In January of 2015, Candace walked through our gates. I remember when I first met her, as a scared and pregnant young girl. Two years later, Candace is now a changed woman: confident and hopeful, ready to face her future and able to provide for her children.
Watching Candace’s journey over the past two years has been inspiring and encouraging to me, especially in light of her story, which I would like to share with you here. God had a plan for her redemption that was more powerful than anything the enemy could use for her destruction.
Growing up, Candace’s family was constantly moving as a result of her father’s jobs. Her unstable childhood developed into a pattern, and she found it difficult to settle down as an adult. “I worked at a restaurant or as a receptionist. I would always work for five or six months, and then I would move. No job ever paid me enough for me to get me a place of my own,” Candace says.
That’s how she found herself living with her mom in Mexico, where the unthinkable happened…
While living with her mom, Candace was brutally abused. And though she didn’t know it at the time, a baby girl started to form inside her. When she discovered she was pregnant, Candace says, “I debated for the longest time whether I should give up my daughter for adoption, or whether I should keep her.”
When she arrived at the Mission, Candace’s pregnancy had become high-risk. She cried out to the Lord: “If you know I can be the mother I need to be for her, allow that to happen!” Candace says.
Candace decided to put her faith in the Lord, and decided to keep her daughter. “She’s been the biggest blessing,” she says with a smile. And though it took a long time, Candace also learned to forgive the man who hurt her.
“Someone mentioned to me about how if Jesus can forgive me, who am I not to be able to forgive someone else? That really stayed with me,” Candace says. “Instead of being angry, I just pray for his soul, that he can get to know the Lord and that he can repent of his sins.”
Today, Candace is gainfully employed in a field she is excelling in, and she and her beautiful children have a safe home here at the Village of Hope. Candace is well on her way to saving enough money to graduate and leave the program, with the ability to provide for her children the way she has always hoped to.
Candace’s growing relationship with God, and all that she has learned and experienced here at the Rescue Mission, have given her newfound confidence, skills and joy. “I feel so good,” she shares. “It’s the Lord who gives me that peace in my heart and who has helped me understand what forgiveness is.”
Because of you, people like Candace who have gone through trauma, can heal at the Rescue Mission. Thank you!
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