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Posted: November 19, 2010 12:30 a.m.

The Spring Ministries

New ministry for single-mom families to open in Covington

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Starting up: Terri Webster is seeking to move her Spring Ministries into an empty house called the Mansion on the Hill on Spring Street in Covington.

Terri Webster had a vision, a calling that tugged on her heart, to find a way to help divorced and widowed moms.

Guided by her faith and the calling that she believed God placed on her 17 years ago, Webster is seeing that vision fulfilled, through starting Spring Ministries.

Spring Ministries will house four single-mom families in a community setting.

Families will need to be referred to Spring Ministries by a pastor or church leader. The mother will complete an application and needs assessment, and the ministry will tailor a plan to the family’s situation.

All single parents in the community will be able to receive spiritual and emotional counseling, budgeting and financial counseling, career and education guidance, support groups and Bible studies, mentoring, and child care services.

Now, Webster has to achieve non-profit status, raise money and find a facility for the ministry.

She’s working on applying for non-profit status now, and may have found a facility, thanks to a co-worker.

The co-worker found out about a house called Mansion on the Hill, which was the former location of Project Adventure on Spring Street in Covington. The owner had offered its use to Shirley Smith, CEO of Repairers of the Breach. Smith, in turn, referred Webster to the owner.

"It’s as if God said, ‘The time is now. Let’s get up and go,’" said Webster. "He’s leading this and we’re following."

The way that God provided the comfort and compassion that she needed to endure her early years as a single mother led her to believe that God was calling her to help others.

"I still struggled for years, and it seemed I’d get one foot up on solid ground and then be back to square one again," said Webster. "I always worked hard, but still lived one paycheck away from eviction most of the time. I was too ashamed and prideful to ask for help. People always thought I was OK."

Webster’s calling was fueled by Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 1:3-5: "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ."

"I always thought God would have me start out small with a support group or network of single parents," said Webster. "The years ticked by and I attempted to do several things with single parents, but nothing developed."

Webster remarried and fell into a comfortable routine of work, home life, and church. She thought about the calling she had felt years ago, but she questioned whether the calling was really hers.

"To be honest, I’d given up on the vision and settled into a new marriage, found my comfort zone, and got in a bubble," said Webster. "I thought I’d missed it; I thought it was too late. But it turns out that you can never question God’s timing."

That’s when the phone call from the co-worker jump-started the project.

Webster said setting up non-profit status for the ministry has been the most difficult part of getting the ministry started. She is also planning to visit churches and other organizations to discuss how they can be involved.

Webster wants eventually to offer camps for children and retreats for single parents. Ministry volunteers will educate single moms in resume writing, how to interview for a job, provide professional clothing through a clothes closet, car care and maintenance, and other needs a single parent faces every day.

"The community support has been overwhelming and growing," said Webster. "Volunteers will be extremely valuable. We will need everything from gardening to tutoring. If you have a heart for single parent families, then we need your help."

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