GLADEWATER (KYTX) - It was a women's ministry formed five years ago at the home of a Longview couple. Today, Restoring Joy Ministries has moved to Gladewater and helps 85 women and children a year from despair to determination.
To understand why construction of a playground and recreation area was's important, Charli Caraway says you have to understand what it was.
"It was mud. It was beautiful, glorious mud," she said before chuckling. Charli and her
husband, Rodney Caraway, opened Restoring Joy Ministries at the former Jacobs Institute on Glade Avenue in Gladewater two years ago. Since then, dozens of women and children have entered these halls with all kinds of issues and obstacles. More times than not, they leave with academic education, a job that supports their families, and a place to call their own home.
But for the weeks they live here, the Caraways want this to be a home of comfort.
That includes a safe play area for the kids, and a place to watch them play that's protected from the elements.
"We had a fence in place, and we had a backyard, but we didn't have a usable backyard, and it added significantly to our upkeep and cleaning inside the building, because of the conditions of the yard outside the building," Charli Caraway said.
The entire area took less than a month to build, thanks to volunteers from Fellowship Bible Church in Longview who say they believe in what Restoring Joy Ministries brings to the table.
"I would love to tell these people thank you," Caraway said. "They have worked tirelessly, and all of the community members who have donated and made this possible, this has been a very low-budget project for the ministry, and we are very excited."
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT Restoring Joy Ministries, click here.