At the Coughlin Barn on Thursday afternoon, August 8 , there were several staff and board members who were assisting with the preparation for our 2nd Annual Barn Bash. The event company had arrived on time and were setting up the event with their tables, chairs, etc. I remember thinking, “wow they are so amazing, they are doing everything so efficiently and all we are doing is watching”. Such a difference from what we experienced last year with our event company. I had spoken to the owner of the company and one of her assistants a couple of times and had noticed the two men who were setting everything up. I hadn’t interrupted their working to have a conversation so really had not noticed who the two men were. But as they were finishing up, I was walking to the door and noticed one of the young men who had just stopped and was looking my way. I was walking to the door and noticed one of the young men who had just stopped and was looking my way. I turned to speak to him and could not believe what I was seeing. “Darren, oh my gosh, is that really you?” And yes, it was Darren! I hadn’t seen Darren in probably 25 years, but there he was, such a gentle smile, one I immediately recognized.
Many of you who have heard David’s story of the young man who spent several years at the Village with his mom and his sister, who he found out after his triple bypass and valve replacement surgery, that Darren was the surgical tech who took his veins out of his leg for the surgery. David hadn’t seen him, but he heard about the young man who told everyone in the surgery room that this was “Mr. David” and who Mr. David was.
And now here was Darren right in front of us. It seems Darren and his wife had started this event company several years ago (Somethin’ Borrowed) and he had left the surgery room to work with his sweet wife. Wow, unbelievable because 30 years ago in August of 1989, Darren, his mom and sister joined us at Restoration Village. His mom made a significant contribution of time and effort in the early years of Restoration Village to clean, remove wallpaper, paint, re-carpet, and landscape much of the property while she was healing from her own severe trauma through childhood and her marriage. They lived with us for several years, and her children grew up with ours. How great the tie that bound our hearts together and how good God is to allow us to see some of the fruit of His love outpoured.
Restoration Village is a faith-based, long-term homeless shelter for women and women with children. If you are in need of the safe shelter and life-changing services we provide, please contact us for more information. We receive residents from all around Northwest Arkansas, including Benton and Washington County. Your hope can be restored, your dignity can be renewed, and your life can be rebuilt.