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Meet the House Parents

Julian and Lace Bonilla

What did you do before arriving at Homes of Hope for Children?

Julian: “Before Homes of Hope, I was a Benbrook Police officer for 10 years. The last 6 years I was the school resource officer for Western Hills High School.”

Lace: “The past 6 years I have been a stay-at-home mom to our 2 children and ran my own business from home. Prior to that, I worked retail management.”

What attracted you to working at Homes of Hope for Children?

“We have always had a heart for children and children’s home ministry. We have been blessed to support others working in children’s home ministry for the last 10 years. We knew one day God may call us to not just support the ministry, but to be an active part of the ministry. When we really started feeling called to the ministry, God opened the door to Homes of Hope. We believe Homes of Hope provides the best possible situation for these kids, to fell like they have a family, and are loved and valued. The ministry team pours God’s truth in these kids daily, and we are blessed to be a part of it.”

What is the most fulfilling part of being houseparents?

“Knowing that daily we not only get to do what God has called of us, but that we truly get to make an impact on these children and show them who God is and the truth in his Word. There is no better feeling than seeing these children come to know God on levels they can understand and continue to grow in.”

 How would you advise or encourage someone who is thinking about working here as a houseparent?

“Definitely pray about it. Go to God with your questions and concerns. Don’t try to limit God with what doors He can or can’t open. Invest in your relationship with Him more than you ever have before. Also invest in your spouse and build a strong team of unity together. Make sure to have a strong family foundation and follow God’s lead.

Jeff and Kelly DeVries

Homes of Hope for Children

What did you do before arriving at Homes of Hope for Children?

Jeff worked for a home maintenance company and Kelly worked in children’s ministry at their church in Louisville, Kentucky.

What attracted you to working at Homes of Hope for Children?

“We loved the philosophy behind it. Leadership focuses on what is best for the children, it is not supported by state funding, and Jesus is in the forefront of all decisions and life.”

What is the most fulfilling part of being houseparents?

“To know that we are a small part of the story God is writing in the lives of these children can be overwhelming in its magnitude and breathtaking in its possibilities. Getting to live life with these kids is a great gift.

 How would you advise or encourage someone who is thinking about working here as a houseparent?

“We would advise a couple to honestly reflect on their marriage. We were rightly told that this job would magnify the strengths and weaknesses in our marriage and it has challenged both. God is the forefront of our marriage and our home. Be sure He is in yours as well.

Seth and Jenn Ellzey

Homes of Hope for Children

What did you do before arriving at Homes of Hope for Children?

“We collectively served 10 years in youth and children’s ministry and Seth also worked in the banking industry. We were also primary houseparents at a girls group home in Alabama for 3 years.”

What attracted you to working at Homes of Hope for Children?

“We were extremely eager to serve the Lord at Homes of Hope for Children after meeting with leadership and learning that this ministry fights for the well being of children in various ways and provides a consistent structure and vision. Homes of Hope is a safe, loving, and encouraging environment for children to grow. ”

What is the most fulfilling part of being houseparents?

“Knowing that we are making a difference for Christ in the lives of children and youth that will have an lifelong and eternal impact.”

How would you advise or encourage someone who is thinking about working here as a houseparent?

Pray diligently and cultivate a heart for unity and a heart that can love in all situations. Understand that the work of this ministry will be well worth all challenges in the light of eternity.”

John and Jennifer Minder

Homes of Hope for Children

What did you do before arriving at Homes of Hope for Children?

John: “Prior to coming to Homes of Hope, I worked as a Facilities Manager for a school district in Texas.

Jenn: “Before Homes of Hope, I worked as an Administrative Assistant for a Financial Planning Firm. From 2008-2013, we were houseparents at 2 different children’s homes in Texas.”

What attracted you to working here?

“We felt the Lord calling us back into the children’s home ministry; when we learned about Homes of Hope, we were overjoyed to join the team here, serving these kids.”

What is the most fulfilling part of being houseparents?

“The most fulfilling part of being houseparents is helping to break negative cycles in families, along with helping to lead children to the Lord. Seeing children grow up, become responsible members of society, and go on to raise their family in a Christ-centered home is deeply meaningful.”

How would you advise or encourage someone who is thinking about working here as a houseparent?

“Pray, Pray, Pray. This is a position that God will call you to, if you’re supposed to be doing it.  Beyond that, it’s great to visit with others who are currently serving or have in the past. Most of the people we’ve known who have been houseparents are very passionate about their time spent as houseparents and are glad to share their experiences.”

Billy and Tisha Weller

Homes of Hope for Children

What did you do before arriving at Homes of Hope for Children?

“In 2009, the Lord called us into the Children’s Home ministry. We ministered in two Alabama children’s homes before being blessed to begin serving at Homes of Hope for Children.”

Before working at their first children’s home, Billy worked at a Satellite Service business and Tisha worked in HeadStart.

What attracted you to working here?

“We were initially drawn to this ministry because of Dr. Garrett’s testimony and vision. After visiting the homes and talking with staff, we felt the presence of the Holy Spirit on campus. We were excited to see the staff’s commitment to Christ and their commitment to teaching these children about Christ.”

What is the most fulfilling part of being houseparents?

Billy: “It’s such a blessing to watch the children grow spiritually. I enjoy leading daily devotions with them and watching the Word become real in their lives. I am thankful that God allows us to be a part of His plan to teach these children about Him.”

Tisha: “It is a sweet experience to form bonds and relationships with these children. It’s heartwarming for me to watch these children change, grow, and mature as they put the things we have taught them into action. It is powerful to watch God’s plan for these children to learn about Him unfold in front of my eyes.”

How would you advise or encourage someone who is thinking about working here as a houseparent?

“First of all, our advice would be to pray and seek God’s will. This is not a job. It’s a ministry and it’s a family. We are very fortunate that Homes of Hope for Children has a unity within the staff on campus. We love having other Christian staff that encourages each other so we can grow closer to God together. We are blessed to have administration that has a personal relationship with the Lord, looks to Him for direction and guidance, and gives Him all the honor and glory.”

Homes of Hope for Children