Our story starts at a place where trauma and tragedy, love and laughter, joy and pain, all collided in a home. And in our heads, it was normal. Our family lived in an environment where alcoholism and church were not foreign to each other. We lived an oxymoron! We had a functioning, alcoholic father, who had not processed his pain and a praying mother, who experienced anxiety as she held it down for her five children. We thought our dysfunctional life was normal because it had been that way for as long as we could remember. We experienced trauma and tragedy, but that is not what we called it. We called it normal. We also experienced deep love and commitment. And we are grateful that love outweighed the trauma of what could have been our sink hole. Our mother set an example for loving beyond the pain, commitment in spite of betrayals, walking humbly and all the while serving God. And this, was our “normal”!
Momma taught us how to reach back and pull someone up from the same places we had survived and to constantly be on the look-out for how we could be the positive change in humanity. It was instilled in us early and so we have the opportunity, in the here and now, to get up and show someone how start over again through the love of Christ, the help of our community, the legacy of our ancestry, and the determination of our spirits. We have access to peace, hope, and love. And so, this ministry has been birthed on what we have been taught…to love our neighbor as ourselves.
We understand what it means to be emotionally wounded in the home, overlooked on jobs, rejected in relationships, and denied positions because of our race and/or gender. While dealing with those injustices, we had an expectation that the faith community would be the one place that we could go to find hope and peace and to receive the healing we desperately needed. Instead, the church has been, in many instances, the place of pain and further dysfunctional behaviors.