By: Carol Alderman
Over the years, God led my husband, Lee, and myself to do many things, which we now see as preparation to become the directors for Shiloh. Lee was led to get a Ph.D. in education and a Masters degree in psychology. We were foster parents for several years, we were involved with a Christian camp for underprivileged kids for four years, Lee worked as a case worker for a year, he also did volunteer work at a group home for troubled youth, and Carol worked at a school for adjudicated youth. Through our experiences, we could see that people in life crises can’t really get what they truly need through government services. They need God and His forgiveness, restoration, hope, and love.
In early 2005, we felt that God was tugging on our lives and leading us to do something for Him. We had our eyes open looking for God's plan. Around that same time, we heard that the Millers’ house was about to become vacant. Lee and I discussed that it would be a great house to have to care for people in need. This 12,000 square foot home had a lot of room and features ideally set up to be a group home. Then one morning, a friend came up to Lee (knowing nothing about where our thoughts were) and said that Dr. Miller's house ought to be used to help kids in need. That got our attention. Shortly after that, Lee mentioned to Dr. Miller that we thought his house would be a great place to run a ministry. Dr. Miller told Lee that it had always been his intention that someday his house would be used by a ministry. That got our attention even more.
During that next year, we continued to pray for God’s will and direction. It was becoming clearer in our minds just what the ministry should be. God showed us that we should minister to hurting young moms and their kids.
Then in March 2006, I was attending a meeting at church. I was sitting next to Cindy Rhudy, whom I had never really talked to before. At that moment, a strange thing happened. I felt extremely compelled to tell her about the ministry idea. I started to tell her, but then I thought that it wasn’t the right time, so I stopped. Cindy got really serious and told me to finish what I had started to say. I told her about our vision. She started to cry and she got very excited.
She went on to tell me that she had felt called by God to open a maternity home/women’s crisis home. In fact, the board at Family Life Services (which is a pregnancy center and for which she was the director) had been discussing making this a part of their ministry. Cindy’s problem was that she did not want to run the home. She had really struggled with this. She said that she had praying for God to reveal who would run the home whether it was her or someone else. Some of the women that she had prayed with were sitting at our table. She excitedly told them what had just happened. It created quite the scene. It isn’t everyday that you see God show up in such a remarkable way.
From that point on God provided one thing after another. He provided for us to purchase the Miller’s home, which was for sale for $1,000,000. God prompted Lee and Mike Rhudy to ask Dr. Miller to reduce the price to $350,000, effectively donating the other $650,000. After praying about it, Dr. Miller agreed that this was God’s will. He also outright donated the small house next door to the ministry, which he also owned.
God led us to a ministry similar to ours in order to get direction on how to start and how to do this thing he was calling us to.
God provided volunteers, furnished the house, provided a $75,000 fire sprinkler system to be donated for free, and absolutely everything we needed to open the house.
We opened Shiloh for residents on April 1, 2008. God has faithfully provided everything we have needed ever since.
For the first few years, we organized many fund raisers. But then God told us to quit putting our efforts towards fund raising and instead focus our efforts solely on ministering to the people, depending solely on Him to provide. We stopped doing fund raisers about five years ago. Ever since, we have had plenty of money to pay our bills, when previously we struggled.
As we prepare to reach our ten year anniversary in about one month, it is remarkable to look back at the profound thing God has done in our midst. We have served over forty families in our residential ministry and ministered to hundreds more through our services. God has used us to touch hundreds of hurting people with His love. It is a profound privilege to be used by God in this way and be allowed to experience Him in so many supernatural ways.