Hello! My name is Kelli Lamar. I graduated from Fresh Hope in 2016. I am extremely passionate about this program and all it can do for struggling women. Fresh Hope has helped me in multiple ways and I will forever be grateful for my experience within the program and the experiences and opportunities I have had afterward. I have been given the opportunity to mentor and befriend other women who are going through many similar challenges that I have been through as well. I really love Fresh Hope because of how the program seeks to really cover all the obstacles many mothers face and teaches the grace of God. It helps to bring women out of the bondage of their past and gives hope in ultimately presenting a different and better future, a future many women may not have thought could even happen. From my experience, Fresh Hope has a way of finding women at the exact time when they really seem to need it most. I truly can say that Fresh Hope found me at the time that I was struggling and needed it the most. It definitely felt like the work of God.
I grew up here in Wichita, Kansas. However, I had left and raised my kids in Massachusetts for about fourteen years. I moved there for my ex-husband. The only reason I had stayed there for as long as I did was because of my kids. I did not want them to have to move around as much as I did growing up. I always have craved structure for myself and my family. I moved to Kansas in 2014 and was thus being forced to completely start over once again from all I knew. Moving back felt like the best decision because of the bigger support system that I thought I had here. It was a huge change for not only me, but also my kids. I found myself struggling as a single mother and asking for help often. Needless to say, there were many challenges I faced, whether financially or even just mentally. Uncertainties piled onto me as I was just trying to find my way. I did not even know where I was going to live a time or two or who I could really trust. I craved structure and searched and searched for it. Another huge uncertainty my family had for a while was finding a trusted church home. We church-hopped so many times just wanting to find a place that we felt comfortable at and felt like we belonged. While briefly attending a church while seeking to find a church home, I had the opportunity to meet a man who sought to help me while I was struggling financially. In doing so, he told me all about the program of Fresh Hope. Looking back, I am so grateful for this person and I know God had my best interest in mind with helping to bring me to find this wonderful program just a couple years ago.
What I enjoy most about Fresh Hope is that it is like a family. I know it sounds cliche, but it really does provide a great support system. I craved that when moving back to Kansas and prayed for it for years, and I ultimately found it in this program. It is the structure I needed and sought for so long, whether it was just going to the meetings or completing the assignments for that week. It helped give me what I really felt I needed for so long. Many times in this chaotic world or simply just in the homes we live in, we lack structure. I know that all too well. Another reason I love Fresh Hope is that it seeks to provide- family, structure, resources. And when I say resources, know that I am talking about resources for the past, present, and future. Furthermore, a lot of hard issues that people face are tackled and discussed in the program. For example, addiction, domestic abuse, or financial issues, and that is just a few. I have been surrounded by the struggles of addiction my whole life by those around me and have seen what it does to a person and their entire life. I know it all too well. However, just know, when entering Fresh Hope I never felt judged or resented in the slightest, and just came in as me. I just really think it helps being surrounded by people who have been in the same shoes as you before and truly seek to understand all you may be going through. I know it definitely made me feel less alone.
I want to close by thanking Fresh Hope for helping me to learn the importance of opening your heart and mind and always just keeping it open to continue learning. I strongly believe in trying to help others and always being open to listening. I now try and provide that with giving back and mentoring other women who were in the same place that I was. At the end of the day, we are all only human and created as one, thus we should just continue to keep learning from all that goes on around us. Understanding the importance of just doing something as simple as loving those around us and loving ourselves is something I learned from the grace of God in Fresh Hope. With that all being said, once a Fresh Hope woman, always a Fresh Hope woman.
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“I expect to pass through life but once. If therefore, there be any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow being,
let me do it now, and not defer or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.” ~William Penn