Oklahoma couple awarded for restoring lives of emotionally-broken women

EDMOND, Okla. - When an Edmond couple took in a homeless woman on Easter Sunday of 2014, Kaylene and Bryan Balzer had no idea then she was the beginning of their new purpose to help hurting women.

The couple founded a non-profit Christian ministry called Beautiful Restoration, which grew from that woman, Sharee Land, to a group of more than 125 women, who crammed into the Balzer's living room for weekly meetings.

Sharee said, like the ministry, her life has been beautifully restored.

"A lot of drugs, a lot of emotional abuse, it was a crazy life," Sharee said. "I had no worth. I felt my word, when they rescued me, my word was 'disposable.'"

However, the Balzer's unconditional love and support helped Sharee conquer her 20-year drug addiction, restored her hope and changed her word from "disposable" to "whole."

Sharee is now happily married, is about to become certified as a Christian counselor and will soon begin ministering in prisons.

"We truly believe in miracles," Jessica Cooper said.

Jessica has also found healing at Beautiful Restoration.

"Meetings are a blast! If you've had the worst week of your life, as soon as you walk through the door, you forget everything that went wrong because can really feel the love around you," Jessica said.

Another member, Leslie Cooper, had suffered for years from fibromyalgia, bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder before going to Beautiful Restoration.

"I have been off all 16 medications for the past year-and-a-half, and have no pain episodes, no mental episodes, I was completely healed," Leslie said.

Jessica and Leslie both nominated the Balzers for a $400 'Pay it 4Ward' award from First Fidelity Bank for their selfless kindness.

Kaylene and Bryan both work full-time jobs yet spend most evenings working free of charge to help hurting women; they said they "work for a giving."

"They truly love like Jesus," Jessica said.

"The generosity, it's just mind-blowing," Leslie said. "They truly live to give. They have dedicated their lives completely to helping others and showing people love."

When the women surprised the Balzers with the $400, Kaylene responded with, "Oh, my gosh! Well, thank you guys! I'm blown away."

Beautiful Restoration has outgrown the Balzer's living room so, when they learned two homes on a 16-acre property in Edmond were set for demolition and were to be covered with a new neighborhood, Kaylene sent a heartfelt letter to the owners of Terra Place, LLC, asking they halt construction and, instead, their ministry be allowed to buy the property.

The building company agreed, as long as the couple could come up with a $50,000 down payment within 48 hours.

The Balzers put their faith to work, asking for donations from all members, and were shocked to come up with $67,000 in just two days.

"I know that's just got to be the power of God," Kaylene said.

To fully purchase the property, they must come up with $1.3 million by October 4, but Bryan is so confident it already belongs to Beautiful Restoration that he mows the lawn there.

"Just like our earnest money, we had 48 hours to come up with it, and God just showed up. So, He doesn't embarrass us, He shows us how to do it, so we're just trusting Him," Bryan said.

Both homes on the property need a beautiful restoration of their own, but the couple has massive plans to create a community of healing.

They hope to hold weddings, special events and build a bed and breakfast, which the women could staff to earn income, as well as to offer daily classes, job training, youth camp-outs, emergency housing and much more.

One of the two homes once belonged to J. Howard Edmondson, who served as Oklahoma's 16th governor from 1959 to 1963. That home, in recent years, went into bankruptcy during a partial facelift by new owners.

"I just think all of this marble is just gorgeous," Kaylene said, running her hand along a white mantel. "There's a lot of history in this area, so we just felt like it needed to be used for the kingdom of God and not necessarily be destroyed and torn down."

Their vision is massive, their hope is radical and their faith is steadfast.

To help raise funds for the $1.3 million purchase price, Beautiful Restoration is holding a benefit concert on the property, located at 19000 Terra Place in Edmond.

The concert is open to the public, lasts all day from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on September 29 and will include multiple bluegrass, country and Christian bands, as well as fun booths and food trucks.

Click here if you would like to help support Beautiful Restoration.

"I didn't know that this would blow up like this; we thought it would just be helping some broken girls come and get some help every Thursday night," Kaylene said. "It's just the greatest honor of my life; it really is."

'Pay it 4Ward' is sponsored by First Fidelity Bank.