Many women who come to the Rescue Mission are fleeing from domestic violence or abuse. It is heartbreaking to see women and children, fearful and broken, living on the streets or moving from motel to motel. Which is why we are so grateful to be a safe place for these families as they arrive at our doors looking for help.
We welcome these women and children with open arms and watch as God restores their confidence and reminds them of the worth that their abusers tried to strip away. I have incredible respect for these women who come from such difficult circumstances, but have the will to start over and provide a better life for their little ones.
One of these mothers is Stephanie, who is currently a resident at the Village of Hope. Please read on to her story.
Stephanie could feel the darkness closing in.
Her husband had come home in a rage, and though she hadn’t done anything to provoke him, he came at her. And then she was fighting to stay conscious while his hands tightened around her neck.
Just before Stephanie blacked out, someone pulled her husband off of her. Gasping for breath, Stephanie’s first thought wasn’t for herself. What she thought was, Did any of the kids see? Stephanie would do anything to protect her children from the monster her husband had become.
Life had definitely taken a dramatic turn for Stephanie. Before she got married, she was an independent, stable woman with a good job as a dental assistant. But soon after they got married, her husband began to emotionally abuse her, which quickly escalated to physical abuse. It was bad enough he had started drinking and abusing drugs, but his family did nothing to stop him or get him help. In fact, they seemed to turn a blind eye. They even blamed Stephanie for her husband’s problems.
Once so full of confidence, Stephanie began losing her sense of self-worth. While she struggled, she was most afraid for her two girls — and another on the way. Mentally, physically and spiritually exhausted, Stephanie just had to get out. Desperate for an answer to her situation, Stephanie prayed.
“The Lord told me either I stay here and I would die, or I have to get out of here,” Stephanie recalls. “I prayed, if I don’t make it out of here, just save my kids.” At that point she knew she just had to flee.
On a day she remembers well, she took her girls and left. Soon after she arrived at the Rescue Mission, and Stephanie says, “I thought it was a miracle. I thought, we’re finally safe. We finally had somewhere where we could change our lives.”
At the Rescue Mission, she found a community of caring people and a renewed relationship with God. Stephanie shares, “It took me time to grow, but I focused on my studies, on the Bible. I focused on what would help me, and asking, why did I end up in this type of relationship?”
Today, Stephanie is thriving with her three daughters and working as an intern at the Rescue Mission’s Hurtt Family Health Clinic — a position she took the initiative to pursue since no resident had ever worked in the clinic before. “It was a process,” says Stephanie. “But they liked my idea and in the end, everybody said yes.”
Now, Stephanie feels confident that after she graduates, she’ll be able to make it on her own and provide for her daughters. Most of all, she hopes her new life will be peaceful.
“I’m working really hard,” she says. “I want to be able to do the best I can for my daughters.”
You helped Stephanie find the hope she desperately needed to start a new life for herself and her daughters. And between now and May 31st, you can help even more families like Stephanie’s by giving your gift to be doubled today.
Giving online is easy, safe, and quick. Your donation will make an immediate impact to provide meals, shelter and services for a homeless family in desperate need of a hand up to self-sufficiency.