There’s a little yellow house right off of Highway 31. Blink and you’ll miss it. But walk inside, and you’ll feel at home. Welcome to Dayspring Christian Counseling Center in Owens Crossroads, Alabama.
Leah Lucas and Lindsay Taylor are two sisters who look nothing alike yet share a common passion for helping people. They especially want to help people who need it the most: those who believe they’re completely out of options.
Their story is an amazing testimony to the sovereign goodness of God in all situations and how He has created us, personally, for the purpose of glorifying Him. In fact, Lindsay wouldn’t even be here if her parents’ original plan had worked out how they expected.
You see, she is the third child of parents who were completely satisfied with two children. However, Lindsay’s brother passed away at the age of two, succumbing to his battle with Leukemia. Through their heartbreak, her parents turned their pain over to the Lord and asked for healing. After time, with a desire for two children still planted in their hearts, God gave them their baby girl Lindsay.
Growing up, her parents would often tell her the story of her amazing older brother. They told her of the great necessity for people who are willing to help hurting people. And they never ceased to remind her that she had been specially created for an incredible purpose.
As a teenager, Lindsay realized what that incredible purpose was when her heart became set on Christian counseling. She had a heart for listening to people and the gift of discernment – able to really get to the root of the symptoms that manifested in people’s lives. Her sister Leah had the same passion and they grew up sharing dreams of working together in their own private practice.
Both sisters pursued their counseling degrees, taking different paths of specialization but ending up at the same conclusion: private practice was not where God wanted them. Leah’s experience with the Department of Human Resources (DHR) convinced her of the overwhelming need of help for low-income families. However, Lindsay through her internship in pursuit of her degree decided that her heart was really just in helping people – not making the money.
Through these experiences, God was clearly directing them toward the mission field. He wanted them in the trenches—not on the sidelines— ministering to the wounded right where they were.
And so, they found Dayspring.
Dayspring was founded by Terry Nelson (along with two other co-founders) who left a thriving private practice after receiving a call on his life to start this non-profit. Following God’s lead and unsure where it would take him or how it would be accomplished, out of faith he started knocking on doors and having conversations. Before he knew it, several churches and a few private donors had set him up with enough money to open Dayspring.
“We are here to help overwhelmed pastors,” explains Terry. Let’s face it. Pastors can get overwhelmed at times with the number of people in their churches who need help. Dayspring aims to be a resource for these pastors by becoming a reference for their church members. They are also there to help parents or anyone else that might need some outside help.
The services are affordable. They take insurance, but if you don’t have insurance, Terry insists that “[they] will never turn anyone away because of an inability to pay.” However, they want people to be invested in their counseling process. So, they’ll ask them to honestly evaluate their priorities and name a price that they’re able to pay. If it’s five dollars, then they will work with that.
It’s been a difficult road to keep the counseling centers open. When money gets tight and donations stop coming in, Terry prays that God would keep their doors open. To explain God’s faithfulness, he described a month where they were short a large sum of money. Coming to the end of his rope and having no more ideas, Terry simply prayed. As he walked into a meeting later that day, one of the attendees handed him an envelope. Not thinking anything of it, he casually opened the envelope and was shocked to see the exact amount (unsolicited) written on the check. Praise God! He keeps our doors open.
Who Can Get Help?
Counseling is a valuable tool that is often looked down on by people because they claim it’s “not for them.” For some, it’s pride that keeps them from seeking help. For others, it might be finances. Whatever it is, the doors of Dayspring are always open for anyone and everyone.
Christian or non-Christian, adolescent or adult, married or single, male or female – this is a resource that is open to you. Whether you’ve suffered from trauma, abuse, anxiety, or depression or whether you need an outside perspective, counseling can be thought of as a resource to help you achieve your goal.
Dayspring’s goal is to help people find the healthy balance between the dichotomy of pills and prayer in today’s world. On one hand, you have the people – doctors included – who think that pills are the answer while, on the other hand, you have people who insist that through faith and prayer you should be able to overcome everything.
Dayspring believes that the truth lies in the middle somewhere. Sometimes we need a little help in getting to the point where we can effectively deal with our problems so we can move forward in life. Dayspring wants to help people find their mission in life and then equip them to move forward and accomplish the great things that God has placed their hearts. They especially want to see people freed from the burdens of their past.
How Can We Help?
Dayspring wants to expand. They want to reach people and become a healthy and stable non-profit resource. But in order to do that, they need prayer and financial support. They also need your assistance with publicizing their services and spreading the word that they are available to help anyone.
They have fundraisers throughout the year, but you can also donate any time. Most importantly, they want referrals – they want to be used how God intended them to be used. You can help today by going to their website http://dayspringcc.us/Support.htm and pledging your support in the form of prayer or funding.
Being in the trenches and talking with and counseling the hurting is such a tremendous calling on one’s life. Not all of us are called to do that. I am so honored that we can shed some light on those who need Godly counseling and share the good news that there is a Hope and a Helper for them.