Tuesday, June 7, 2011

To Save A Life: The Quest to Rescue Charles Manly

 I'm honored to have guest blogger and friend, Jennifer Manly, share a bit about her quest to save her son, Charles.

Please feel free to repost and share in any way you may want to!
~Rebecca
Hope, grace, love, restoration....So many things go into these powerful words. I am truly honored to be able to share my story of restoration and hope with you- Jennifer Manly

I am Jen, former
Army brat, and eldest of three and now a 31 year old mother of five, living here in our beautiful Colorado. I've always been a  free spirit with a zest for life which evolved into being a "wild child" in my early preteen years. After some very traumatic circumstances, I fell into a deep depression which landed me in "the system." I was in and out of group homes, hospitals, and "therapeutic" foster homes. Shortly after returning home at 15 I ran away which lead me down a true path of destruction. I found myself hitch-hiking around Texas and Mexico with a man ten years older than me who was an alcoholic with a horrible addiction to crack.  I found myself broken, alone, homeless, and pregnant at seventeen.

Might I say, it was not my best year...

Twenty weeks into my pregnancy reality sunk-in; I was going to be a mother. I called my parents for help and moved to Leavenworth, Kansas. Despite all my greatest efforts to pull a life together for my son: getting my GED, working two jobs, and attending college, his father was still in my life. 

To the devastation of my son, I allowed his father to watch him while I was in school and working. It was not until I came home to an empty house and had to retrieve my five month old son from a local crack house (mind you, I did not have a car and walked around for hours trying to find my child in the dark) that I realized again something had to change.

I joined the Air Force when my son, Joshua was 9 months old and he went to live with my parents until we were reunited in Great Falls, Montana when he was 18 months old. Life was a continual up-hill battle. My son had a difficult time adapting and I stumbled often. Only the healing power of Christ could restore my broken life.

Now, I am on a new journey. My son, now Charles Joshua, after being adopted by my husband, has been diagnosis with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD) and sever ADHD. After years of therapy, nutrition changes... you name it, he was recommended by multiple psychologists and psychiatrist to be placed in a residential hospital for the safety of our family. Having been a  child of the system I know this is not the answer. Countless hours of prayer and many tears later, God has opened a door for healing through a ministry that loves and speaks life into teens like, Charles. Shepherd's Hill Academy is our answer to prayer. The hurdle is the tuition that is over $50,000 annually. 

Again, after more prayer, I felt God speak to my heart saying, "This is nothing in comparison to how big I am.  I love your son and desire his heart even more then you."

Hard to even imagine!...

We took a leap of faith and began selling things and cashed in our small 401K. Then we  prayed more. God has been moving in the hearts of others in mighty ways. We now have raised over $12,000!! We have had several yard sales that have brought in a $1,000 at a time, and a Range Rover was donated to our family (which is presently for sale). Chic-Fil-A even allowed us to host a fund raiser. Miracles have begun to happen!! Through, hearts like yours God has continually showed His out-stretched arms. He has shown us His hope, His grace, His love,and His desire for restoration in my sweet boy. 

~Jennifer Manly
Here are a few things we are doing to support the Manly family. Our goal is total restoration ... and nothing else.

~ Rebecca

  • Visit: www.gofundme.com/charlesmanly to hear more about Charles Manly or to give.
  • Colorado Springs friends: Come to Souper Salad on Friday, June 17th from 5-8 pm for a fund raising dinner
  • Colorado Springs friends: Visit Freedom Chiropractic on June 27 from 9-11 am or 3-6 pm for a Community Outreach Day.For $25 you receive: A full medical history, thermography scan, orthopedic evaluation, and then a followup with the doctor to go over findings and recommendations. (a $300+ value).The entire amount will be designated for the Manlys'. Call 719-533-0303 to hear more.
  • Colorado Friends: Join us for the run4youth 5k walk/run on October 1 @ 9am
  • Donate to and Shop @ The Manly's Yard Sale @ 8933 Bellcove Circle, 80920 this Fri and Sat, June 10 &11 from 8am- 2pm






  • And Of course: Pray! Pray! Pray!




9 comments:

laughwithusblog said...

Amazing! I love to read about how God changes lives!

Karen F said...

Wow ~ praying for this family!!

I am a new gfc follower from VoiceBoks

Hope you can stop by and visit me at ~Mommy's Moments~ {{a review & giveaway blog}}

http://www.avonbykaren.blogspot.com

Thanks!!
Karen

Rebecca Dunning said...

Thanks ladies! Please spread the word!

Sarah said...

What an amazing story! Isn't is amazing how God can work such miracles in our loves despite our circumstances. Will be praying for this family!!! Thanks for sharing :)

Marisa and Brittany said...

Beautiful testimony!

I am a mom of a wonderful 19 year old son who has severe ADHD and multiple disabilities. We have taken 2 homeless older teenagers with disabilities into our home. I am also a special education teacher of precious children with disabilities along the mild spectrum. I have seen and felt first hand the devastation that disabilities can bring not only to the individuals, but to the families and friends as well. I have also witnessed the many blessings God grants to all touched by disabilities.

My son has been my inspiration. I stood in awe last year as he managed his way down that long aisle of the university wellness center to receive his regular (not certificate of completion) high school diploma ...on time!!! He fought a long and hard 18 year battle with multiple teachers of record telling us to prepare for the worst. They felt there wasn't a chance in Heaven he would graduate. We weren't willing to settle for anything but the very best he could do and against all odds, he proved his teachers wrong.

Now we are facing new challenges ...independent, autonomous living. But, just as God has been faithful in answering our prayers all along, we know He will continue to hold our son in the palm of His hands.

I will breathe a prayer for you... one thing I can say is God will never leave you!

Blessings,

Marisa

Marisa and Brittany said...

Beautiful testimony!

I am a mom of a wonderful 19 year old son who has severe ADHD and multiple disabilities. We have taken 2 homeless older teenagers with disabilities into our home. I am also a special education teacher of precious children with disabilities along the mild spectrum. I have seen and felt first hand the devastation that disabilities can bring not only to the individuals, but to the families and friends as well. I have also witnessed the many blessings God grants all touched by disabilities.

My son has been my inspiration. I stood in awe last year as he managed his way down that long aisle of the university wellness center to receive his regular (not certificate of completion) high school diploma ...on time!!! He fought a long and hard 18 year battle with multiple teachers of record telling us to prepare for the worst. We weren't willing to settle for anything but his very best and against all odds, he proved his teachers wrong.

Now we are facing a new challenge ...independent, autonomous living. But, just as God has been faithful in answering prayer all along, we know He will continue to hold our son in the palm of His hands.

I will breathe a prayer for you... One thing I can say is God will never leave you.

Blessings,

Marisa

Theresa Miller said...

Touching story. With God, all things are possible...!

Jennifer @ Studio JRU said...

Congratulations to Jen for turning her life around and being such a wonderful mother! The love she has for Charles is beautiful! Praying for your family Jen! Thank you for sharing this story Rebecca. So glad I saw your post on (in)courage blog frog!

Angela said...

Hi there! I have shared one of your previous posts on this and am sharing this one also as an update. I am sharing it for my Tuesday post because midnight Wednesday I begin participating in a blog hop and should have a lot of people checking out my blog and hopefully this post as well. I'm sure there will be some response, if nothing else more people will be praying. Just wanted to let you know what I am planning. Still praying and believing with you! Angela of Accidentally Angela