April Showers & Flowers: April 2023

April showers bring… 

… joy of indoor meals with friends?

… fun indoor fitness classes and time in God’s word together?

… a new appreciation for the pockets of sunshine needed to build new garden beds?

These are just some of the things that this year’s “April showers” brought the Desens House. We are leaning in and pressing forward, living in the moment, and finding joy in “growing small”.

Our Founder and Elim Grace’s Pastor, Jonathan Evans, has been sharing his heart throughout the year of growing small. As our Desens House tribe grows in numbers, we are seeing even more intimate and one-on-one conversations and connections cultivate, root, and flourish. We are absolutely grateful for this opportunity to grow small together and watch the Holy Spirit continue to surprise us with the weaving of lives in our community. Thank you for being a part of our growing small!

Oh… and these showers bring May “flowers”! Come see our flowers in May!

Fixing things from the inside out

This month, we took more strides towards opening our doors. Some of our contractors have been moving and grooving (missions trip, paternity leave, building an Easter church set, you know… the normal Sabbath activities). This gave our volunteer crew unique opportunities to tend to our yard and garden beds. We built 6 raised garden beds and filled these with soil over the course of the month.

We look forward to opening the doors at God’s prompting, but in the meantime, we continue to grow together and cultivate the soil that God has blessed us with day in and out!

Shout out to Randy Geroux, Fruit Valley Orchard, Lowes of Oswego, Ontario Orchard, Elim Grace Church, and all of our fun tribe for donating their times and supplies to make our garden beds happen!

Coffee & Crafts

We love these opportunities to connect over crafts, creations, and stories. We are every bit of broken made beautiful and so are our crafting endeavors!

This month, we did one of our classic “freestyle” craft events. Folks worked on their own creations from home or played around with our craft supplies to create new pieces for their homes or for our ministry! We are super thankful for these times to slow down, get our hands busy, and connect with our friends.

Thank you to those who continue to pour into our community – whether by showing up, donating, or praying for our crew!

This month, we created new frames, flower pots, and more in our production space! 

Tea & Testimony

Oh, when we hear the words “sweet, genuine, kind”, our minds jump right to Lori. We are so thankful for her vulnerability, honesty, and kindness towards those that are struggling and in a hard space. This month, she shared her story of courage and hope with us, gently reminding us that its okay to struggle and even better to let God into the broken spaces. 
Thank you, Lori, for sharing your story and doing life with us! We love you!

Community Crochet Project

We are so excited to see the donations coming in for our crochet project!
Simply crochet a 5″x5″ square and drop it off at The Connection Point! We will have a polaroid camera on hand to take a quick photo of you and your square. We’re not just creating a quilted tapestry, but we’re weaving a community of artists together through this project!
Our crochet masterpiece and collected photos will be displayed in our collaborative art show this fall at the Oswego Art Association!
Debbie Morrison, a local crochet expert, will assemble the final product. Carol VanGorder will be leading a Coffee & Crafts Crochet event this summer to help us assemble squares for our quilt. Stay tuned!

We can’t wait to see what we create together and are excited for you to be a part!

For questions, email Dean Wright at: deanwright@desenshouse.org

Thank you, Debbie, for heading up this amazing opportunity for our artists to shine!

Community Discussions

We believe that a part of our vision to set generations free one life at a time includes breaking stigma and opening healthy and honest conversations around addiction and related issues. 

This month, our friend Bri Barr, brought her kindness, gentleness, and expertise to us, talking about anxiety and how we can tackle this bear in small and big ways. We worked through guided imagery, discussed boundaries and spirituality, and compared favorite coffee creamer flavors. We love our tribe!

If you are interested in participating or scheduling this conversation, please reach out to Alicia Vann: aliciavann@desenshouse.org or 315.326.1168

This month, we talked about anxiety and how we can support one another through difficult times!


What an absolutely, positively generous community we have. As I (Alicia, surprise!) type this, I am tearing up (also not a surprise) over God’s goodness and provision shown through those in our community. This month was special to us, as we watch those in the fringes step in and love on us big time.

At the end of March, our crew got all dolled up and attended the SUNY Oswego Women’s Center Charity Ball. We were chosen as the annual charity! We anticipated a fun evening, but had no clue how talented, loving, and communal this campus truly is! We were honored to have Ally Miller share her testimony, hear “Desens House” throughout the performances of the evening, and participate in some intense dance routines.

The next day, a very tired but excited tribe made moves to the United Baptist Church of Scriba. We were invited to speak about the Desens House and share our heart and vision for setting generations free one life at a time. We were invited to the luncheon following service and had some incredible conversations around recovery, hope, and healing. This church is something special. The church also threw an amazing Meatball Cookoff and the Desens House was one of a couple charities chosen as recipients of the financial proceeds for this year!

And this month, all of our county’s (and beyond!) H&R Blocks gathered food donations for our ministry! Boxes on boxes of goods marched their way into our production space – to fuel community meals and supply our pantries!

God is in our midst, and He is seen in the faces of those who love Him and love others selflessly day in and day out. And boy, are we grateful for this community!

Art with Jess Joyce

This month, local artist and sweet friend, Jess Joyce, led us in 1 of 3 multi-media workshops to help us prep pieces for our upcoming art show at the Oswego Art Association!

Workshop #1: Multi-media creations

We spent pouring through old magazines, sharing our stories in pictures, words, and paint, and sharing in interpretative dance presentations of our pieces!

Workshop #2: Sunday July 23rd 1 PM
Workshop #3: Sunday August 6th 1 PM

Thank you, Jess, for stepping in and lifting us up in art and encouragement! These workshops are open to any woman in our tribe, please join us!


Life Skills

Come Cook with Us!
We are continually looking for community members to come cook with us and teach us how to make simple dinner meals. We would love your help in making these nights happen!
Provide your best contact information so we can reach out to you promptly. We will partner with you to help make the night fun & seamless! We always laugh, eat, & connect over these yummy meals.

Facts & Snacks

Facts, Snacks, Talks, & Tea: A Call to Speakers & Storytellers!
We love to bring you topics and discussions around recovery to help break the stigma that surrounds addiction. Some previous events have included personal testimonies, chronic pain, mental illness/health, anxiety, exercise, and trauma-informed care.

Stronger Together

We love the opportunity to grow stronger together week after week. We have walked together, talked together, and stretched together; growing our muscles and our relationships. Join Amy Champlin and Erin Hicks for yoga, aerobics, and other fitness classes at the Connection Point!

Reach out to Amy at:

Writers Nook

The Writers Nook is a place where we collect stories, essays, poetry etc. around recovery, hope and transformation. Writing can be a powerful tool to process trauma, rebuild self-esteem, and support sustained recovery. Every story is unique, special and significant.

Interested in submitting work? Do so here!

Alive with Alpha

Week after week, we have gathered together in the quiet Connection Point basement to pray together, study God’s word together, and grow closer in fellowship. We have switched gears to dive into the free, fun, and authentic Alpha Course!
“In a world of isolation, anonymity, and keyboard-warriors, Alpha offers content and guidance for churches, ministries, and individuals to create a space for honest and open conversations about life’s biggest questions. Everyone is welcome and no questions are off limits.”


Weekly on Wednesday, we serve breakfast at Elim Grace Church. We enjoy the homemade goodies, hot coffee, and delightful conversation. Life can be tough, but we are in this together! And you never know who you’ll bump into here!

We had a blast watching our community grow and connect this month!

Join us Wednesdays at Elim Grace from 9-11 for breakfast!