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Written by: Linda Otterback, MSC      Eastern KY SONrise          January 5, 2021

I've been going to Haven of Rest since it began with Director and Founder Eileen Mullins, about 16 years ago. Joyce and Harold Scoggs followed as Directors and now Debe Polich takes care of this ministry in the sky. 

Haven of Rest was developed for the purpose of giving the families visiting their loved ones at Big Sandy Federal Prison a place of comfort, refuge and rest. There was a chapel they could attend and find solace in the storms that prevailed upon their visits.  They could dine together and meet other families from across the nation who were also visiting their loved ones. It was, and still is, a healing place for hundreds, or perhaps thousands of people!

But, I have come to know Haven of Rest not as family of an inmate, but as a person seeking refuge from the storms of life. Throughout the years I have taken many mission teams, individuals, church groups and others for a retreat and lodging at the Haven. Each one says the same thing, that they "feel the presence of God" when they stay at the Haven of Rest. The mountain top experience of wild horses, elk, eagles, and vast views are a small example of what God has in store for us in the future.

But for me personally, let me tell you why I love Haven of Rest.  My husband Larry, loved to sit on the front porch in the rocking chairs and spend time there in the early mornings.  He loved the view and the solitude of being with God.  He found great peace and comfort in the years before God called him home in 2016.  Larry spoke with many other men who came to know where he would be between 4 and 5 a.m., on the porch, rocking. They shared small talk at first, then greater talk about themselves as they opened up in conversation.  I cannot begin to know how many came to know the Lord because of those early morning talks and times of healing.  They would laugh like men do at silly things and then linger into deep spiritual thoughts.

Our ministry Eastern KY SONrise, bought several of those rocking chairs. We thought folks would enjoy sitting on the porch overlooking the mountains and beautiful sky, just enjoying each other and having small talk.  Little did we know that it was a place to repent of sins and find solace in the Lord through early morning times spent in communication with my husband and the Lord!

I have a loving, joyous relationship with Haven of Rest. My heart is there on the front porch sitting in the rocking chairs, overlooking the mountainous terrain and looking up at the starry sky. The sunrises and sunsets are spectacular, winter, summer, spring and fall. Magnificent colors preside as the rain turns into rainbows and dawn turns to bright blue.

It is a place that my husband loved and no longer visits.  However, I can feel his presence and hear his laughter as he sipped his coffee or tea, rocking on the porch.  When my job on earth is done, I too will follow him home to that Home in the Sky. Perhaps I might even look down on those sitting on the porch, rocking, and whisper to them, "Tell me your story and I'll tell you mine."

Written By: Louise Pack Beach January 4, 2021

When I first heard about Haven of Rest, I thought of the scripture in Luke Chapter 24, "When Jesus came and walked along side the disciples, and later they said, did not our hearts burn within us?" I also felt the same way, and knew in my heart I would also be a part of this great work. I shared with my husband Forrest, and we became a team. He started working on all the building and construction that was just starting. My friend Bonnie, and I opened a thrift store, and we named it "Heavenly Treasures." I worked it for 10 plus years and it's still in operation. 

It was a blessing to spend the summer of 2019 at the Haven of Rest. We were helping out until our new director arrived.

Our prayers and support are with Haven of Rest as my husband and I consider it a special part of our family.

Written By: Melanie Mitchell January 9, 2021

I jointed Linda Otterback several years ago in a trip to Haven of Rest when Eileen Mullins was the director. It was in the very beginning and I really could not believe my eyes. 

They only had the main building and a few rooms, but there was so much potential for ministry in this location. I watched the ministry grow over the years, but only recently was I able to make a trip back to Haven of Rest. I discovered so many improvements! The main building is beautiful, the decks and rocking chairs create a wonderful place to sit, pray and praise. Haven of Rest is more than few buildings surrounded by beautiful mountains. It is a shelter from the pain and stress of this world. It is a place that your soul can rest. Thank you for the dedication of the past and the vision for the future. 

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