The Light: August 2017

Macey and her children at atlanta mission

Breaking Free from Generational Poverty

After years of abuse, poverty, and dysfunction, Macey and her children had run out of options. Desperate to avoid the streets, they came to Atlanta Mission . . .

“I’ve struggled for a long time,” Macey admits. “Bad jobs, abusive boyfriends, moving around a lot. It’s been one thing after another.”

In many ways, these struggles are a continuation of her childhood. Macey came from a broken home, and instability has characterized much her life. This constant chaos has made it nearly impossible for her to provide for her children, too.

Eventually, she ran out of options and came to Atlanta Mission. For the first time, she experienced a stable, healthy environment to learn and grow in.

“I’m so grateful for Atlanta Mission,” Macey says. “It’s safe, we have beds to sleep on, and it’s been very good for me and my kids, Faith and Greggory.”

Today, both children are doing well in school. They received uniforms and backpacks from Atlanta Mission. And Macey is especially appreciative of the activities her children get to enjoy. “There are arts and  crafts, plus sports. They never had these opportunities before.”

The family isn’t just having fun, though. Their time here is intensely purposeful. For example, Macey took a parenting class that has dramatically improved her interaction with her children. “I’m a better mother now,” she explains. “This class gave me the tools I need to connect with my children — to really hear what they’re saying, understand them, and help them mature.”

More effective communication has been a key part of the family’s spiritual growth, too. “We’re all learning about God, and we talk about the Bible. Faith and Greggory have a better understanding of who Jesus is, and it’s changed their lives.” She continues: “I’m still going through some tough things, but I’ve learned to keep my focus on God, and He gives me peace.”

Today, Macey’s life really has changed in every way. She’s working towards her GED and will soon begin career training. She has a bright future! “I can’t even imagine where I’d be without Atlanta Mission,” Macey said. “They rescued us from homelessness and opened so many doors for me. This place was an answer to my prayers.”

A Safe Nurturing Environment for Moms and Kids

"Homelessness is a form of trauma, and the effects are so devastating that they can span generations."

Donielle, Director of Children's Services at Atlanta Mission

Those are the blunt words of Donielle Griffith, the Director of Children’s Services at My Sister’s House, Atlanta Mission’s shelter for women and children.

She continues: “Many of the women here have fled violent abuse, and the children have grown up in chronically unstable environments. On average, they’ve gone to three different schools every year. And they’ve seen things no child should ever have to see.”

Is it any wonder, then, that these boys and girls are more likely to “inherit” their parents’ struggles? “A lifetime of disadvantages can’t be solved in a night,” Donielle explains. “Healing requires a holistic, long-term approach that begins with a safe, nurturing environment for moms and kids. With stability, Child at Atlanta Mission's My Sister's Housewe can help them come to terms with their past and address numerous other issues like parenting, behavior, finances, life skills, faith, education, work…every area of need.”

Taken together, these resources transform lives by giving mothers the tools and understanding to be positive, productive, responsible citizens.

“The parenting class has been particularly well received,” Donielle adds. “It’s helping women like Macey (see front page) become closer, more nurturing, and more empathetic with their children.”

Helping Kids Succeed in Life

Donielle’s team also serves children. “Most of these boys and girls are well behind peers from stable homes. So we want to provide them with comprehensive services, too. We’re helping babies reach their milestones; Pre K children enjoy a Bible-based curriculum that nourishes mind and soul; and elementary students receive tutoring,” Donielle says. “We celebrated in spring when not a single student was held back. Kids at Atlanta Mission with bikeNow the kids are returning to school with more confidence and excitement! This progress is exciting for us, and for the moms and kids, too. It’s just amazing how young lives change when chaos is replaced with love, stability, and encouragement.”

Your support gives struggling moms and children brighter futures. Thank you for helping end generational poverty in Atlanta!

My Sister's House...

…is Atlanta Mission’s shelter for women and children. That name allows boys and girls here to tell their friends at school where they live without any stigma.

Please help children and families without a home

Change their stories and create a brighter future

Child in front of blackboard holding book at Atlanta MissionChildren across the greater Atlanta area are returning to school. Many of them thrive on the joys of education and learning. But not all. Right here in our community, there are precious boys and girls whose parents are struggling with homelessness.

Experience tells us that if these families don’t receive help, their circumstances won’t improve. And their children are unlikely to succeed in school. Rather, these innocent boys and girls could be in the exact same situation as their parents in just a few short years.

When you support Atlanta Mission with a back-to-school gift today, you allow us to provide these families with food, shelter, and stability. Their children receive backpacks, books, food, tutoring, behavioral counseling, and healthy social outlets that allow them to succeed in school.

Taken together, these resources can break generational poverty and give local children a brighter future. Please strengthen this worthy effort by sending your next generous gift today.

Your prayer and support transform lives!

Welcome the Children!

Thanks for sharing God’s love with severely disadvantaged children and families.

Dear Friend of Atlanta Mission,

When His disciples tried to shoo away eager children, Jesus became indignant. “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these” (Mark 10:14).

Thanks to your generosity, Atlanta Mission follows our Lord’s example and eagerly welcomes children today. When they arrive here with their moms, it’s often the first time the kids feel safe and secure. While they’re here, we make every effort to help them feel loved and cared for, too. They have fun, make friends, and experience an educational curriculum that inspires faith and learning.

Additionally, the families work with behavioral specialists and counselors who help them process their emotional trauma…and heal!

You’re Impacting Lives for Eternity

Not a day goes by that we don’t see God performing miracles in the lives of the children here. Many of them have overcome more in their short lives than most adults. As they return to school, my heart is filled with hope for these precious boys and girls! It’s one of the best parts of my job, seeing them catch up with their classmates as their moms regain hope and the promise of a bright future.

Thanks for sharing God’s love with severely disadvantaged children and families. You are transforming lives, and I pray He blesses you.

Blessings,

Jim Reese
President & CEO