Turning Lives Around

Tim Sauder Profile
Article by Tim Sauder
Former Administrator

With excitement we announce the release of Turning Lives Around — The history of Gateway Woods by veteran former staff members Tim Sauder and Lauretta Schafer. Coinciding with the recent 40th anniversary Tuning Lives Around provides a comprehensive account of the people, pressures, opportunities, process, decisions, and lessons learned in navigating the unpredictable path toward creating compassionate and effective Christian programs for troubled children and families.   

This book details the early vision, exploration, and launch of two group homes on a rural campus in 1976.  Then the stage-by-stage development of seven specialized but connected and faith-guided programs that serve clients and communities in northern Indiana and central Illinois, and that touch lives from around the world are carefully chronicled. Also included is a complete appendix listing all staff members, their positions, and dates of employment. Board members’ and counseling elders’ terms and home churches are also detailed. Available for $15 from Apostolic Christian Publications: acpublications.org, 309 965-2611. Turning Lives Around is in-stock in time for Christmas and would make a great gift.

A resident shared, “I made a decision right there to let Jesus and the Holy Spirit into my heart and let God be my long-awaited Father. Now I know I’m not an orphan.”

“The place [Gateway] gave me a sense of belonging and family. Although there were times of turmoil and strife amongst the children there, we were like a family”, wrote another child.  

Not only have clients been deeply touched by the love and truth of Christ, but hundreds of others involved in the ministry as volunteers, staff members, leaders, and donors also testify of the unexpected ways their hearts and lives have been forever changed. This history of Gateway Woods with over 250 photos and illustrations is enlivened with personal stories of spiritual strength in staff and children alike in overcoming the challenges and wounds of abuse, neglect, abandonment, and addictions. These anecdotes interlace warmth, humor, joy, tears and sadness, failures and successes, and will be especially interesting to those personally involved and supportive over the decades as eye-witnesses to God working to transform hearts and lives.

“I know without a shadow of a doubt that He…used this ministry to forever change my life and draw me closer to Him.” – Former staff member

The authors explained, "As the research and writing developed and the stories emerged over the past several years of work, we realized that this book reflects the original motto and had also become A Work of Faith and a Labor of Love". They further shared, "Not only is our Lord the 'author and finisher of our faith' personally, but He is revealed as the ultimate author of the ministry—and this book." The stories continue to be experienced and written each day as lives are turned around.

“… honestly, I am so thankful for the opportunity to experience the love Gateway Woods offers. I learned so much about spiritual growth and about God’s message through the Bible and church. I felt in my heart that everyone there was so devoted to the right things, change for the better for anyone who crosses their path.” – former client

Tim is the former administrator at Gateway Woods. He has also worked as a Houseparent and the Advancement Director.