Lily House is an exciting and wonderful alternative for young pregnant girls or mothers, but it all started with a vision given to a young couple many years ago. Founder and Board Chairman Darin Browne shares the early days, the inspirations and some of the more recent events that have shaped what today is known as "Lily House."
The Vision of Lily House
My name is Fiona Browne and along with my husband Darin, we are the original founders of Lily House. Some years ago we believed that God gave us a vision of a home on the Sunshine Coast for pregnant teenagers and young mothers. This was to be a “safe house” where these girls could not only have their babies in a safe and supportive environment but where they could train to become great mothers by learning valuable life skills during their stay at Lily House.
With this vision in mind, we bought a property for the purpose of establishing our dream but did not open Lily House immediately preferring to wait for God’s perfect timing. After several years we experienced some financial difficulties and tried to sell the house, fearing that the original dream was dead. It was at this time that Howard and Leonie Bell looked at the house wanting to buy a home to fulfil their dream of ministry. When we compared notes, the Brownes and the Bells discovered that their dreams were identical… a home for pregnant teenagers and young mothers! We decided to join forces around this shared vision, but still, the picture was not complete.
Enter Ps. David and Deearn Cherry, who had a similar dream to ours but no house to put it in! God joined these three couples together and it was then that the whole concept began to take shape. The idea was agreed upon, but as yet there was no name for the new ministry…
The Name “Lily House”
One night Deearn had a dream of a lily fighting its way through the mud and mire of a pond before it emerged from the filth and produced a beautiful flower. I remember her sharing this with our team and the concept of Lily House was launched, a place of life and hope where a girl could fight her way through the muck and mire of her previous life to emerge as a beautiful and successful flower of motherhood.
The Lily sums up our main purpose: to help create wonderful mothers, no matter what their past!
Where Lily House is Today
Since those early days, Lily House has moved forward in strength and purpose and has gained recognition within the community, churches and social organizations. David and Deearn have since left us to pursue a business, and the Bells have also left, but Fiona and I have formed a new board and are seeing unprecedented growth and success, especially in the lives of the girls we work with.
As we look ahead to the future, it is with great excitement and awe, but also with great thankfulness for what has gone before. It has not always been easy, nor has it been without its fair share of challenges, but I for one am thankful to the Lord that young girls who need help and guidance continue to find inspiration and direction as well as accommodation and training through Lily House!