Jill Thomas spends her Tuesday’s volunteering as the housekeeping team lead at Hope Center Indy and as a health and wellness instructor for the Take Heart Residential program.
Exercise habits, stress management, healthy eating, mental health – these are all part of the class she teaches.
“Focusing on taking care of their bodies during the recovery from trauma process is vital to the healing of our residents,” Jill said.
According to Jill, these women come from all different backgrounds and all different places in their health journey.
“We meet them where they’re at and work together as we discover how to be the best stewards of the body God has given us.”
Jill notes that the best memories are often made around food. This is done not only in her class, but also at the Hope Center cafeteria and living quarters, where residents, staff and volunteers gather.
“Today, I learned to have sober fun and sober memories,” said one resident after an impromptu pickle party that included pickle ranch pizza, pickle chips and pickle dip.
There are also sometimes negative feelings associated with food, Jill notes, but through awareness, therapy with trained professionals, and the incorporation of spiritual healing, residents are living happier and healthier lives.
“We focus the beginning of each class on our spiritual health before we begin to focus on our physical health,” says Jill. “Spending time in prayer and growing in wisdom and knowledge of God is much more important than eating that all organic diet, and the grass-fed beef, the wild caught salmon – all those things.”
By combining spiritual and physical health, Jill hopes residents come to not only love themselves, but also know Christ and what he has done for them.