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Blessing Ruth’s House

We are honored to name one of our Women’s Recovery homes after long-time Guiding Light Spiritual Director Karen Ruth Devos.

Guiding Light recently purchased two homes in Grand Rapids to provide recovery housing for women. Today, they are officially open for business and are currently housing and accepting residents seeking sober living options.

Ruth’s House, one of the properties, is named after long-time Guiding Light Spiritual Director Karen Ruth Devos. In January, surrounded by guests, Karen and Guiding Light Executive Director Brian Elve, gathered to officially bless the home and welcome its future residents.

Brian opened the ceremony by introducing Karen, whom he himself had as a Spiritual Director when he was a client at Guiding Light over ten years ago. “My relationship with Karen has been built up over the past ten years,” he recalled. “At first you called me stubborn. Spiritual Directors like her, offer themselves up without expecting men like me to change and suddenly start behaving in a different way. They are not magic, they are flawed human beings with the spirit of God living in them, who have been willing to show up, be present, and give men the chance to be seen, be heard, and experience God in a different way. We love you Karen, we deeply appreciate you, and it is my joy to welcome you to Ruth’s House.”

“Brian is one of my encouragements,” Karen said. “If everyone turned out like Brian I would be doing this 40 hours a week, but they don’t all make it. It is a privilege to do this…St. Francis of Assissi said that it is in giving that we receive.”

Karen, and Spiritual Directors like her, represent one of the most powerful aspects of what sets the philosophy of the Guiding Light Recovery program apart. It is in non-judgemental, soul-enriching, spiritual healing that we believe the real work of recovery is done. And it is not without their gracious willingness to volunteer their time and talent that we would be where we are today. What follows is a prayer written by Karen to bless Ruth’s house, where it is framed today, giving encouragement and comfort to the women that will occupy the home that you purchased for years to come.

Spirit of love, creator of all that is and ever will be, we gather this day to give thanks for the gift of this house. We pledge to use it for the benefit of your children who need the services offered here.

We ask that those who come in despair may find hope.

That those who come in loneliness may find comfort.

That those who come in sadness may find joy.

That those who come in guilt may find forgiveness.

That those who come in anger and darkness may find peace and light.

We pray that your spirit of love may pervade the atmosphere here, that each resident may come to know that she is loved and is valued by you.

May this house be a place of safety and comfort, and may each resident find the courage and the support she needs to make her life the best she is able to attain.

With gratitude for all you have provided for Guiding Light for so many years, for the generous donors, for the dedicated staff, for the residents who have supported each other through difficult changes in their lives, we give thanks. And ask for your continued blessing with this new project called Ruth’s House.


We want to thank you, our donor, for making this moment possible. The opening of Ruth’s House is the first step in giving the women of Grand Rapids access to the care that the men of the Guiding Light Recovery program have received for over a decade through you. From all of us at Guiding Light, clients and staff alike, thank you so much.


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