River of Life Offers Women Hope When They Feel They're at a Dead End in Life, LIVINGSTON, June 24, 2008 -The River of Life Training Center (RLTC) located at 1300 N. Washington (Business 59) in Livingston offers women a place to turn when their life is filled with despair. "We're a very Christian organization, and a ministry." says founder Debby Schmidt. Debby established RLTC because God called her to do so. "It started one night when I was at a women's meeting and someone spoke to me, and someone wrote down what was being said to me on the back of an envelope", Debby recalls. "When I read what the message said, I tried to just brush it off and put it in my Bible". The message written on the back of the envelope gave Debby instructions to establish a place without barriers where she'll be able to minister to people in need and help them. "I tried to ignore it for 3 years" she says, "Then one night, when I was at a church service the preacher told me that I had something written down on an envelope in my Bible that I've been trying to ignore, and that it was time to do it, that's when I knew it was time to obey what God had called me to do". Indeed, Debby obeyed, and that was the beginning of RLTC. "This isn't about me." she says adamantly. "I'm just being used by God, it's all about him. This is God's work, not mine".
Debby framed and keeps on the wall at RLTC the envelope with writing that she tried to ignore for 3 years (as a reminder not to run from God's plans for her life).
River of Life has been flourishing and Debby isn't looking back either as she continues on her mission set forth to her by God. To make a long story short, Debby was able to occupy a building on Business 59 in Livingston (formerly Solomon's Coffee House). River of Life has a room full of late mode computers that are used to help women in getting necessary skills to get on their feet. That's just the beginning, the women (many who come from abusive situations), learn not only technical skills for today's employment market, but they also attend a support group with other women who come from similar situations.
WE DON'T SUBSCRIBE TO THE BELIEF IN "WOMEN'S ISSUES", IT'S ABOUT COMMUNITY ISSUES River of Life Ministries was created to mentor and educate women interested in improving their daily lives through real-life skills training. RLTC seeks to create long-term contributions and solutions to local problems. "We believe there is no such concept as women's issues but rather, family and community issues, as every person has an impact on those that surround them."
A GENEROUS COMMUNITY Debby glows with excitement and a joy almost unspeakable as she gave PolkCountyToday.com a tour of their small, facilities. "This furniture was donated to us, and it's brand new!" she says. The group support room has a nice couch and plush chairs with a big coffee table "That's where we have our group time" she says pointing to the coffee table. "That table is where we put it all on the table. We get it out and talk about it" she says referring to the students discussing openly with each other their situations and problems as they seek to help each other build self esteem. Then she showed us the computer room "These computers are about 1 year old and were donated to us from a local bank". Sure enough, the room had state of the art computers all donated. "This is the kitchen table, lunch is provided free from local restaurants". Debbie continues the tour, as she opens a door into a room filled with nice business clothes and shoes. "This where we put the final touch as we send our students out for job interviews!" Everything donated.
STUDENTS MUST BE WILLING TO IMPROVE THEMSELVES RLTC seeks to mentor and educate women who are WILLING to improve their lives. "We had one lady who came in who was offered the option of going to jail, or RLTC, after two weeks, she decided to go to jail instead." Students learn computer skills, financial management, time management, anger management, Bible study, job interview skills, job retention skills and setting goals. All of these things offer women a step by step structured path to build a new life of freedom, independent from abusive relationships.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? It costs nothing. The course is entirely free and the whole operation is based on faith and donations.
NOT FOR PROFIT Debby and her volunteers do not make one penny from this ministry. Put simply, they are carrying out the will of God spelled out clearly in the Bible:
What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. -- James 2:14-18 (New International Version)
RIVER OF LIFE TRAINING CENTER MISSION STATEMENT:
River of Life Ministries is a faith-based, non-profit corporation that seeks to equip, educate, and train women to impact their own lives and their community by rebuilding themselves from the inside out.