For the last six years, Light House Station was blessed to rent a huge historic home in the center of Warsaw. While it was nice to spread out, it came with a cost and was more space than we actually need. When the owners of the house needed to sell, we considered purchasing, but wisdom dictated we should find a new location for the ministry.
This we feel is a blessing because finding a new location to host the ministry will be more advantageous for us in the long term not only so we can find something more suitable (cost effective), but also due to the second item: medical care for our ladies.
In June of last year, Wyoming County Community Hospital decided to close their maternity ward and pediatric offices, leaving the nearest labor and delivery facilities over 30 minutes away from Warsaw. These facilities are critical to our ministry that focuses on maternity and baby care.
It would be advantageous to move closer to these services, therefore we are considering locations such as Perry (closer to Geneseo) and Attica (closer to Batavia). Even with these potential locations, we now need a vehicle for the ministry as a critical part of maintaining our mission and future opportunity to help others in the county negatively affected by the hospital’s closure of services.
In keeping with the theme of “perfect storm”, the year 2023 led to a series of unrelated circumstances coinciding to pull our staff away. Our Executive Director, who was also a founder, has stepped down, our House Manager found a new position in her field, our Family Manger was diagnosed with cancer and had to step back, and our Administrative Assistant moved away as her husband was relocated.
Individually, these events are the normal ebb and flow of staff. Happening largely within one week, this led to us the decision to suspend operation of the ministry.
Taken all together, this creates a perfect storm. However, as Elijah relates, through the storm we need to listen for the voice of the Lord.
The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. (NLT, 1 Kings 19:11-12)
We believe in the sovereignty of the Lord in these circumstances even while they can seem overwhelming. Any of these things individually could lead to a temporary closure of the program, but by all happening at once, this may actually minimize the time we are closed and allow us to re-ignite the vision for the future built on our experience and gained wisdom.
Ministries and agencies across Western New York serving pregnant women continue to indicate a need for what we do, so we eagerly await God’s timing and faithfully work towards reopening. Our first priority is to hire an Executive Director and continue securing the financial resources necessary to relaunch.
We are growing our board to help with the work. We have retained a grant writer, and we are actively seeking to recruit a new Director.
Once we have a new Executive Director, we plan to move forward with securing a new location, hiring and training staff, and securing transportation while continuing to build our support base.
Once these pieces come together, we relaunch the program.
In God’s sovereignty, He has created circumstances for us to evaluate and use our resources more wisely, moving us to a more advantageous location closer to necessary services. We are eagerly awaiting the time when the Lord will put us in a position to reopen. We have a plan in place to do so and are staying focused on the work the Lord has put before us, trusting in His timing.
Once we hire our new Director, we will put forth setting up a new location. All money raised goes towards securing staff (we are interviewing candidates) and a new location (to be finalized once we have an Executive Director) necessary to serve women.
This is not an easy ministry to be a part of, especially where we are in the world, but our commitment to Empowering Women for Life remains unwavering. If you have questions or comments, please share through our contact form - we are happy to hear from you.
What happened to the medical services?
Last year, the Wyoming County Community Hospital decided to close their maternity ward and pediatric offices, effective June 1, 2023. The nearest medical facilities for our women are now at least 30 minutes away from Warsaw, in Geneseo or Batavia.
What happened to the house?
Light House Station did not own the house, we were renting. Although the original house is up for sale, it was too big for our needs to be financially viable, and we decided not to pursue purchase.
Where will you reopen?
We intend to rent or purchase a smaller house somewhere in Wyoming County. We have had a few houses in mind, although we were waiting to hire an Executive director first.
Where is the money raised going while we are temporarily closed?
All of the money raised go towards the ministry (new location, new hire, program). The board is voluntary (there is no board compensation), and although there is a Grant Writer on retainer, those fees are already paid.
What is the status of the Board?
The board has actually grown over the last year! We have added two new board members, Jackie Kruetter Miller (businesswoman) and Ted Warner (chaplain). This brings our board up to eight members. Ideally, the board would have two more members - if this is something you feel called to, please connect with us.
When will we reopen?
The plan is: hire an Executive Director (several candidates, interviews in process), find a new location, reestablish the program, open back up. Realistically, this could take up to a year.
What happens if we do not reopen?
As is required for all 501(c)3 non-profits, we have a dissolution clause in our articles of incorporation which directs our assets to be given to another non-profit in the area with a similar ministry purpose. This ensures the money donated in good faith to help women and children goes to that purpose. When we opened, we selected a peer organization here in Western New York which has a long history serving in this ministry sphere.