hillcrest Children’s Home is a private, Christian, residential child care campus for children and youth ages 5-18 who have been abused, neglected, and sexually exploited. These children are offered hope and healing by being provided with a safe environment where they can have a chance to find complete restoration in body, mind, and spirit.

Highlands Maternity Home is a place dedicated to bringing hope and healing to young women who are dealing with unplanned pregnancy. They offer a loving Christian environment for young women to get back on their feet. They offer classes on both adoption and parenting so that young women can make the best decision possible for them and their child. They offer adoption services if that is what a young woman decides is best for them and their baby free of charge.

Transitional Living Center is available to graduating Hillcrest residents, aging-out foster care youth, and transitioning women from Highlands Maternity Home. While in the Transitional Living Center there are many classes and activities available to continue to assist these young people in becoming successful and independent.

There are so many ways that you can help reach the lives of these children and young adults. Prayer, Giving, Sponsorship, Foster Parenting, and Adoption are just a few ways you can help.

Prayer is always needed. Compact Family Services has a detailed prayer guide on their website to let you know just what they need prayer for.

You can Give to Compact Family Services in a general contribution or to specific projects within specific ministries. For example, you can donate specifically to the Hillcrest College Scholarship Fund to help graduating Hillcrest kids continue their education. You can Sponsor a child. Visit the sponsorship page to learn more.

Become a Host Family. Maybe you can’t commit to being a foster parent or adopting a child permanently, but you can still help make a difference by becoming a Host Family. Host families are families who host one or more children in their home for holidays, vacations, or other occasions.

Also available on their website are lists of their most needed items. Maybe there is something on that list that you can donate?

Hillcrest has a special project currently to provide massage therapy for the girls there which I shared in a previous post. Another fantastic way you could provide help for these children. Even a one-time donation would be a blessing!

You can follow Compact Family Services on Facebook and Twitter.

We are called as Christians to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Helping Compact meet the needs of these children and young adults is a great way to do that!

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Spa at Redeemed Womens Conference - Guest Post by Deb Abshier

Deb Abshier does a phenomenal job coordinating and running the spa at Women's Conference each year. She is a wonderful woman of God and a personal blessing to me. She spends Friday's each year at conference making sure as many women as possible get rejuvenated in body to go along with the rejuvenation of the spirit that the weekend holds. As you will read momentarily, sometimes the rejuvenation of the spirit occurs while being pampered in body!!

The day started with ladies arriving and unloading their vehicles, As they passed through the lobby, now spa they grew excited. Most returned to sign up for at least one massage. We had several professional ladies who volunteered their time only receiving tips in exchange. Once everyone was in the same mind of keeping a quiet and calm atmosphere, the entire day went very smoothly.

Foot washing/prayer with missionary Melodie Joice
We also had foot washing that had the option of hand massage as well. At first the foot washing was not as popular as the massages, and lacked participants. There came a turning point as Melodie Joice stepped in to give massages. I remember thinking how cool it was that she would step up to give a break and wash feet for strangers.

Melodie is a missionary to Tanzania who is itenerating this year. She teaches people about childrens' ministry. She is also a sweet hearted woman of God. Another little known fact is that her journal is pictures. She carries a camera and the pictures she takes become her journal entries.

So all the ladies continued their massages without interruption as Melodie simply stepped into the position. It was not too long before our attention was drawn to the back wall where the foot washing station was. The lady receiving the wash was also receiving a touch from the Holy Spirit. As she continued to minister to the lady we could feel the presence of God fill the room. Everyone was pleased and welcomed His presence. This continued until time to close the spa. Needless to say the foot wash line filled up too.

The spa is a treat, each year ladies are drawn into the dorm lobby for a professional massage and always say the atmosphere is peaceful and inviting. We regularly have missionaries present at Womens Conference. Last year we were blessed in the spa with the warm heart and laughter of U.S. Missionary Betty Holyfield. Several ladies were touched by here conversation and encouragement, I was one of them. For me, the missionaries that come to our Womens Conference are a huge benefit, to them and us. Missionaries are a treasure we all can support financially yes, but also with prayer. Both types of support are essential.

God likes humility, obedience and willingness to just give of what we have, doing just what He directs. The ladies who do the massages say they are blessed each year as just as much as the ones receiving the massages and it is obvious as i watch the interaction in the spa. This year we all witnessed God visit tangibly and minister to these ladies who opened to Him. Both the giver and recipient. It was a joy to be a part of the spa this year.