In November, our staff excitedly welcomed our fourth survivor, *Marina, onto our campus. In 2013, we met Marina while she was working in a sexually oriented business on our outreach map. In 2015, she made the brave decision to leave the life and seek freedom, protection and recovery. Marina is a kind young woman, she is a mother and a follower of Jesus. She has graciously agreed to share a portion of her recovery story with us.
Why do you think Kendleton Farms in important? It’s a place of healing, and you can feel it as soon as you get here. The love from the staff is amazing. My family system is messed up, and so I feel anxious around people. But here if I get anxious, I am somewhere I trust, so I can process my feelings. It’s been since I was a little girl that I have not felt safe. The importance of what Kendleton Farms is doing is teaching me to trust other people; it’s my safe spot.
Coming out of a life full of chaos, you need that safety net. You need to go somewhere where you are held accountable for things so you can grow healthily. My beliefs are kinda crazy, but now I have a chance to process those beliefs and build a new belief system; it’s very beneficial for recovery. I’m starting to experience joy and gratitude and compassion for others and for myself.
Can you talk more about that? My decisions in the past have been fear based. But being here gives me a chance to think and feel. The walks [I take on the farm] leave me no choice but to look at the beauty around me, and take me out of my head. It’s been helping me process my thoughts and feelings, which has always been hard for me.
Before (moving onto Kendleton Farms) I couldn’t sleep. My mind would race all night long. The center I was (previously) at wanted to put me on sleeping meds, but I didn’t want to replace one addiction with another. The quietness here is helping me get good, comfortable sleep. I wake up in the morning and I’m not stressed. The sleep part is very important to me.
And I know it’s small things, but having to hold myself accountable for the chores is awesome. It’s helping me with priorities and managing my time. Before I would just go wherever and whenever, but here I have important stuff to do because it’s not just me, and I’m held accountable.
Do you feel like your kids are safe when they visit here? Yes! It’s the stuff out of storybooks! My kids and I can walk around and visit the horses, donkeys and chickens. I saw their faces and they’re amazed they can walk up to a horse, pet him and talk to him. You can walk around and hear a donkey yelling at you! And you can see so much beauty just looking up at the stars. My daughter and I had a thirty-minute conversation just gazing up at the stars together. I don’t know anything about constellations, but they were there! Laughs
What do you think Kendleton Farms will mean to other survivors? This place is so beneficial for the women who are trying to get it together and do something different with their lives. When you’re tired of that old life, you’re tired. But sometimes you don’t know how to move forward. I’ve learned you have to change your people, places and things because that stuff always draws you back. Not necessarily because you want to [go back], but because that’s what you’re so accustomed to. So when you go somewhere that isn’t the old way of life, but instead it’s filled with love, it’s awesome.
Before recovery, we (survivors) become humbled by our life experiences and we want to give it all up to the Lord and let him make us [new] with what is left [of us.]. But little do we know He has so many more plans for our lives.
What would you like to say to our supporters who are helping build Kendleton Farms? The work that you’ve been doing isn’t in vain. I can see the difference in my life. God is really here, and God is using Kendleton Farms to bring hope to women. Its not fake, its not just a dream, it’s reality. For me, it’s just amazing to see the people God has placed here to make a tangible difference and answer the prayers from all the women in this situation.
Our main building still needs fire and HVAC systems, but women are living in staff housing among us! With your help, we can complete the renovations of our main building and open our doors to additional women. We look forward to the day when have hundreds of stories like this!
To all of you who have donated this year, and helped make Marina’s story a reality, THANK YOU. We are deeply blessed to partner with you in fighting injustice and providing a place for restoration.
If you have not yet made your year-end gift, please consider giving here or text to give at 832.900.3688.