Our Founders

Daniel Hughes

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my story

Colonie Hughes

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     Knowing first hand what if feels like to be a victim of sexual violence and carry deep shame.  I spent years afraid to look anyone in the eyes; I was scared someone may see the filth that I felt on the inside.  I felt like my life was not only a failure, but I was nothing more than a piece of trash tossed away and forgotten.  I spent most of my childhood and early adult life running from myself.

I was introduced to the sex-trafficking industry at a young age and became an intravenous drug user at 14 yr. old.  Before I turned 18 I had been raped several times, and I was devastating when I found out I was pregnant.  Not knowing how to take care of a baby, I “thought” my best option was to have an abortion.  This only caused ​deeper shame and trauma that further wounded my soul.  Burying the pain of my decision I delved deeper into the drug culture where I was later beaten and left for dead, overdosed several times, incarcerated, and eventually lived on the streets.  By accident I found myself involved in the drug cartel, and my life spiraled further out of control.  The only glimmer of hope came when a woman I didn’t know reached out to me.  This angel shared the Gospel with me, and it changed my life forever.  However, I could not stay sober and I didn’t know why, so I continued my drug use for several more years.  This eventually led to 12 felonies and trafficking morphine in which I found out I was pregnant again.  Several more years of extreme trauma and chaos I finally came to the end of myself, and I was all alone. God was the only hope I had left.

It was hard for me to imagine that God or anyone could love someone like me. Surprisingly, he took me as I was, and I didn’t have anything to lose except my pride.  I finally took the first step and went to Teen Challenge, a christian discipleship program, recommended through a loving friend.  It was there that I discovered the amazing and never-ending love of God.  I realized my drug use was a result of my unresolved pain that I had been running from for years.  I tried several times to stop using drugs, but it wasn’t until I realized that God loved me that I was empowered to do so.  This revelation enabled me to walk through the process of restoration and wholeness and I discovered my true identity in Christ. I rid myself of the shame of my past, and dedicated my life to helping people just like me.

Within two short years of completing the program, I received custody back of my daughter and found true love. I graduated from the University of Alabama with a Master’s Degree in Social Work; this was a huge accomplishment for someone who always felt like a failure.  I founded 7 Springs Ministries in 2014 with my husband, Daniel Hughes, and expanded our women’s program known as the Esther House.  A ministry that brings hope and restoration for women rescued from sex-trafficking, abusive relationships,  and the hopelessness of addiction.  My life has been a journey; with no regrets.  If God can do it for me than he can do it for someone else.

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