“I’ve been blessed by so much love.”
From all outward appearances, Barbara’s adoptive family seemed an ideal environment for a little girl. Yet unbeknown to those outside her home – and ignored by the adults within it – she was being abused by an older sibling.
As she grew older, the pain and humiliation of what she’d endured drove her deep into despair. “I had so much anger and hatred and sadness and denial that I didn’t know how to handle it,” she says. “So, I turned to drugs to help me cope.”
Instead, her life spiraled even further downhill.
Her marriage ended… she lost her job… she was evicted from her home. After living for months in a tent in the woods, she fell to her knees and prayed. God’s answer came in the form of a friend who encouraged her to come to the Mission.
“The moment I walked in the door, there was so much joy and love that was given to me, and I’d never felt that before.”
Now in our Gateway Discipleship Program, Barbara is healing from the wounds of her past and overcoming self-destructive behaviors. “I’m taking it a day at a time, but God will get me through it.”
She’s also embracing the life skills, education and job-readiness training that will empower her to regain her independence and self-esteem. “They prepare you mentally and emotionally,” she says. “They teach you daily life.”
Just as important to her recovery has been the kindness and compassion of our counselors, staff and fellow students who have shown her God’s unconditional love. She prays her future holds opportunities to share His Word with others, in the role of a volunteer. “I feel God working through me to do that,” she says.
As Barbara celebrates this Thanksgiving, she feels incredibly thankful for your compassion and support – and how it’s given her a fresh start. “I have so much joy in my heart I don’t even want to sleep at night. I’ve never been so happy in my life.”
To read this issue of Changing Lives, click here.