Elkhart Transitional Home Rebuilds Lives

By: Kari Huston
By: Kari Huston

The house at 135 Middlebury Street, Elkhart has been mistreated and neglected. It has that in common with the women who hope to someday live there.

“The first thing that came out of one of the girl's mouth was, “This house is just like us…a mess, but we're going to make it beautiful.” That is what they want for their lives. I've seen it happen over and over,” says Sandra Bontrager.

For ten years Bontrager has taken hard-luck women into her own home. She bought the dilapidated house to expand her ministry known as SPA, Spiritual and Personal Adjustment.

Elkhart courts and churches send her addicts, abuse victims and women suffering from depression or divorce. Women who have completed the program will move into the renovated house, get a job and save some money.

Donations of dry wall, carpet, windows and major appliances are needed. So is furniture. Not of stick of it can be found in the entire house.

If you have beds, tables, couches, chairs or desks in good conditions they will be put to good use. “We also have to find the necessities,” Bontrager says. “Like dishes, coffee pots, pots and pans, linens that type of thing.”

Building self-esteem and becoming a believer in God turned out to be the right combination for Amanda Claire Bontrager. “I had been in and out of addition all my life,” she recalls. “I tried to do it on my own and it never worked. Then I came to live here and it changed my life. I think it's all the love and accountability under one roof that really makes a difference.”

These women believe what the Bible says, that the wise man builds his house on the rock. They're rebuilding a house on that same Faith that God will deliver in the form of donations.

If you would like to donate to SPA Women Ministries call (574) 522-8338 or email sandrabontrager@verizon.net.

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