By Amanda Tillman / The Porch Light intern
Recently, a team of creatives, including myself, met with hopes of realizing a deep-seated dream.
It all started with the question: What could 10 broke college students do to make a difference for The Porch Light?
Well, we figured we could pair some of the resources available to us at Southeastern University (SEU) with our event planning experience and a willingness to serve. So, our Campus Wide Events team (CWE) decided to use the resources and unique skills usually reserved to help students socialize, unwind and have fun, to do something markedly different. We decided to work with The Porch Light staff to a create a brand new experience for the girls at the safe home – a “quiet space” for the girls to catch their breath, rest and pursue peace.
During the fall semester I’ve been an intern with The Porch Light. As a part of the internship, I conducted a number of interviews with The Porch Light staff to understand what it truly means to run a safe home. In one of these interviews, a staff member vocalized a small dream she had to designate a corner in the safe home as a retreat for the girls. It would be a “quiet space” for moments when emotions run high and a girl needs to find respite from memories and trauma that most of us cannot imagine.
As the woman described her dream for this “quiet space,” a deep realization and excitement grew within me. Our CWE team had the financial, practical, and visionary resources to make this dream a reality! All the team needed was a vision for the space and the time set aside to brainstorm, budget and buy the needed materials.
One November evening, the team spent hours in our comfy college home, lit with warm lighting, the smell of chai tea and fresh strawberries. We brainstormed the look and feel of the space. It would be warm, but not claustrophobic; open, but private; and most of all, it would be a place of solitude, but far from lonely. Each of us in our late teens and early 20s took turns making excited proclamations like, “We should get a really soft, fuzzy rug!” and “An ornate tapestry would be beautiful, look at this one!”
And so, the vision of 1o broke college students took shape. The day after our meeting we ordered the materials and coordinated with The Porch Light staff. On the day before Thanksgiving, I took the materials to the home, carrying the entire team’s excitement and hope with me as I stepped foot into the home, thankful for how God was using us in an unexpected way.
Each item was prayerfully placed.
“Lord, would you make this space a sanctuary?” “Lord, would you meet them with peace and stillness here?”
Maybe this “quiet space” would simply be a corner with pillows and coloring books, or maybe this would be a place for the survivors to silence the lingering external and internal voices. Maybe here, they will grasp the still small voice of God, and find hope, knowing He cares deeply for each one of His daughters.