“I have a story and my story is one of redemption. God came in and swooped me out of a really bad situation that I was growing up in, as a little girl. And now, I have the beautiful opportunity to do this for young women in Northwest Arkansas.”
Becky Shaffer is a shining example of what one individual can do to change the lives of many. She grew up in an abusive home and was taken from her mom at the young age of 12 and placed into the foster care system. From there Becky spent the next years in a children’s home but had to move out after graduating from high school. With no better idea of a place to go, she went to college, “mostly because I needed a place to live,” she said. However, when Christmas came, Becky realized the dorms were closing and she had nowhere to go. “It’s a scary feeling, and one I will never forget. I didn’t know what I was going to do,” Becky shared. An experience that never left Becky, a “scar” she would soon to turn into beauty.
During college, Becky met her husband Kent. As a young couple, they became foster parents at an Oklahoma group home that took in troubled teenage girls. During their ministry, they began to see a pattern—the girls were not ready to face life on their own as adults. “They were going back and making terrible choices, trying to find their way and just losing their way. Kent and I just felt like something needed to be done to change this.”
Their prayers continued until one day in January 2009. Becky said, “Kent and I prayed together before heading our separate ways to work, and we asked God to send us a sign if this was really what He wanted me to do. I went to work and was visiting with a customer, and we began talking about our similarities in working with abused and neglected children over the years. I shared with her my dream of doing a transitional living house. A few hours later she came back to the store in our break room and had a large sign that said “Amazing Grace.” She shared that she felt prompted by the Holy Spirit to bring this to me. She did this not knowing what Kent and I had prayed earlier that morning. I took the sign to Kent, and we cried and prayed together — having no idea what God was about to do!"
Saving Grace, a dream that God planted in Becky’s heart is now a nonprofit known across Northwest Arkansas. With the mission to be a Christ-centered home offering hope and transformation to young women lacking critical supports, they provide relationships, skills, and resources to empower generational change. “Part of what we do at Saving Grace is not just all the work that we put into these girls to help them break the cycle of poverty. It's truly about them finding their value in Christ and not just feeling abandoned. It's helping them understand that they are loved always and never forgotten.” Saving Grace is located in the old convent in downtown Rogers and can serve up to 12 girls. They each have their own room, which has been beautifully decorated by different individuals and organizations from the community.
Born from the dream of a young woman from a broken home, today, Saving Grace is a beautiful reality that continues to reach out to young women in Northwest Arkansas.