Most organizations that help single moms don’t start their story with “Two bald guys walk into a restaurant…”, but ours does. Founder Mike Hentges was greatly involved in pro-life activities including the March for Life in Washington D.C. On the bus ride home from that event in 2003, he felt God giving him a very important question to answer. If the law were changed today and abortion was illegal, how many women would need help bringing their child into the world? As the law stands today, how many women need our help now? Mike knew his perspective, and his involvement, in this mission were forever changed.
Over the next few years, these questions lingered in his heart. In 2006, Mike went on the same bus ride and the idea developed into having a house where women could go to get their family on the right track after giving birth. Finally, in 2009, God’s call to do something was undeniable. Mike confided in his friend, Steve Smith, during a lunch prayer meeting and Steve responded with, “What are we waiting for, let’s go!”
For the next year, the two men began contacting local agencies to offer whatever support filled a gap in services. They did everything from fill propane tanks to mentoring. The vision became a reality when the House in Jefferson City opened in 2012, Columbia in 2014 and Rolla in 2016. Due to the transfer of one of our original staff members, a house will open in Concord, CA in 2017. As the organization has grown, there is no doubt that God’s hand has guided it. We are grateful for being trusted with this mission and honored to help many families in the future.
Upon creating the organization, co-founder Mike Hentges considered what to name it. He wanted to honor his parents, Ray and Marilyn, who brought him into the world with love even though he was an unplanned pregnancy. Mike wondered if there ever was a St. Raymond and went to the internet for more information. He discovered that St. Raymond, who lived in the 1200s, is the patron saint of expectant mothers and midwives. And so the organization was named.
After spending so much time at the St. Ray’s House, I understand why the program is called My RIDICULOUSLY AMAZING Life. I love this place and what happens here really is ridiculously amazing!
God has truly blessed our community with the addition of St. Raymond’s Society. As the executive director of Pregnancy Resource Center for more than 12 years, I know all too well of the plight of a single mothers, much less those who finds themselves homeless. It is with great confidence that we refer these mothers to St. Raymond’s Society. Not only will they be welcomed with open arms and given a place to stay, these mothers are put on a path to self-sufficiency.
It has been the most amazing experience to see the women grow and step into themselves!
I was very honest with St. Raymond’s about my past. And the fact that they were still willing to help me and didn’t judge me was phenomenal.