Tena Hauk displays the certificate showing that Open Hearts Ministries of Arkansas is a certified site of Christian Women’s Job Corps, through the Women’s Missionary Union of the Southern Baptist Convention. Certification can take up to 18 months. Hauk opened the door of CWJC on Friday and had her first client within a few minutes. Dedication of the ministry will be 11 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 11.
While a planned transitional living ministry for women idles in “limbo,” Tina Hauk of Carlisle, working through New Hearts Ministries of Arkansas, said she is busy exploring new doors that are opening to her. At 11 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 11, Hauk will have the dedication of the Christian Women’s Job Corps, a ministry to women, at 112 North Center Street at Lonoke.
The ministry will be open Mondays and Thursdays, Hauk said. But, she said, reaching out to women who are restoring their lives after prison remains her passion.
CWJC helps women redirect their lives and better prepare for employment, Hauk said.
CWJC is an outreach of the Women’s Missionary Union of the Southern Baptist Convention. Information from the CWJC website is that it can take up to 18 months to become a certified site — a certificate stating the requirements have been met by NHMA at the Lonoke ministry hangs on the wall.
Hauk said she spent “a long time” meeting the required conditions to become a certified CWJC site.
Hauk recalled that she got her start in women’s ministry through a prison program. That program ended when funding stopped, but she had found her calling and began to explore various means of continuing the work.
“I felt God leading me to helping women that are displaced, living in poverty, addiction. To continue doing what I did inside the prison but bring it out to the local community,” Hauk said.
Classes through CWJC will teach life skills, interview preparation and other skills, including using computers, Hauk said. The goal is to teach self-sufficiency and independent living in a faith-based manner, she said.
“I have already had my first client come in,” Hauk said Friday. “All I have done so far is to put out some flyers and open the door,” she said.
“This can be part of [after-prison recovery]. This is for all women. But my heart is in helping women who are getting out of prison. Things worked out for this, so this is what I am going to do right now,” Hauk said.
CWJC was given space to operate by The Gathering, a church pastored by Ken Pasley, Hauk said. Part of the space is shared with a Sunday school class, she said.
Pasley learned that the only preventing the CWJC work was to have place to operate; The Gathering offered to meet that need, Hauk said. “I’ll be here two days a week,” she said.
Hauk said there are many opportunities to help with the ministry. Mentors (females only), teachers (may be male or female), receptionists, board members grant writers, are a few areas, Hauk said.
While general reception of the Furlow area to the transitional living home has been negative, it is issues concerning easements that have put that ministry on hold, Hauk said.
The land and house intended for the transitional living ministry was donated by John and D’Arylan Ball, Hauk said. The site is landlocked and she needs an easement for access; at this point, the owners have declined to agree to an easement, she said.
The site is remote, about three miles from the crossroads of Arkansas Highways 294, 89 and 15 considered the center of Furlow.
Eventually, New Hearts ministries will be there, Hauk said of the Catfish Road location. “What it will look like, what it is going to offer; if it is going to be transitional living, or just a house where women can meet for Bible studies or to have retreats? I really don’t know yet,” Hauk said.
Anyone interested in more information about the ministry can contact Hauk at 870-552-5227, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.