EMV. How did your journey on the Road to Emmaus begin?
AB. The journey to Emmaus began with a prompting of the Holy Spirit. Several years prior, I had looked into L'Arche. However, I needed to raise a lot of money - and the timing wasn't right. Through my spiritual director at the time, I met a wonderful gal from New Jersey who had a very similar story to mine. She had a son with autism and wanted to start a faith-based home. I met with her and she gave me much support and encouragement. We leased a former parish, St. Margaret Mary Alacoque last November, my eldest son Michael, the first house parent and my son with autism, Kevin, moved in in January. Albert who has autism and Eric, our second house parent, moved in in February and finally Suzanne our third resident moved in in June. We are able to have two more individuals, and are waiting who the Lord will send next!
EMV. What surprises has the Lord shown you on this journey?
AB. The surprise the Lord has shown me are the amazing and very diverse people He is sending! He also has everything we need... each time there is a need, the Lord provides! He works through many people! When we were in need of a van so we didn't have to take three vehicles on trips, a beautiful new 2016 15-passenger van was gifted to us! When we needed electric work in the residence, the Union showed up! God is very Good!
EMV. What secular resources have you found helpful?
AB. We have a day program that is licensed. We are in our start up phase. However this will be a very good source of funding. We have a rehabilitation department that provides 1:1 care for folks with disabilities. We are in the process of licensing our home - again this will be billable to Medicaid and can provide a nice income for Emmaus Home! It's quite a bit of juggling right now for two people, but we know the Lord will send us an administrative staff in the future!
EMV. What are the greatest obstacles you have encountered that you can share?
AB. The greatest obstacle is the lack of man power, money, energy and resources right now. There is a lot of competition in this area for services for the disabled. However, because we are faith-based, and have committed assistants living in community with our folks, we are different from the traditional secular group home/provider agency.
EMV. Have you found that God always sends the right people at the right time?
AB. The work we do with our folks is life-altering! We learn much more from them than they can from us! They help us to be patient. They help us to pause... They can never compete with the world's standards, nor should they. They are just by "being" a great witness to the dignity and the sanctity of human life.
EMV. What can you tell us about the joy that comes in caring for God's special children that is different from anything the world can give?
AB. It is a great honor to be in the presence of such pure-hearted people!!
EMV. How can people help?
AB. We need lots of volunteer help and especially Prayers for fortitude and faithfulness each day!! We need donations. Please direct people to our website. We have weekly Wednesday Masses at 5:30. We are having an upcoming Catholic Underground on 11/14. This begins with a 7 PM Holy Hour followed by a coffee house with a singer/musician. We also are having a Thanksgiving Dance on 11/28 for folks with disabilities.
EMV: Thank you, Anne, for sharing your work with the readers of Tea at Trianon.
Anyone who would like to help Emmaus Home, please visit the website, HERE.
Here is an article about the thrift shop at Emmaus Home.