Sometimes Miracles Hide-The Story of Our First Home
God’s miracles are not always seen at first glance. The truth is that sometimes miracles hide. As the parents of Jessica, a child with a severe disability, Peter and Paulette Teague discovered blessings really do come in disguise. Often, we have to wait years to see God's purpose and plan. In the spring of 2000, we began to realize our own miracle as we saw God working in the lives of two families discovering this same truth as expressed in their own joys and sorrows: each raising a child with special needs.
A Miracle Baby
On February 27, 1990 Sarah Kathryn was born to Hank and Melissa Hillard. Weighing only 1-1/2 pounds at birth, she was a fighter and survived. The Hillards loved and nurtured their miracle baby; she was the “apple of their eye.” When she was only one year old, Sarah Kathryn was diagnosed with cerebral palsy with seizure disorders. The realization settled in that their only child would experience serious medical and developmental challenges for her entire life. The sweetness of their love and devotion to Sarah Kathryn grew even greater as the Hillards did all they could to make life as happy and comfortable for their daughter as possible.
A House for Sarah Kathryn
In May of 1995, Hank and Melissa decided to build a special, totally handicapped-accessible home for Sarah Kathryn. They lovingly designed every detail of the elegant brick ranch-style home with her needs in mind. Nestled in the woods of York County, the home was just four doors away from the Teague home.
Sarah Kathryn and her parents shared many special times and built a full heart of memories in that home. However, on April 13, 1998, the Lord decided it was time to grace heaven with the presence of the Hillard’s miracle child. Sarah Kathryn moved to her new address in God’s house.
A Dream Becomes Reality
In the meantime, the Teague family had begun to pray about Jessica’s future. In October of 1998, God laid it upon the hearts of the Teagues to establish a ministry, Jessica & Friends Community. The vision was to establish faith-based homes for those with special needs where Christ’s love would be accessible to all. A Board of Directors was formed, a mission statement was written and by-laws were established. Jessica & Friends Community was chartered as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.
The Reality Becomes a Miracle
God then began to move in miraculous ways to weave many details together to fulfill the dream and His plan. The Teagues shared their vision with the Hillards, who became involved with Jessica & Friends Community. Shortly thereafter, a job transfer would necessitate the Hillards to relocate and sell their home. The Board of Directors toured the home and all agreed it was ideal for their needs.
In April of 2000, the home was purchased and named the "Sarah Kathryn Home." In June of 2002, God brought two special young ladies to join Jessica as residents of the Sarah Kathryn home. They are supported and cared for by loving, qualified, and trained staff who view their work as a ministry.
Our 2nd , 3rd ,4th , and 5th
Homes - Showers of Blessing
God continued to shower Jessica & Friends Community with His blessings as He brought together four men who moved into our second home, the Dew Drop home, in June of 2003. The Dew Drop residence is a beautiful, spacious, colonial brick home, including a second floor apartment for live-in staff and a basement for recreational purposes. It has a tremendous backyard on a one half-acre lot and is located one mile from our first home. On November 3, 2016 we renamed this home to the Grove House in Honor of Matthew Grove. Matthew was a very special man to all who knew and loved him. He lived at Dew Drop for six years and made many memories with the other men at the home. He will forever remain a part of the Jessica & Friends family.
Another historic day in the life of Jessica & Friends Community occurred in the fall of 2007 when three gentlemen moved into our third home on Tri-Hill Drive. This beautiful home is bustling with activity as the men have become “family” and accomplish many goals towards independence and becoming a vital part of the community.
A glorious Open House was held on Sunday, May 22, 2016 as we celebrated the opening of our fourth residential home, Kadine's House. God brought together three loving women to share this home. This three bedroom brick house has a spacious sunroom and is beautifully landscaped. The ladies are an active part of the community and have a strong bond of friendship and love towards each other.
God showered us with another blessing as we opened our fifth home. On January 1, 2017 we began caring for two gentlemen. At the request of their families Jessica & Friends Community became the agency to provide oversight for the daily responsibilities of program administration and caregiving for their sons. The home is located in the Olde East York community area. The two men have lived together for 20 years and have a very close bond with one another. We welcome them into the Jessica & Friends Community family.
Continued Blessings - Serving More
In August of 2018, God led us on a path to host a series of parent and caregiver meetings to discuss the potential of a residential expansion at Jessica & Friends Community. As a result of these meetings we realized the necessity and urgency to open new homes and support the individuals on our waiting list. Since that time, God has answered countless prayers as we opened three new homes.
Our Jackie Home, originally known as Joppa, officially opened February 22, 2019 when four ladies began moving into the home. All were very excited to be moving into their new home. Each lady had been on our waiting list for many years and this was a dream come true for them and their families. On April 28, the ladies and their staff hosted a dedication for their new home. Many people came and celebrated with them. On September 26th our Board of Directors approved the Joppa House being renamed as Jackie House in memory of one of the first precious residents.
In the spring of 2019, Harlan House was replaced with our second renovated home, Scarboro, which is now home to four gentlemen. All these men have a high level of independent living skills and enjoy many activities together, especially sports and dining out.
In September of 2019, we reached the final step in our expansion journey as we opened our third renovated home, Old Colony. Four sweet and lovable men call Old Colony home. The first official outing for the housemates was to attend our annual Gala where they were introduced as the men from Old Colony beaming from ear to ear as they strolled the red carpet.
Seeing God’s plan unfold has been amazing. Jessica & Friends Community now has seven homes serving twenty-six individuals in our Residential Program. Please continue to pray for us as we look to open additional homes so that we can serve more individuals on our waiting list.
As Jessica & Friends Community waits on the Lord’s provision and His perfect timing, we are confident that God will continue to shower us with His blessings to supply our financial needs through our faithful and caring friends.
To learn more how you can be a part of the miracle and support Jessica & Friends Community, visit our Make a Difference pages.
Thank you for the blessing you are to the ministry of Jessica & Friends Community as you partner with us through your support in gifts and prayers. May God shower you with His blessings.
We value and affirm the inherent dignity, significance and worth of each person regardless of physical capability and intellectual function (Psalm 139:13-16).
By faith, we strive to fulfill and proclaim the good news of the gospel by providing services to families impacted by intellectual disabilities regardless of financial standing.
Provide faith-based services and supports for individuals and families with autism and intellectual disabilities. We seek to be a community which affirms the worth of all people, supports personal growth and wholeness, advocates for community and church inclusion, and provides opportunities for spiritual growth and service.