Erika remembers walking the streets, homeless and broken, a Bible clutched in her hand, feeling called to a different life. “I didn’t know anything about the Bible or God. I just knew I was thirsty for something, but I didn’t know it was Him,” she says.
She’d grown up in a physically and verbally abusive home, never feeling loved or valued. When she was in high school, she sought validation in her relationship with her boyfriend, and they started a family together. But he turned abusive, further eroding her sense of worth.
When Erika was 18, she left her children with her mother and began numbing her pain with drugs. Before long, she was homeless and wound up in trouble with the law. It was then she discovered what she’d been thirsting for. “I gave my life to the Lord in jail and, when I got out, God led me here.”
Erika overcame her addiction through our Christian Life Training Discipleship Program but, after graduation, realized she was still struggling with bitterness and resentment. She and her children then came to our Lee & Krystyna Jamieson Recovery Home for Women & Children, where Bible studies, Christian counseling and life-skills classes have strengthened Erika’s faith and helped her heal. “I’ve learned to forgive. I’ve overcome my past hurts so they’re not dragging me down anymore,” she says. “And through parenting classes, I’m a better mother. My daughters are very happy.”
“I have a new perspective on God and His will for my life.”
Erika plans to complete the program, go to work, create a loving home for her children and become a juvenile probation officer. “I want to help the younger generation,” she says.
You may never meet Erika, but she’s eternally grateful to YOU for your support – today, her heart is filled with new hope for the future. “I was hopeless, angry and ashamed, but now I know God’s love for me. I’m peaceful and happy.”