Religion

Arukah House aims to heal and restore

VICKI TERRINONI/SPECIAL TO THE SUN HERALDArukah House Thrift Shop workers Demetrious Jackson and Olivia Hobby, both of Moss Point, set a table with dishes and other housewares to put on a display in preparation for the Pascagoula store's grand opening on Feb. 6.
VICKI TERRINONI/SPECIAL TO THE SUN HERALDArukah House Thrift Shop workers Demetrious Jackson and Olivia Hobby, both of Moss Point, set a table with dishes and other housewares to put on a display in preparation for the Pascagoula store's grand opening on Feb. 6.

The motto for people who live at Arukah House in Moss Point is love God, love life and love people.

Arukah House is a ministry started by The Rev. Charlton Thompson and his wife, Christie. The word Arukah is Hebrew, meaning healing and restoration, and that is the aim of the ministry.

The house is a renovated church where people can go to get back on their feet, said Rachel Demas, co-manager at the Arukah House Thrift Store in Pascagoula.

People come to Arukah House from all over the country. The ministry partners with churches from Tampa, Fla., throughout the Gulf Coast. The Mississippi Department of Human Services and the courts also refer people to the mission.

Arukah House residents deal with many different issues including abuse, homelessness, a loss in the family or just feeling alone in the world without any place to go. The stay is free and can last as long as needed, Demas said. The ministry is funded through sales at its thrift store at 2911 Market St. in Pascagoula.

The group does not allow books, movies, music and television shows that are not Bible-based in the house.

"We want you to get to the place where you are eager to fill up with God," Demas said.

Alcohol and drugs, including prescription and over-the-counter medications are not allowed either.

The residents learn life skills while at Arukah House.

"We learn many skills in all areas of life -- spiritual, manners, cooking, sewing, parenting, pet care and communication," Demas said. "I've seen people get their GED, start college, graduate college and even start careers."

Many people need to learn structure in their lives, Demas said. Arukah House is more than just a church with people in the pews every Sunday. "We are the church on call 24/7," she said.

The thrift store will hold a grand opening from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 6. A ribbon cutting, big sales on clothing and household goods, door prizes, food and a live worship band are part of the festivities, Demas said.

The store takes donations of most items from individuals and organizations. If items are big, drivers will pick them up.

For more information, call 762-9402.

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