Testimonial 1. “When I first arrived at the Joy House my view of the program was terribly skewed. I thought that the purpose of the program was to crush my spirit and make me submit to their will. But soon after arriving I realized that when you decide that you want change, that you no longer want to live in rebellion, then things turn around. Once you make that decision the program becomes less of a force and more of a guide to a more fulfilling life. They become your friends and mentors, teaching you and molding you through their example. Through Bible study you learn that you can move away from the hurts and traumas of the past. Philippians 3:13-14 says, “but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching towards what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” When you forgive and let go of those things that you are holding on to, you are freed and you can truly feel the awesome love of God. His love fills your heart and you know just how big and loud his love for you really is and that is better than any high or any drug. In my own life I have found that when you focus on Christ all the petty little things of the world around you fade away and you find yourself alone in the presence of your creator. That is the true purpose of life; to glorify God and seek after him. This program has truly helped me to see that and I am so grateful. I was desperate for change and starving for truth and because of the Joy House I’m closer to God now than where I was when I started chasing after Him. I’m falling even more in love with Him and I have let go of all that I held on to, and that freedom is the greatest gift any person could have given me. -- Chris Conley
Testimonial 2. “When we found the Joy House we were at what felt like the end of our rope. Chris had been going through some major issues and was lashing out to our entire family as well himself. Chris began having a rough time in school and ending up being expelled. Shortly after being expelled Chris tried to commit suicide. God so protected Chris that day and His favor was shown on our family! We began searching for a program that would actually help Chris, one that had Christian values and would teach Chris that Jesus is the answer to ALL his problems. Through many amazing circumstances God Himself placed us on the doorsteps of the Joy House. When Chris began the program we felt a sense of relief as well as guilt. We knew that Chris was finally going to get the true help he needed. We quickly learned that everyone at the Joy House was going to play a very important role in the restoration of Chris’ life. Steve, Wendy, Ms. Pam, Ms. Chrissie, Ms. Becky, and house parents, Chris and Becky were absolutely amazing to our entire family. We spent several months thinking it was really all about Chris, but we discovered that we had healing to do as well. The family we have made at the Joy House loved us through some extremely difficult personal issues, marriage issues and family issues. God used the time at the Joy House to help Chris love and forgive his mother and to trust us!
Our son today is such an incredible young man on fire for God! Chris is serving in student leadership at church, serving on short term missions and is praying about attending a seminary college in the fall! We will never be able to thank the Joy House enough or fully show our gratitude to them for allowing God to restore our family! We stand amazed at how far Jesus Christ had brought our family over a period of 18 months. Thank you Lord and thank you Joy House!
-- Greg & Olivia Conley
Testimonial 3. “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have put off my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness. To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.” Psalm 30: 11-12
This is the scripture I read at our son’s graduation from the Joy House. There were many scriptures (and even songs) that I prayed over my son during our several years of struggles, but at graduation time, this was the scripture that spoke to my emotion of the moment. My husband and I were a few years earlier mourning the loss of our son. The world had taken a hold of him and he was walking down a path of self-destruction. Everything dear to our hearts he would reject and we were losing him. Losing the opportunity to have a relationship with him and rejoice in his love, his joys, his desires, his mistakes and his successes. That was all being taken away and we were losing our son and mourning over that loss. We sought help from our church as well as the secular community; it took some time for us to realize that the only hope would be in God and his son Jesus Christ. That is when we turned to the Joy House. The love we felt upon joining the Joy House community was overwhelming. The staff at the Joy House gave us on a regular basis a little taste of heaven with the love and compassion they continuously showed us (as well as the necessary doses of correction). A love that our son was not experiencing at school, at home (even though we tried) or with “supposed” friends; a love that my husband and I weren’t experiencing from the world because we were being judged by the schools, our various doctors and even by some of our church family; a love that we weren’t experiencing within our family unit for we were all hurting and unable to love each other at times; a love that was a perfect example of God’s love that we all needed desperately and the Joy House more than graciously gave. The love we felt helped us walk through a difficult journey. Behaviors had to be corrected, not just our son’s behaviors, but ours as well. Our son spent a year and a half living at the Joy House and the angry young man that entered was not the same young man that left. He had a peace about him that you could see in his eyes that wasn’t evident before (and a more personal knowledge of a relationship with Jesus Christ). His eyes were no longer downcast but looking up. He still had the potential for anger, but he now had tools to handle the anger. He still had the propensity to not believe in himself and his potential, but also the knowledge that Satan is a liar and this is not to believed. The Joy House has supplied him with tools to live by. “You will show me that path of life, In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” Psalm 16:11
At the writing of this testimony our son has been back home living with us for about a year and half. At first, we were feeling a sense of déjà vu. Some of the negative behaviors and family dysfunction were re-appearing. At times, despair was sinking in, thinking that the time working with the Joy House was a waste. But we had all changed and we were all unwilling to go back to the way of life before coming to the Joy House. We worked through the testing, we remembered what the Joy House taught and more importantly we kept our eyes on Jesus. Because of that fact, we have not returned. We still find our hope in Jesus Christ. We have been discouraged, but we have also been very proud of our son’s growth. While we may feel discouraged at times because of the negativity of the world, we still find hope in Jesus Christ. We know He has a plan for each and every one of us, our son included. We will just keep our eyes on Jesus and the hope he provides. We will always remember and be grateful for the Joy House and their staff.