Please pardon our dust!


In the midst of great trials, there is great pain… at times we do not see the ending in sight… at times we retreat and give up, maybe even going back into the sin in our lives that brought us to the trial in the first place. It is in those temptations that we must stand in the gap for one another in a fight on our knees!  That is what we try to do in My House Ministry!  We desire to be used as the hands and the feet of Jesus to women and children in need.

During our travels, we found ourselves in the midst of a construction zone at the airport. The big signs said, “Under Construction: Please excuse our dust!” We looked further at the wall and saw the picture of a beautifully finished atrium with food courts, updated seating, wifi and charging stations, and many lovely shops.  We also have been doing renovation projects at our ministry home.  Some of the projects were delayed so we had to cancel our plans for an Open House this week.  The dust has been crazy and the residents are growing weary of the project, but in a couple weeks it will be completely done and will be beautiful and usable for many years to come!

My heart began to ponder about how we are all “under construction” in some area of our lives.  We all are in need of the grace from one another of our “dust.”  Are we allowing the Master to do His remodeling work in our lives to kick up some dust so we can be improved and become more usable for His service? Are we esteeming others better than ourselves and giving them grace as we receive God’s amazing grace each day!  Let’s be mindful to pardon each other’s dust and love as He loves…dust and all.  Just think of the masterpiece that will be after He completes the work that He has begun in us for His glory and for His honor! Philippians 1:6

Thank you for your continued support of My House Ministry this past 5 years!  Please buy your tickets for our March 13th Ladles of Love soup, sides, dessert, and silent auction fundraiser to celebrate our 5 year anniversary!

We look forward to seeing you there!


Patti Weerstra
Executive Director

Year End Giving (1)

Year End Update!

Year End Giving (1)

Dear My House Ministry supporters and friends,

We thank God for each of you as we enter into the Thanksgiving and Christmas Season once again!  We have had such a blessed year with so many wonderful changes and growth.  In January, 2017 we added a fourth ministry home to bring affordable housing to 3 more moms with kids!  Because of your faithfulness to giving to the ministry, our staffing increased by adding a part-time Executive Director, a part-time Ministry Coordinator, and an additional part-time Life Skills Coordinator.  We have seen many ladies come to know Jesus as their personal Savior and grow in their faith.  Our capacity to serve is at 17 women and up to 15 children and we have had pretty full homes since April 2017.  We see the needs continue to grow in our community, not just for housing but for life changes through the power of Christ.

In looking back through the year, we have received more than 100 referral calls, have accepted at least 12 women into the program, 3 have graduated and are in their own housing and 3 more who are in the process of graduation and will be in their own housing soon!  Glory to God!

Let us share one recent testimony that truly has reminded us of God’s call to our vision here at My House Ministry which is to equip women to become independent, contributing community members, growing in their faith through our safe, affordable, supportive housing.  

One of our precious residents is a senior citizen and by no fault of her own, was dropped off to a local homeless shelter in February, 2017.  At 74 years old, with no family support, heart completely broken, she had lost hope.  She made the best of her situation and worked in the pantry of the shelter and everyone loved her.  God brought her to us for a possible option through one of our ministry partners that had contact with her.  We met with her, we saw her needs and God touched all of our hearts as He began to orchestrate His plan for her life.  It was not an easy transition being elderly and needing to transfer life to a new city, try to learn the MAX bus system and navigate this new house with a bunch of ladies!  God never makes a mistake when He brings a woman into My House Ministry.  


The residents and staff embraced this precious woman and all see her as a mom or a grandma, she works hard, she knits and serves others, she smiles all the time, she has new hope, she loves big and God’s promise in Psalm 68 is kept:  God sets the lonely in families, He leads out the prisoners with singing, but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.  Psalm 68:6  Clearly, He set her in the My House Ministry family!  She has worked the plan that we have set for her and has participated in the savings plan and has been very faithful.  We spend time in prayer for each of our ladies and ask God to make a way where there seems to be no way for them.  The waiting list for subsidized senior housing is an average of 3-5 years in Holland so we were praying for God to do something miraculous!  He did just that and more!  After a few unexpected hurdles and some good old perseverance, God has opened a beautiful apartment just for her, very affordable, centrally located and it is in a Senior Citizen complex with other conveniences!  Everyone is grieving because they will miss her but she is smiling from ear to ear.  She also knows that she is our forever family so even though she is moving a few blocks away, we will still continue to love on her and be there for her and also she has said that she is there for us.  We joke with her that we are going to get overnight passes and have a slumber party with her.  She agrees and giggles at the thought.  She is so thankful to God and she continually tells us how much she loves us and is so thankful for all we have done for her.  We praise God for what He has done for her and how He has cared for her.  We think of the verse:  Cast all your care on Him because He cares for you.  I Peter 5:7  We just continue to praise Him for His promises are so true!  


During this time of  giving, we ask that you prayerfully consider partnering with us in your planned end of year giving, whether it be a one time donation or perhaps a monthly donation to continue helping us to BE the hands and feet of Jesus to women just like our precious woman in the above testimony.  Additionally, if you are looking for an opportunity to serve in our ministry, please go to our website for more information.  As our Lord said in Matthew 25:40 “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me”

Thank you for your consideration, your prayers and your support of My House Ministry.  


In His Service,

Patricia Weerstra, Executive Director


Toy house and calculator on table close-up; Shutterstock ID 200470286

Housing Crisis in West Michigan

My House Ministry’s Board Member, Scott Sterenburg, shares his experience and expertise about the housing crisis happening in West Michigan. We are thankful for people like Scott and the many organizations fighting to help people struggling with housing.


Housing in Holland MI.

Toy house and calculator on table close-up; Shutterstock ID 200470286

Yet another man was in my office today, trying to get leads on housing. He has been living in the same apartment near our church for several years. His daughter, a single mom of 3, lost her housing and has been living with the couple. Now the landlord has informed them their rent will be increasing $150 a month. The landlord had recently updated the other side of their duplex and knows he could get this rent increase. The family had originally had a lease, but when the lease expired, it became a month-to-month agreement. The family had difficulty paying the rent before, now they can’t find a similar apartment in their price range.

Have you noticed the change in Holland’s real estate market? If you have tried to move, whether buying or renting, you certainly have. A shortage of housing has lead to increased prices. Housing costs have increased about 20% in sale prices and 23% in the rental market. At the same time, wages have remained relatively flat. As housing prices go up, it has a disproportionate effect on those at lower income levels.

As of August 2017, average rent for an apartment in Holland, MI is $901,which is a 6.44% increase from last year when the average rent was $843. One bedroom apartments in Holland rent for $809 a month on average (a 4.57% increase from last year), and two bedroom apartment rents average $903 (a 1.66% increase from last year).

house 1

The Holland/Zeeland area does have jobs available. People are able to work. Employers and Temp Agencies are working to fill positions constantly. The issue is that many of these entry-level positions don’t pay enough for the cost of living in Holland’s constantly increasing housing market. It isn’t just entry-level employees either. It’s not just those we think of as the “typical poor” who are struggling. Many college graduates find themselves priced out of the market when factoring in the ever-increasing amount of student debt young men and women carry at graduation.

Many of us frankly haven’t been aware of this issue. I confess, I wasn’t until beginning my current job. When I look at the data, it just doesn’t seem possible, but the research, and the personal stories I hear every day, confirm it.

One of the hardest hit demographics in the Holland/Zeeland area is the ALICE population. ALICE stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, and Employed. These are the people working in restaurants, health care, and other lower income positions. Simply put, people who are working, but not earning enough for basic necessities in a given area.

The ALICE population is much higher in Holland and Zeeland than you probably expect. In Holland City, 43% of the population, or 8,620 families live under the ALICE threshold. In Zeeland it is an astonishing 47%! This means that families living and working in Holland/Zeeland need to spend a much higher percentage of their income on housing. Worst case, it means safe, stable housing is out of reach for more and more families each month.

house 2

Additional factors such as the elderly, single parent families, a court record, or a previous eviction or history of late payments may completely eliminate your chance of securing housing.

Recently, while trying to help a member, we contacted about 10 local apartment complexes. The waiting lists for market-rate apartments in Holland averages two years and for income based housing (paying a percentage of income) the wait lists topped five years. And this is if you don’t have any of the other factors (credit issues, criminal record) against you.

Even those who qualify for housing support can’t find the housing they need. “Ottawa County has financial assistance available to eligible households, but this money is going unspent in our county because families cannot locate affordable units. In some cases, families who want to stay in Ottawa County are having to leave in order to take advantage of the benefit of a housing voucher. Households are forced to disrupt children in school and leave jobs in Ottawa County.” –Linda Jacobs, Executive Director, Good Samaritan Ministries

There are certainly no easy answers here. There is no one party responsible. Landlords, employers, builders, non-profits, and churches/community organizations need to get involved and work together towards a solution. We can all find a way to help; some in big ways and some in small ways. We all can and should stay educated on this issue affecting almost ½ our community.

Scott Sterenberg
Missions Director
Cavalry Holland


Intern Perspective: Do What You Love

Intern Perspective

This week, our intern Maty talks about some of the incredible things she has learned from our ministry during the time she worked with us. 

I first began working with My House as a communication intern earlier this May. I had never interned anywhere before, so to say that I was nervous would be an understatement. But as I near the end of my time at My House, I realize how lucky I was to spend the summer working with the amazing staff here. This experience has taught me so much and I think that it is important for me to share these incredible lessons with all of you.

One of the first things that I noticed when I arrived at My House was the hardworking staff. The work that we do at this ministry is not easy. Difficult situations arise from time to time which require a lot of patience and conversation to resolve.   But despite this, these women spend so much extra time every day ensuring that each resident feels comfortable and is given all the support that they need. They go above and beyond for our residents that may need a little extra support, and are quick to celebrate the incredible achievements that our residents make everyday.  They are there for our residents 24/7, which is an incredible thing to see.

But the thing that I think inspires me the most about this ministry is that our staff does all of this work because they love what they do. All of them easily could have taken jobs where they sit behind a desk and do the same tasks everyday. Instead, our staff decided to take a risk and do this difficult job because of the rewards it provides. They love to see the impact that they, and God, can make on the lives of other people and have dedicated their lives to serving others, even though it isn’t always easy.

That is a lesson that I think that we all can benefit from. No matter how difficult something may seem or how simple it would be to do something “safe”, we have to do the things that we love. Whether you are passionate about music, poetry, science, or serving others, you can add something incredible to this world by acting on these passions. When we love what we do, our enthusiasm spreads to others and encourages them to add something new to God’s world, just like the ladies at My House have done for me. But doing what we love isn’t always going to be easy. It may cause stressful situations, require long hours, or generate feelings of self-doubt from time to time. But to me, all of this is worth it, because I know that I am doing what I want to do, what God put me on this earth to do.  So the next time you are faced with the choice to do something that you love, no matter what it is, do it. You won’t regret it.

Welcome to My House Ministry’s Blog

1st blog Post Banner

When you have a staff as dedicated as ours, it’s hard not to want to share all the exciting things that our Ministry is doing. Because of this, we decided to create a blog for our website. We want all of our volunteers, donors, and even prospective residents to feel like they’re a part of our ministry, and we feel that creating a blog would be the best way to do this.

So what can you expect? Our staff, volunteers, and even residents are eager to share their stories with you. We will be talking about all the different things that make our ministry what it is: event descriptions , staff experiences, inspiring stories, and various other things! We are so excited for you to get to know us better.

Check back soon to read our first official blog post!