This is a guest post from Wellspring Living’s President, Mary Frances Bowley, highlighting the recent Epoch Awards nomination Wellspring Living has received. 

It Takes a Village.

There’s really no better way to describe the past 12 years of my journey with Wellspring Living. It began with a group of women praying to see God’s heart for his hurting daughters. Now, we are a growing, 60-person organization with the capacity to serve more than 50 girls and women a year. Like the issues that we seek to resolve are multifaceted, so must we be as those leading the charge. When the vision is bigger than one person, so the response must be.

Wellspring Living’s heart and mission has always been grounded in God’s desire to bring people together, with all of their individual gifts and talents, to be his hands and feet to the broken. Hundreds of people from all different walks of life have joined us in the journey. White and black, male and female, rich and poor, young and old—all have come, each with a unique story, each from a special path. In the beauty of our differences, our hearts look to a common goal: to offer hope and restoration to the women and girls we serve.

This is why it is such an honor to be nominated for an Epoch Award. To be in the same category with such kind, talented, selfless innovators filled with the kind of hope we strive to radiate encourages me and my Wellspring Living family to keep working, keep giving, keep making a difference.

The Epoch Awards grants each of us the opportunity to tell our story, gathering each incredible nominee as a member of the larger, global village of people giving their lives to restore the broken. It takes a community of people with different visions to change the world. If we all dug wells, who would care for HIV/AIDs orphans? If we all served only HIV/AIDs orphans, who would fight the horrors of sexual exploitation and trafficking? We must build our community and spread our visions. Each of us has an incredible purpose for which we have uniquely been called to advocate. And so, we pour our lives into our visions, but are encouraged by yours.

For Wellspring Living, this means sharing the girls’ stories. We are so humbled and excited to stir others to open their hearts to the girls we serve and are inspired by each day. We ask you to join us, today and every day, as we serve, pray for, and give through our Father’s love to the girls.

This year, Wellspring Living had the incredible opportunity to open our very own Village, our residential community for sexual exploitation survivors ages 12-22. With two newly renovated buildings, we are now able to serve 14 more girls, offering therapy, education, life skills and hope for a better future.

One year ago, these buildings were dirty, empty and completely unsuitable for living. With the hard work of volunteers, staff members, donors, friends and family, we now have beautiful, furnished homes, filled with love and hope. Each room is thematically designed with a girl in mind, and given names such as “Joy,” “Bloom,” and “Hope.” They feature different colors, paintings, furniture and décor to provide a peaceful, safe place for her to heal. Designers, contractors, volunteers and partner organizations gave countless hours to planting flowers, building a tree house, creating a salon, furnishing a library and even digging a fire pit.

These projects took time, endurance and vision. So do each of our world-changing projects as social innovators. We could not and would not change the world without the countless people who pull weeds and paint walls. The “little” things are the what behind our why.

Together, we continue paving the way for the broken. Together, we are building their home. Together, we will enter the gates of peace.

Together, we are a Village.

So, let’s gather in October and sing of our villages—our heroes.