The Heart behind 'Time Out'
by Kim Ross
My heart has always been filled with compassion for those struggling with life circumstances. The conditions and environment which many people are subject to often dictates the outcome for their lives. For various reasons, both men and women are unable to further their education. For example, the lack of finances, resources, family support or an unplanned pregnancy are just a few reasons that may derail the best-laid plans.
My desire is to bring hope back into people’s lives, and with hope, opportunity for change. We can be a hand of love extended to all those who God places in our circle of influence. With guidance, being challenged and given the opportunity, many people will be able to change their circumstances. It would not be realistic to expect everyone to receive higher education when they have already started down the road of life with children, responsibility, life partners and financial instability.
The circumstances in our beautiful Highlands are much more challenging than in the city. We have little industry and limited resources; employment opportunities are minimum wage and seasonal. It is financially impossible for many parents in our county to send their children to university. I believe God has given us an opportunity to introduce hope, friendship and place a desire for change through the “Time Out” program.
I met the first contact while volunteering at the Highlands Community Pregnancy Care Centre. One day, I went into (Director) Julie’s office and told her quickly that I would like to invite this person to a program I'd been thinking of starting. “Time Out” was born. We didn't have money, volunteers or a plan on paper … just a desire and a willingness to step out in faith. The first meeting, October 23 2013, had 14 ladies in attendance. They learned to make pastry and each participant took home a home-made pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving.
Our desire is to bring hope, friendship and impart some practical life skills to the women who are attending this program. It is exciting to witness the application of some of the basic skills they have already learned. I believe that eventually the seeds of hope, desire, self-esteem, home businesses and a life-changing introduction to God will be born in the hearts of these amazing women.
I want to thank the wonderful people who have donated financially to the Time Out Program. We supply all materials and send all participants home with finished product and or materials. In December, 18 women assembled and decorated gingerbread houses. The wonderful part of the experience was that a couple of the women sold their gingerbread houses and made a few extra dollars to help with purchasing Christmas gifts.
One of our goals is to guide people through the process of starting a home business. We would like to help them discover their strengths and weaknesses, to teach them practical skills for their home and family. We are planning a number of events throughout the year to enable the women to look for business opportunities, have fun and begin to dream.