This article was originally published in February 2014, by Rhonda Fisher.
The CPO transitional home has been going through some transitions of its own. In addition to a beautiful redecorating job provided by a local church, the home also has some new house parents. Mike and Shawnda Kirchmann and their daughter, Bridgette, took over the ministry duties on December 16 after responding to a Facebook request and feeling called to the position. Shawnda recalls, “I was kind of nervous and thought I wasn’t sure if I want to do that because it sounds like a lot. My first reaction in my flesh was to say to myself, ‘Well, when I ask my husband about it, I’m sure he’ll say no.'” So, she asked her husband. And, he didn’t say no. Instead, he said, “Honey, this is what we’re called to do.”
So, for the Kirchmann family, a grand new adventure began. Shawnda said as she became more and more involved with preparing to take over at the transitional home, she realized that her past had prepared her for this role without her even knowing it. She says that there were times in her life when she didn’t have the kind of solid Christian influences around her she needed and she kept making wrong decisions. That’s why she feels her role at the transitional home is so crucial: She wants to be that solid Christian influence for girls who “are trying to do the right thing, but nobody’s around them to help them walk through that.” Shawnda and Mike want to be there for girls who need them.
And so far, they have been there for girls. Four different ones to be exact, and there are sure to be many more.
One of those girls is J*. She recently celebrated her one-year anniversary of living in the transitional home. She moved in on January 25th, 2013. When asked what it is like to change from having a house mom to an entire house family, J* admits that it is definitely different. But she still feels as though “God’s preparing me for what’s next, after here, I think.”
Regarding her past year at the transitional home, J* says, “I don’t have to worry about food or electricity. It is really comforting to know that I don’t have to worry. I’m in a safe place. No one can find me or try anything. I have good people here to watch over me and take care of me if something is wrong.” She’s had some transitions as well. She has placed her baby boy for adoption, returned to high school, and now makes better decisions about how she spends her time. To sum it up, she says, “Everything is better this year.”
That statement is true, thanks to God and the dedicated CPO volunteers that serve as His hands and feet. “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.” 1 Corinthians 12:27
*The names of the women CPO helps are always redacted for privacy purposes.