When you imagine Christmas dinner in your home I am sure that you imagine a great Christmas ham or turkey with all of the fixings.
But for Daniel the meal he had last Christmas was Ramen noodles with a side of loneliness, regret and hunger (serious hunger).
Having spent most of his life trying to flee the memories from childhood abuse and neglect Daniel joined a wandering tribe of renaissance players that came to Muskogee.
Daniel learned from these men and women how to survive on very little and how to love very much. The travels were filled with adventures and short moments of terror as they often slept in places not meant for human habitation. Daniel’s travels could fill a tour guide of the southeastern portion of the nation. Florida, Mississippi and Alabama were all stopping points where the troop could earn a living. In Biloxi, Mississippi Daniel had a heart attack and was in the hospital when the troop needed to move onto the next show. Daniel was alone as Christmas approached.
After the hospital released him on December 23 he found a hotel room and used the last of his money to purchase Christmas presents for the children of some friends. He had just enough left over to buy some Ramen noodles. He invited his friends to come and spend Christmas with him. The friends brought presents for each other that they allowed Daniel to open so that he would not feel left out. They meant the gesture to help him feel a part of the family, but instead it made him feel even more alone.
Loneliness drove Daniel to attempt suicide. His last attempt was to step in front of a semi truck that swerved to miss him. Having survived he returned to GRM where he had stayed before. He knew that there they would help resurrect the hope he desperately needed as well as a roof over his head, three meals a day and an opportunity to reconnect with God.
With three nourishing meals each day, safe shelter and constant encouragement from Scriptures and mentors, Daniel is well on his way to recovery.
A gift today will help more men and women like Daniel have a second chance in life -– and it can all start with a hot meal and safe shelter at The Gospel Rescue Mission this Christmas.
Sheena wanted to feel loved and fantasized about living as a fairy tale princess; but it seemed like she was always looking for love in all the wrong places. On a regular basis her romance movie would turn into a horror film. Her prince charming would suddenly become the beast. Abusive relationships left her feeling abandoned and worthless.
With seven children, no home, no family support left, and feeling like a failure Sheena arrived at the Gospel Rescue Mission planning on staying just long enough to come up with a plan. However, she discovered a Savior who felt that she was highly valued, who saw her as a princess. It was not long before this hardened angry woman transformed into a compassionate and loving mother and part of the GRM family.
Today Sheena is determined to never be in a position like this again. She is rekindling dreams of being a nurse. She loves the idea or encouraging people and share in their stories. Sheena is grateful for the opportunities to learn and grow. She is fully engaged in our GRITU courses where she is learning valuable life skills, self esteem and confidence. Sheena routinely attends a local church where she has made new friends.
“This stay at GRM is helping me keep my family together. If we did not come here my kids would have been taken from me and I would have felt even more like a failure.”
Sheena is living life as a new creation because of supporters like you.
Life can be an especially difficult time for our neighbors (approximately 22% of whom are living below the poverty line.) Whether they’re sleeping in the streets, or living in places not really meant to be home, many people in our community feel helpless and alone.
Erin has been her worst critic. As she replays her life in her head she wishes that she could wind things back and make a whole new series of choices. Her worst regret was the day that she was snooping around and found a credit card that belonged to her parents. She used that card to buy a whole litany of useless stuff.
When the bill arrived and the theft was discovered, Erin, received her first wake up call. Her parents showed her tough love and showed her the door. It broke their heart. Erin was scared, lonely and lost. Worst of all she no longer knew who she was. Erin never saw herself as a thief, but the facts were too stubborn to deny otherwise.
Erin’s life became dark. For a short season she contemplated suicide. However, she heard about Gospel Rescue Mission and moved toward that light. There she was challenged to better herself and encouraged to discover a deeper walk with Jesus.
One of the pillars of life change at GRM is that our identity is found in Christ. This was the first and most life changing lesson that Erin took to heart. It was in this lesson that she learned that she is a child of the King. Regardless of her past behaviors and choices, she was nobility. Erin decided to live life in this new identity.
In addition to community meetings where basic life lessons are taught, Erin routinely attends chapel services at the mission and church in the community. She has worked through three levels of life skills through GRM’s GRITU and is applying the life lessons she is learning daily. Erin is learning the joy of service and giving back to the community.
Today, Erin is working to regain the trust of her parents. She knows that this will take time but she is steadfast enough not to give up that quest. Everyday Erin is working to rebuild life from the ruins. She is learning how to be a good mother and is excited about her future.