Faith-based Kairos Hope providing safe home for women with sexual trauma

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Kairos Hope, a recovery home for women who have sexual trauma, is hosting a Festival of Trees at Henderson Hall in Monroe City, Mo. from Nov. 25 to Dec. 2. | Photo courtesy of Kairos Hope

MONROE CITY, Mo. — Eryka McMillan took a handful of pills one night with the intention to not wake up. 

But when her eyes fluttered open the next morning, a broken life began coming together with a new purpose. It’s the journey of Kairos Hope, a recovery home in Monroe City for women who have experienced sexual trauma.

Kairos Hope opened in 2019 and has welcomed a number of women into the home to go through the faith-based program — free of charge. They are accepting applicants to go on a wait list for openings in 2024.

McMillan was 18 years old when the idea of creating a safe home for women with sexual trauma was born. She was sexually assaulted by her boyfriend and some of his friends during her freshman year in high school.

Afterward, McMillan continued on with life and pretended she was fine. She greeted friends from her pew at church, and she went on mission trips and helped lead others to Jesus. She also began seeking her counseling degree from Hannibal-LaGrange University.

Under the surface of what appeared to be a well-put-together life, McMillan was drowning in trauma and hopelessness. A lifeboat came when she joined a recovery home.

“They poured into me, discipled me and showed me what Christian love looks like. They also showed me what praying and finding an identity in Christ looks like,” she said. “It wasn’t that you had to be perfect or go to every Sunday school service. It was that God loves where you are and sees you in your brokenness and hurting.”  

When the idea of Kairos Hope came to McMillan, it seemed like an impossible task to house and feed women for free. Kairos Hope does not seek federal funding. McMillan said the home is funded through prayer and donations.

“People have called me crazy and suggested I just offer outside counseling,” she said. “But I serve a big God who can do big things.”

There are many ways to help Kairos Hope. Opportunities to volunteer and donate can be found on their website.

You can help this Christmas by celebrating the Festival of Trees with them.

Kairos Hope is the host of a Whoville-themed Christmas called Hopeville from 1 to 8 p.m. from Nov. 25 to Dec. 2 at Henderson Hall, 115 First Street, in Monroe City. Stroll the streets of Hopeville with hot chocolate in hand and admire Christmas trees decorated by local residents and organizations in a variety of themes. All of the trees will be sold by silent auction.

The event will feature activities for all ages such as kids crafts, wreath making workshop, bath bomb making workshop, and more.

 To find a calendar of events, visit the Festival of Trees event on Facebook or visit their website.

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