I Visited Hosea's House
In this series, we're visiting Southeast's Mission Partners to understand their vision and how God is using them in the community.
By Carla Williams
Tucked into the heart of Portland, a neighborhood in West Louisville, there’s an unassuming white house with a fenced-in yard and a handful of children’s toys dotting the green grass. It could be any other house in any other place. No one would know from the outside that in that house, women experience true healing, hope, restoration, forgiveness, and purpose in Christ.
Hosea’s House is a safe haven for women and children in crisis. For Teresa, the director of Hosea’s House, the mission and purpose of the ministry is deeply personal. In 2004, she was working at a dental clinic when she met a woman who was escaping a domestic violence situation. The two women became fast friends, often serving together and sharing life. One day, that woman mentioned that she’d love to start a home for women like her who desperately needed some healing, care, and community.
Only a few months later, Teresa’s sweet friend was murdered by her boyfriend. Teresa knew God was leading her to fulfill her late friend’s dream. But she also knew that it was going to be an ongoing journey of faith, where God was going to have to carry the ministry if it would ever succeed.
As Teresa began praying, God began providing. He brought her a house to use when she didn’t know how she was going to finance it. He led her to her first staff person and then provided the money to pay a salary. He lined up the details and she did everything in her power to keep up with Him. And then the women started to come.
Today Hosea’s House functions under the guidance of a well-established board, they practice wise financial planning, and they are known and respected in the neighborhood, but that attitude of total dependence on God still defines the heart and actions of the ministry.
It’s not unusual for Hosea’s House to recognize a need and immediately pray that God would provide. It’s equally common for them to get a call or visitor who shows up with exactly what they need. God provides daily for the vulnerable women at Hosea’s House, and He blesses His obedient people with the opportunity to give in faith. Now, the original house is paid off, and construction has started on another house just a few blocks away. God is continuing to provide as Teresa and her team pray and trust Him.
A House of Peace
As I knocked on the door of that unassuming white house, I had a lot of questions about what I’d see that day. What does it look like for women and children in crisis to live in a Christ-centered community? Can broken women find healing together, or does all that hurt and baggage just get compounded to create more burdens for everyone? As with so many things, I would discover the answers to those questions were both simple and complicated.
When Teresa opened the door, her genuine smile welcomed me into their haven. The peace in the house washed over me like a wave, and I immediately felt at home. Though the house was tidy and comfortable, there was nothing overly striking about the decorations or architecture of the home. It just felt lovely there. Like it has welcomed in and nourished many a weary soul.
Most of the women living at Hosea’s House were at work or school when I arrived. Teresa explained that women come to the home for a variety of reasons and they can stay in the house for up to two years. While they’re at Hosea’s House, they explore Scripture to identify the root cause of their issues, connect with volunteer mentors, engage in a local church, and learn practical life skills for the future. Each woman gets to come for a period of time under sponsorship, and then pays just a minimal monthly fee to remain. It’s a safe and supportive place for them to be while they get their feet back under them.
Life at Hosea’s House
The first resident I met was a woman who was eight months pregnant. She was preparing to bring her son home to Hosea’s House, where he’d be lavished in love and community for the first formative years of his life. She told me that after struggling with addiction, she’d found sobriety at a secular recovery program, but she didn’t discover her purpose, worth, or relationship with God until she came to Hosea’s House a few months before. Now, she is learning not just how to control one piece of her life, but how to address her emotional, relational, and spiritual depravity as well. She’s finally discovering holistic restoration.
Soon, another woman and her toddler son arrived home. When he was born, he was placed with a foster family who was dedicated to seeing her thrive and recover so she could be united with her son. After just a few months at Hosea’s House, the judge reinstated her custody and praised Hosea’s House in surprise. The judge acknowledged that the mom standing there couldn’t have been any more transformed. She was a whole new creation. The staff at Hosea’s House was appreciative, but not surprised. They see God transform lives every day.
There’s another mom and toddler son in the house, too. She has been in Hosea’s House almost two years, and the women there have truly become their new family. Soon, she’ll graduate the program and be the first resident in their new transitional housing. While she worked a 12-hour shift, Teresa and I drove to a nearby ministry to pick up her son from daycare. He came to us energetically, fully comfortable with the village who was helping to raise him.
As the boys played together like brothers back at Hosea’s House, it was clear they were thriving. They had a house full of women who loved them completely. Everyone jumped in so naturally to feed them, play with them, and protect them—while still leaving plenty of space for their mamas to do the true parenting. It was the kind of supportive and encouraging environment any mom would love.
Soon, another resident arrived accompanied by a friend from a local church. That resident is a Muslim who moved to Louisville to marry a man who turned out to be abusive and destructive. They accepted her into Hosea’s House after great prayer and wrestling. They weren’t sure how she’d react to their very Christ-focused approach. And with her Green Card still processing, they knew they might be taking her in indefinitely. The commitment seemed overwhelming. But as the women in the house prayed, their response was resounding. “How could we not welcome this woman in and love her?”
From the moment she arrived, that woman brought a fresh wave of gratitude and joy to Hosea’s House. Though she was alone and without hope, now she is surrounded by sisters and has a bright future. She’s so thankful for a new chapter. Her Green Card even arrived just a few weeks after she did, enabling her to work and stay in America safely.
And though she still considers herself a Muslim, she also studies the Bible faithfully and is falling more in love with Jesus every day. While we swayed together on a sunny porch swing, she quietly admitted that though no Muslims would help her, she’s seen nothing but love and kindness from the Christians God put in her life. She believes God is pursuing her heart.
One at a Time
As I talked through my day with Teresa, she admitted that though things seemed peaceful that day, it’s not always like that. Community living is complicated in the best situations, and when you bring women together who are all deeply processing their own sins, abuse, broken relationships, and insecurities, it can get downright chaotic.
Teresa explained that they keep the house capacity low on purpose. When she first began, she urgently wanted to save everyone. But over time, Teresa and the Hosea’s House team have learned how to discern who is ready to tackle their mess and how to love those women through the hardest, ugliest days. They don’t always succeed, but they always rely on God to sustain them anyway.
God is equipping the team at Hosea’s House to make a profound impact, one woman at a time. Christ is the only One who can save them, transform them, and use them for His glory and purposes. Teresa just tries to love every woman He brings to her door. She keeps praying, and He keeps providing.
To learn more or get involved, visit Hoseashouse.com.