With less than what you would spend on stamps or movie rentals every month, you can help put a roof over someone's head and insure a mother and her children get a shake at a happy and fulfilling future.
Take pride in what you do with your paycheck, regardless of how high you are on the giving ladder. And see how you can make a huge difference with funds comparable to even the smallest household monthly purchases.
2006 was a year my family will never forget. One day that fall, my husband was working out in the yard and noticed a woman with her small child on a park bench nearby. She was crying so he just gave her, her privacy. But then when she got up and started walking, she collapsed right in front of our house.
He ran over to help her and noticed that she was having an asthma attack. He ran in to get me and we came out to talk to her and found out that she just lived a few blocks away. And even though it was only a few blocks away, when I got inside, I realized it was a world away.
The ceiling was falling in from black mold and mildew. There was a hole in the wall where stray cats were coming in and out. It was filthy and no place for a mom and a baby.
We helped her do her breathing treatment and made sure she was safe and when the boyfriend came back, there was no danger to anyone. And then we walked out and my husband and I looked at each other as we got in the car and said, “Something just happened to us, didn’t it?”
We didn’t know what that was, so we came home and the next day our new friend, Julia, had left a poem at our door. The poem said this: “I hope that God will bless you for your good deeds. And how I want to thank your helping hands in my time of need. God has given you open eyes to help the world to see, that compassion and empathy are the actions that have bonded you to me. Thank You. Love- Julia, Amelia and Hannah.”
So after I got that note, I decided a few days later to take some diapers and formula by her apartment. And when I did that day, I gave her those items, she was so grateful. And as I walked away, what I really wanted to do in my heart was to write a check and get her out of that place, get rid of that bf and just fix her life.
But, what I really believe God told me that day was, “Don’t rescue her, be her friend.” So, that’s what I did. I waited another week and invited her to go to breakfast at McDonalds. So, we slowly started being able to talk about her finances and about her awful history. And I learned in this relationship, that she had the worst life I have ever heard of or read about.
But we became friends and eventually she started coming to church with us and um..then what I really felt like it was time to do was, when she would take one step, then I feel like we would take one step. Back when she did the research and the work to then get her cosmetology license back, then we made the next step to ask all our friends and the people we knew to provide a donated vehicle in which a wonderful vehicle was donated for her. Then that helped her to get the job. So, it was a relationship of give and take, where she made the next step on her own.
Then we came along and provided the next stepping stone for her to take to make the next step. Which, ultimately with the goal of helping her get back on her feet. Or in her case, get on her feet for the first time.
So, about a year into developing this new friendship, she had a new apt. Was dating a new guy that was great and my husband was able to mentor and they were in a relationship together that was wonderful.
She got her job, was doing well, a car. Started learning how to clean her house, which was something very new for her. And just started realizing who she was in Christ and that she was forgiven and that she had a chance to start fresh and create as life that she had never imagined.
I am happy. I am so thrilled to say today, that Julia is married to a wonderful man who has a great job. She is a PTA mom, she’s a Girl Scout cookie mom for her daughters little Brownie troop. And recently, her and her family was baptized all together in their church out in Texas where they relocated for his new job.
After working with Julia for a couple of years, I was nearing the end of seminary and working at a church and was really deciding what my next step would be after seminary. I was at a conference in Atlanta, with my church staff and had one of those epiphany moments where I felt God was saying to me, “I have something different for you.” I sat down and I believe God said to me, “I now want you to do for others, what I taught you to do for Julia.”
So then, I got a group of my friends together to become an exploratory board, to apply for our 5O1C3. We set out as our mission statement, to serve homeless women with children. To give them all the resources necessary to help them help themselves to become self-sufficient.
So. Just before I was about to finish seminary in Aug 2009. We decided to get together all the people that were supporting us that were excited about what we wanted to do. And just tell them what our vision was and thought that maybe one of them would find a building or see a building or know someone that would donate a building to help us get started.
And only in God’s timing could this happen: But 2 weeks after we sent out the invitation for our open house, our board chair, Meredith, called me and said, “I’m sitting in front of our building.” And I said, “What do you mean, in front of our building?”
She said, My husband was just playing tennis with another developer whom told him that he bought a building a couple months before that he wanted to use to help families to get on their feet. He did it in honor of his mother in law, Carol who had recently passed away.
In Oct of 2009, three years after our lives being dramatically changed by meeting Julia. We were able to welcome in the first family to ‘Casa Carol’ and the journey of Brevard Rescue Mission had just begun.