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Alabaster

History

 

The vision for Alabaster came about through a series of experiences Sharon Beel had over a number of years. It began when, as a pastor’s wife, she felt the need to minister to people outside the church. A friendship developed with a young woman who had come to the church only a couple of times. Sharon felt a strong drawing to walk alongside her as she continued to overcome drug addiction and financial disarray as a result of leaving sex work and to grow with her in how to understand and apply God’s word to life. Over a good number of years, a deep bond developed and her friend has become a strong Christian, a qualified counsellor and a wonderful example of love and wholeness. It was together that they felt called to reach out to other women struggling to exit the sex industry and drug addiction, and it was together that they began a ministry called Pamper Van, a Christian outreach group visiting a number of brothels in Perth, WA. It was through Pamper Van that Sharon began to take women into her home, to detox them (under medical supervision) and to do her best, along with the help of her wonderful husband and children, to assist the women to gain healing and wholeness. With varying levels of success, Sharon realised that this work was too demanding and the women’s needs too comprehensive for any one family to give them all the structure, love, discipline, nurture and help they need to fully overcome so many obstacles to freedom. And so it was with this in mind that she sought the Lord to know if He was calling her to create such an environment for them.

The support the women needed would require help from many members of the Body of Christ, many giftings, many different people contributing what they can offer to bring a strong network of support to comprehensively address all the varying issues required. Through her investigations at other similar ministries, Sharon did feel called to begin such a ministry. At the same time another woman, Wilma (Willi) Button was having a similar experience, meeting young women who were not being nurtured, who needed love and protection.  The burden for young women had been in her heart for a long time, and she wondered how she could make a difference.  She had often prayed that God would make a way for her to reach out to more than just those with whom she came into contact.  There was a dream to have a house, but not until the year 2000 when she heard Nancy Alcorn speak about Mercy Ministries in America did the dream become a vision.

Training in Counselling and Ministry followed in preparation. Willi prepared a vision into something which could be managed, however, Father said “Wait”.  Frustration, sometimes anger, followed but the dream and the vision never faltered. A mutual friend suggested Sharon and Willi meet and the meeting was a drawing together of hearts and minds. Alabaster was already in its infancy – slowly growing with a board, Sharon as director, and Willi coming in as Chaplain and Counsellor. Alabaster Community was moving forward.

 

 

 

woman holding baby