A Beautiful New Beginning
Kizzie stood at the back of the chapter, her eyes fixed on the altar, her heart pounding. “God was telling me, ‘Come on, Kizzie. Come on. I’ve got you.'”
She’s never met the Lord before, never opened a Bible, never knew He was there to help free her from the drug addiction that had held her captive for more than a decade. Not until that day. “I went up to the altar, threw my hands up and cried out. I surrendered. I said, ‘God, you can have all of me.'”
She was 30 then and in, the 20 years to follow, had many seasons of sobriety when she had steady work, a home, church community and a growing faith. “I stayed in His Work, and it kept me strong. Everything was just beautiful,” she says.
But there were also seasons she struggled with her addiction, relapsing and losing touch with he Lord. She wanted to be free for good, and the last time she relapsed and found herself homeless, the Lord showed her the way. “The Spirit was telling me to go to the Mission,” she says.
Through spiritual mentoring and life-skills classes offered in our Christ-centered Life Recovery Program, Kizzie has grown stronger in the Lord and her sobriety than she’s ever been. “The Mission has trained me to do the right thing, to think before I react, and to put God first,” she says. “I spend a lot of time with the Lord. I give Him praise. I pray, and I let my light shine.”
Meanwhile, because she had a safe place to stay here at the Mission, Kizzie was able to secure a full-time job and is now in permanent housing. “The Mission put me back on my feet through Jesus Christ,” she says. “I truly believe I’ve beat it this time. The Mission saved me.”
Longing for a Ray of Hope
Samantha grew up with everything she needed for a happy life, buy she was never at peace. “I had a perfect childhood. My parents weren’t addicted to anything but their kids, but I never knew how to be loved,” she says. “I’ve always had a bad temper, a short fuse, and depression”
When she was 15, Samantha started drinking to deal with her emotions, but it was when she tried crack cocaine at 34 that her life spun out of control. It was the beginning of a 17-year battle with addiction that alienated her from her family, led her into prostitution and eventually left her homeless. “Crack is the devil. It’ll make you do anything and everything,” she says. “It swallows you.”
She came to the Mission several times over the years in an effort to quit, but never saw it through. “I kept running from myself, but God kept bringing me back and, this time when I came here, He gave me the willingness to sit down and be still.”
Since then, Samantha has not only stayed clean and sober, but she’s undergone a dramatic transformation of the heart. “God worked a miracle in my life. He took the hatred I had. I’ve learned how to love, and how to be loved,” she says. “He gave me peace and joy and happiness.”
Samantha’s relationship with her parents has been restored, she’s planted in a home church and she’s planning to be baptized. “I have God in my heart now,” she says. “It’s turned me into a different person.
Samantha has graduated our long term Discipleship Program, has a full time job and now has a home of her own!
I can Rebuild my Life
Robert had a job, an apartment, a car and health care. Life in Dallas was good. He couldn’t have imagined it was all about to crumble around him.
“I lost my job. My insurance premium and medications got too expensive. My car broke down a number of times. My rent was going up. I had to vacate,” he says. “My whole world came unglued.” He returned to his hometown of Shreveport hoping to find work, but to no avail. “I didn’t have the funds to stay anywhere,” he say. “I was in shock and trauma. I though, “I’m homeless. I’m going to be forgotten.”
With “an empty heart and life,” Robert came to the Shreveport-Bossier Rescue Mission. But through daily devotions, chapels and a caring staff, he found reason to hope once again. “Every day is an opportunity to trust and believe that God wants what’s best for me,” he says. “God has a future and a hope for everyone, including those impacted by homelessness.”
Robert, who has worked as a pharmacy technician and done clerical work, has honed his customer service skills working at our Help Desk. “I was able to get a part-time job as a musician for a church, which helps me with a little bit of income,” he says.
Now that he’d found a full-time position, Robert has moved into his own place and plans to go back to college to complete his degree in music. “The Mission has given me the opportunity to start my life over,” he says.
Because of your support, Roberts and other like him, find help and hope when they walk through the doors of the Shreveport-Bossier Rescue Mission. “I know that God’s divine favor and mercy brought me here,: he says. “I can go out on my own once again and rebuild my life.”
The Mission has got this Light burning Inside me Again
Divorced after an abusive marriage, Kristie worked hard to ensure her little girl had everything she needed. “Being a single mom, I gave her all my love and attention,” Kristie says, “We were doing fine.”
Then the unthinkable happened.
After dropping off her daughter at school, Kristie was rear-ended and suffered injuries to her neck and back. Her doctor prescribed medication to ease her ongoing pain. “And that’s where everything went wrong,” she shares.
Soon she depended on the painkillers to function: ” I had to keep going for my daughter.” Then gradually the drugs tore her life apart. “Every bit of money I had went to buy them,” she says. She cut herself off from her friends and couldn’t hold a job. Finally, she and her daughter had no choice but to move in with her parents.
But Kristie knew she needed more than a place to stay if she was going to get her back on track. Leaving her daughter in her parents’ care, she came to the Shreveport-Bossier Rescue Mission and joined the Discipleship Program portion of the Life Recovery Program. “Being here has really got me to focus on what’s important – my relationship with God and knowing He’s with me every step of the way,” she says.
She maintains a close relationship with her daughter, who has graduated from high school and now encourages Kristie in her life-skills classes here at the Mission. And Kristie enjoys her vocational training assignment in our Distribution Center, where she feels blessed by many opportunities to talk with people and touch their lives with her story.
Today, Kristie called the Mission and feels the thrill of hope in her heart when she thinks about the future. “I will be the first women joining the Ministry Internship Program to continue my growth, my learning and to help other ladies when they come through the door,” she says. “My life isn’t over like I thought it was!”
Update: Kristie was the first student to complete our Ministry Internship Program and is now a full-time staff member at the Mission. Through her work, Kristie is now ministering to women who are experiencing the same struggles she faced.