The Next Door

by | Dec 15, 2009 | 3 comments

Our Next Door Girls!

Our Next Door Girls!

Meet some of my favorite girls from The Next Door in Nashville, TN. My friend Mary Katharine (far right) and I have been teaching a Bible study here this semester to four amazing women who are overcoming addiction (one is not pictured). We are having the best time! And two of our other friends April and Paige have their own group as well so it’s a mid-week party really!

Me, Robin and Mary Katharine

Me, Robin and Mary Katharine

God really spoke to me in the summer of ’08 to start engaging in my local community. I had heard The Next Door was a Christian organization for women who had recently gotten out of prison and were working diligently to enter back into free society. The director told me she needed someone to teach on Wed nights so I figured I’d have the roughly 60 women who live there in my class. When I got the list there were only FOUR names! I have to be painfully honest in admitting that this didn’t seem like the best use of my time (again, this is a shameful thing to admit, but if a blog isn’t about honesty, what would be the point really).

I had already agreed to the semester so I jumped in with my four girls not sure what to expect. That was about four groups ago, so you can see I’m hooked. And, btw, I refuse to have more than five women in my study if I can help it – that’s how much my mentality has changed. There has been something so powerful about being able to invest on a personal level with these women – and of course they have invested back into the lives of me and my friends. And to see them begin to understand the incredible personal love of Jesus Christ for them is what gives the whole experience meaning. I could go on and on about the changes we have seen as women move from their addictions to truly understanding for the first time that God has cast their sins (and mine) as far away as the East is from the West. And, that He came to heal them from all the abuse that helped set them down the addiction road to begin with.

I know this is a time of year where people are thinking about resolutions and giving and helping and extending their hands. My prayer is that you would consider investing in a new way whether it’s in your church, children’s school, a prison ministry, a relative who needs it, whatever God is putting on your heart. It will cost you, but you will never be the same.

On that note, Merry Christmas from The Next Door!

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3 Comments

  1. Linda Sommerfelt

    Dear Kelly, this is truly amazing! I would love to be involved in a ministry helping people with addictions or really just involved helping anyone. What a blessed group of women to be chosen by God for this ministry, I know He must have great plans for all of you.You have been blessed with so many special talents. I will pray for you and all of the women and lives you have touched. I witnessed a true miracle tonight at a high school basketball game where the electronic bleachers malfunctioned and started closing. Long stroy short, God was there at the school and saved the lives of those caught in the powerful grip of the bleachers. I had no idea anything like this could happen. My grandson was one of the children being squeezed between the benches. It was truly the strength of God and the strength he gave to the many people who jumped in to help, that saved these lives.What an awsome Father God is. So blessed and very thamkful and looking very forward to the bible study you will be teaching at FCC. Blessings and Love, Linda Sommerfelt

  2. Bob Clifton

    WEll, i'm thinking you are, with your 4 friends, exactly where God wants ya to be. For whatever reason! I'm also thinking maybe if your group was any larger, you might not be able to get to know these ladies as well as you do. And give them the confidence aand courage to go on in recovery and/or rehabilitation. Ms. Minter, i'm kinda/sorta also speaking from personal experience. I used to drink like a fool and continued but when certain friends showed me that God loves me regardless of me, it also helped me to realize my worth. Now- a -days, life is so much better and i am surely blessed by our Lord. And because of these friends also loving me even when i was not being too smart. –P.S., i love your music and hope you continue to put it out there for public consumption. i have 4 of your previous albums and often load them onto my iPod. Also purchased your newest one attached to this e-mail. and am (anxiously) waiting for it. God bless you and your ministry. a fan and brother.

  3. Shanda

    Dear Kelly, so interesting to here your affiliation with The Next Door, just recently my sister has been planted in the hands of The Next Door, and how great it is, she is in the Knoxville branch and has also had some intense therapy in Nashville. I feel this place is difinetly a God send, for I have prayed for her for some time, she is doing well there and recently it has come full circle because I just learned (ironically) from her the sunday school she once attended is getting ready to do your bible study. Not knowing that you had a ministry once there and now her sunday school group is doing this bible study. I just want to thank God everyday for his wonderful work and yours also.

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