Anticipate Divine Appointments Think Metaphorically Unveil Truth
ARISE Homes was developed from the founder’s history with struggling children. In a program that Larry and Lori worked in New Jersey, they both saw kids in a wilderness setting who were going down paths to destruction. Though adventure and challenge activities were effective, it wasn’t until those kids met Jesus that they were able to change the direction of their lives. When the Nellists moved to Tennessee to begin New Frontiers, they put a home for children in their ten-year plan. In just a couple of years they began taking foster kids into their home at New Frontiers. These kids grew, met Jesus, worked and played at camp and experienced life change. They decided to begin a home that could help more kids.
The first home was begun in 1995 and was built as money was provided. The home was opened in 2000, is licensed for 8 beds and has been near capacity all of its life. At the children’s home, students learn to complete household chores, are tutored in their academics, work through their issues with counselors and are cared for by godly mentors. The home is a place of caring where students can begin to take a hard look at their life’s direction and make informed choices. Most importantly, they realize that God has created them to live intentionally for Him, that He expects to meet them at divine appointments and that His truth is what they need to experience freedom in life.
In 2010, a second home with another eight beds was completed and is now licensed and fully operational. The dream for this home is to incorporate missions trips and more extensive outdoor trips than the original children’s home, as wells as for the boys to be able to get credit for schooling in addition to the GED training we have at the current home. We are in need of regular funders to help make these dreams a reality.
At A.R.I.S.E. Homes horses play an unusual role. The horses are not ridden as one might expect. Instead, the horses are engaged in a partner and participant role in each of the games. Through these ground-based activities the boys are given a window into their own souls. A horse can tell children things no one else can. The boys act in their natural manner and the horse simply loves them anyway. The horse moves to them when they feel the safety of the heart, and away when the child is angry. The horse teaches the child what it is like to be in charge of a stubborn heart, how to show trust, how to play and how to learn. The horses are inquisitive and respond with eagerness to the boys. The boys learn responsibility as they work with our staff and equine specialist volunteers to take care of the horses’ needs. This program is volunteer driven—from the horses, to the therapists, to the man who gives us the hay, to the man who picks up the hay . . . this program has been a ‘God-Thing’ from the beginning . . . one that few of us will ever understand.