Tonight in Bakersfield, many of our neighbors will go to bed hungry, homeless and hopeless.
All her life, Erica felt isolated and empty. “There was a void in me that I could never fill,” she says.” Now I know it was because I didn’t know who God was. I didn’t know how much he loved me. I didn’t know I had a purpose.”
When she was 14, Erica started using drugs to fill the void, a habit that escalated over the years, consuming her life. “My addiction was more important than anything,” she says. “I gave up all responsibility. I ran away.”
Only one thing could drive Erica to stop using - her kids. “I have three beautiful children and, when I hit rock bottom, family members said, “We don’t want the kids around you while you’re this messed up. You need help.’”
It was then Erica came to the Mission at Kern County and, through our One Year Christian Discipleship program, has undergone a spiritual transformation. “I have an intimate relationship with God now,” she says.” It’s amazing.”
Through our Christian counseling and faith-based addiction recovery, Erica has also experienced emotional healing through sharing her burdens with staff. “I’m not alone anymore,” she says.
Though she thought it impossible, Erica’s relationships with her children have also been restored. “I got to see my older son this past year and he forgave me,” she says. “It’s a miracle.”
Erica graduated from the program, has a job, and now lives in a home with several other women graduates. Eventually Erica plans to go to college. “I want to be a counselor for moms who are struggling with addiction and separated from their kids,” she says.
When she sees her life today and compares it to just a year ago, Erica is thrilled by her transformation thanks to God’s love in her life – and your support. “With the Mission’s help, it is possible to overcome your struggles. I love it here. This is my home.”