Brooke Freeman was 28 years old when she lost her husband Jason to a tractor accident just months into their marriage. It was 2007, and she remembers the emotional implications with the grief, the loneliness, and the impact of the day-to-day life – and living on six acres in a doublewide trailer that the young couple had planned to build on.
“I learned at a young age what it was like to be a widow,” Freeman said. “While every widow’s circumstances are different and unique, I learned early on that the implications emotionally and spiritually …are huge.”
It would be just over a dozen years later that she would use her pain to help other widowed women through Beauty by Fire Ministries, which exists to glorify God, share the gospel of Christ, and serve family, the local church, and community through prayer, service, and discipleship.
Brooke founded the non-profit in 2014, and said the primary thing she wants other widowed women to know is that the Lord sees them in this season of grief, and “He will not leave them or forsake them. “And that the Lord is going to sustain them, and that they will see at some point an element of good, even in those hardest times.”
Beauty by Fire Ministries began with a small group of individuals whose hearts were burdened with a desperate need for prayer over our community, state, and nation. As time has passed, the Lord gave the group a vision that would encompass this and much more, and that by His grace and strength, would fulfill His purpose as His devoted servants just as “His ministers a flame of fire,” according to their website.
The nonprofit was founded on the truth that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and that He is “the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through” Him. (John 14:6)
Our belief is that as servants of our heavenly Father, each of us is given a spiritual gift enabling us to accomplish His purpose as members of one body in Christ, so “let us use them…” (Romans 12:4-6a) We will purpose to grow in our Christian faith and walk in surrendered obedience to all the standards set forth in the Bible, God’s holy word, as well as minister to and encourage others in their faith. We have been called by His name and created for His glory (Isaiah 43:7) and it is our hope that the work of Beauty by Fire Ministries endure the test of fire that will come.
Through the ministry, Freeman and a group of women are committed to caring for widows in their time of distress and to minister to individuals through a “Comfort and Prayer Package” in their times of grieving, sickness, and need. They also coordinate various activities such as the River Region Prayer Walk as opportunities for corporate prayer and worship in and for the community, state, and nation.
The Comfort and Prayer Package for women offers aid to bring women to the throne of the Heavenly Father, to experience His loving presence, and to be reminded of His faithful promises, according to their website.
Items include: A Prayer Companion (an individual who is committed to pray for and minister to the recipient on an ongoing basis), a prayer shawl, praise and worship music, a candle, devotional, a prayer journal and an embroidered handkerchief.
Beauty by Fire reaches women from their 20s through their 80s. Freeman said those in their 50s through 80s attend most of the nonprofit’s events – “it’s just the structure of life and busyness. We have women in their 40s with five children, and those in their 80s with great-grandchildren.”
While most of the women are from the River Region, they have sent care packages upon request to women from Texas to New Jersey. Others have found the ministry online.
Asked why reaching out to the widows is so important, Freeman said aside from her personal experience, she falls to James 1:27
“After about four to six weeks, it becomes deafening silent,” Freeman said of the time after losing a spouse. “That’s the practicality of how it plays out. The average length a woman is widowed is 14 years. “Their need is ongoing. Just because a woman has been widowed for 10 years, the yard still needs to be cut.”
It is the hope of the ministry that in all areas served, that the blazing presence and love of the “Lord our God would spread like wildfire on the hearts and lives of all those touched by Beauty by Fire Ministries,” according to the website.
Freeman remembers in 2014 when she introduced herself to another young widow (who had three children). The woman had only been a widow for three weeks, and Freeman said she had a conversation with her about the Lord shoving her in the right direction toward her.
“The Lord was like, ‘Do you remember how I met you in those times, how people ministered to you in those times?’ From that moment, the Lord was showing me he works all things for good.
“And He allows me to share the comfort with others that He shared with me.”
Through Beauty by Fire Ministries, there are partnerships with churches and businesses, and Freeman is grateful for the River Region and the role they play.
“This ministry exists to facilitate
When the ministry became official in 2014, Freeman said she felt every bit of emotion while putting together the first care package.
“And He reminded me how He met me,” she said. Becky was the first recipient. Hundreds have followed. The outreach, the package, is to remind the women of the comfort they receive from others and Jesus.
“This allows them to promote their faith and not pull away from, but to retreat to the Lord,” Freeman said. “A lot of the ladies serve. And we have care community leaders. They minister to these other women.
“They are comforting others by the comfort they have been given. To hear their testimonies of the fellowship they enjoy, as well as having purpose and seeing the Lord continue to use them … there’s such a community that has been created that is absolutely a beautiful picture of the church.”
Information and how to help:
Visit online: www.beautybyfire.org.
To help: You can donate online, or checks may be mailed to Beauty by Fire Ministries, 4144 Carmichael Road, Suite 18-A, Montgomery, AL, 36106. Beauty by Fire Ministries is entirely
supported by donations from individuals and businesses.