Submitted by Karen Baker
The Agape Center at Smith Mountain Lake is a nonprofit whose mission is to “reflect God’s love by giving of ourselves and our resources as we submit to the leadership of the Holy Spirit to mentor and help individuals turn or return to a Christ-centered life.” Located in Moneta in Bedford County, the Agape Center serves residents in Bedford and Franklin counties, including the cities of Bedford and Rocky Mount.
Clients who come to the Moneta nonprofit are paired with a mentor for accountability and spiritual support. They can also receive groceries and household supplies, as well as have access to clothing, books, furniture and household goods.
In the past year, Sandra Beard and her daughter, Treva Doss, have gotten their lives back on track thanks to help from the Agape Center.
“They really care about me at Agape,” Doss said. “The volunteers do wonderful work. I appreciate the warm, inviting prayers and all the encouragement and support they give each time we come.”
Both mother and daughter have been homeless and estranged from their families. Doss has been a victim of sex-trafficking and sustained multiple near-death hospitalizations. Both are recovering from drug and alcohol addiction and have since returned to a relationship with God.
“It is only by the hand of God that I’m alive — that I’m not killed, dead or in prison for the things I have done,” Beard said. “I know God has stopped me from the need for drugs. I know God has healed me and is healing and restoring my family.”
Doss said she feels like she has been given a second chance at life. “We are both recovering addicts. I will be recovering the rest of my life. I know my life has been saved for a reason, though I don’t know exactly what that is,” she said. Beard added, “I feel God has given me one last chance and want to take advantage of it.”
For more information about the services offered at the Agape Center, visit www.agapecentersml.org or call 296-0609.