A $7,500 donation from the Sedalia Rotary Club to The Embassy will not only add heating and air to the second floor of the women’s home, but will help bring about restoration for additional women who have a glimmer of faith that their lives can be changed for the better.
The Embassy is a faith-based nonprofit organization restoration ministry. There are two homes, one for men located at 322 W. Seventh St. and one for women, located at 602 S. Moniteau Ave. Since the ministry’s inception in 2011 it has ministered to 300 men and many women also.
“We’ve donated to them in the past to get their project going,” Rotary Project Chairman Rob Liston said. “They’ve been doing a lot of good in the community.
“I served as a judge here until January and I’ve seen the changes in some of the people who stayed there,” he added. “They do a lot to get people on the right path and it’s not short term,” he added.
The Embassy Executive Director Craig Silvey said Thursday he was excited and thankful for the donation and the way it will help the ministry reach additional women in need.
“The people who come to us are living under some kind of life-controlling issue that has gotten them into a problem situation,” said. “They are willing to make a change. They want to make a change, because we are faith-based. So they are willing to consider Christ in making that change.”
Silvey added that those who come to The Embassy may come from prison or may be homeless or have been persuaded by family to seek help.
“Where they are living at the moment is not always necessarily the issue,” Silvey said. “The issue is, they have a great amount of difficulty supporting themselves, because of the life-controlling issue.”
“We are not a homeless shelter but we see there is a big problem,” The Embassy President Ben Embree added. “We are a restoration ministry. Are many of the people homeless, yes, not all of them. We are not a halfway house.
“We’ve had people in their 20s, people in their 60s, we’ve had people who are mentally and physically limited, and we’ve had medical doctors,” he added. “We’ve had doctors of philosophy, we have all sorts of people we help. It’s not just the homeless, it’s not just the prisoners.”
Acting as a restoration ministry for varied people, The Embassy has a “primary” focus on the individual’s spiritual condition.
“In addition to that, we have a focus on life skill development,” Silvey added. “Our goal is to see a person become a productive, joyful person in Christ. That issue of being a productive, joyful person in Christ is huge, it gets them back to where they are a member of our community.”
The women’s house opened in the summer of 2013. Since that time, they have ministered to 14 family members and eight to 10 women.
“I came along in August 2014, and there were women in the house, and I saw it needed critical renovation,” Silvey noted.
The women’s home was closed for renovation for a time and was partially reopened in October 2015.
“We opened it up in a limited way, that being the first floor only,” he added. “Since it’s reopened partially, we’ve ministered to six women.”
The gift from the Rotary Club is deeply appreciated by the The Embassy, staff, volunteers and occupants. Although renovations have been proceeding on the second floor Silvey said the “key element” was the need of heating, ventilation and air conditioning.
“Once we open the second floor it will allow us to serve eight more women,” Silvey said.
Restoration at The Embassy is evident in the story of a homeless women in her 40s who stayed there recently.
“She was essentially homeless because she was bouncing from couch to couch,” Silvey said. “She would cover the pain, at times, with pills.”
Silvey added that the woman was unable to finished high school because she was caring for her dying grandfather.
“She did not really know the Lord,” he said. “She had no structure, no goals. She didn’t even like looking at herself in the mirror. That’s who she was.”
Since staying at The Embassy the woman has begun to gain self-confidence and has become outspoken. She is working on her GED, has goals and is employed in the community. Because her employer saw potential she was given a position of responsibility.
“They have moved her into a position working with the public, where she interfaces with the customers,” Silvey said. “Our goal for women is to build self-esteem, a sense of self-worth and to bring them into a position strength.”
Silvey said the difference in ministering to women and men at The Embassy is that men who come to the home usually have suffered verbal abuse while women have suffered physical abuse.
“For women they tend to be abused physically, emotionally and verbally,” he added. “So they have no sense of self-esteem or self-worth. So, they look for a man who will abuse them again, that’s the cycle.”
While at The Embassy, volunteers help both the men and women work through the cycle of abuse by promoting a change in their nature. Silvey said a young man in his late 20s, who had been in prison in Florida, came to The Embassy after being released. Within eight months he was ready to become a profitable member of the Sedalia community.
“After a few months in The Embassy we helped him purchase a home which he’s fixing up,” he said. “He just recently bought a second home to fix up.
“The point is, the man was in prison and he’s turned his life around,” Silvey added. “He is now a property owner in our community. His statement is ‘I found a home in Sedalia.’ He’s vested. At his place of employment, he’s had several promotions, he’s in a lead position.”
Silvey said he stopped to talk to the young man Wednesday and he asked him if he would like to help in the ministry at The Embassy.
“He and another young man, who were in the house at the same time, are joining the ministry team,” Silvey said. “They want to give back, they want to serve.”
Silvey added that if the individual doesn’t want to make a change there is nothing The Embassy can do for them. Faith is an important component of recovery.
“They’ve got to see a glimmer of hope,” he said. “Sometimes they don’t know what it is, but God is touching them right then.”
“We must focus on the reality of the people,” Embree added. “That’s what God’s excited about.”
Faith Bemiss can be reached at 530-0289 or @flbemiss.