THE LIGHT: February 2018
Living in Darkness, She Found a Great Light
Injury, illness, and the high cost of medication left Rae homeless and in dark depression. Your support rescued her — from the streets, and from despair...
“The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” — Isaiah 9:2
For 14 years, Rae knew that darkness well. Suffering with severe brain trauma, an incurable disease, depression, poverty, and homelessness, there was little light in her world.
But it wasn’t always that way.
Growing up in New York City, she was raised in a Christian home and enjoyed a comfortable life. She attended St. John’s University, earned a degree in psychology, and worked for 10 years at a local hospital. But in 2001, disaster struck.
First, Rae suffered a tragic brain injury in a car accident that causes her memory problems to this day. Four months after that incident, doctors diagnosed her with multiple sclerosis, an incurable disease affecting the brain, spinal column, nerves, and muscle control. It was the end of her career, and by 2010 she was on disability. Depression darkened her world, and spiritually she “steered away from God.”
She moved to Atlanta for more affordable housing, but continued struggling because of the high cost of medications. “I remember choosing between groceries and medicine,” she says. “It wasn’t sustainable.”
Rae tried moving to Florida, but it didn’t work out. She ended up exhausting what was left of her resources. By fall 2016, she was broke and homeless. Rae moved back to Georgia, penniless. She had nowhere to go. She was homeless for a few days before deciding to come to the My Sister’s House at Atlanta Mission.
“When I got here, I hadn’t slept in days,” Rae recalls. “My first night was amazing. I had a bed and I felt safe. It was exactly what I needed — a break from hardship and the chance to get my life in order. Whenever my disease flared up, I got the help I needed. Thanks to spiritual counseling, prayer, Bible study, and psychological care, they pieced me back together. I reconnected with the Lord, and now I thank Him every day. I’m so blessed. They helped me figure out a budget, and now I have found the perfect apartment. God has blessed me so much since I have been there.”
“I’m so grateful to everyone who supports this place. They saved my life.”
Cookies and Conversation
Discussing real-life issues over tasty treats is helping women heal...emotionally and spiritually.
Jesus Christ brings healing — but women who are recovering from the hardship of homelessness aren’t always ready to hear it. Sometimes, they struggle to believe God loves them because they didn’t feel His love on the streets.
That’s why, little more than a year ago, Atlanta Mission began a new weekly meeting for women here called Cookies & Conversations. “It’s intended to give women a safe place to discuss the issues on their hearts without the pressure of being in church,” says Shay Deleon, who leads and facilitates the group. And clearly, the group is meeting a need: What started with four women and some chocolate chip cookies has quickly grown to over 30 women and every kind of cookie imaginable.
“The beautiful thing,” Shae explains, “is that out of our discussions, these diverse ladies have developed beautiful unity that has given each one of us a deeper understanding and compassion for each other.”
GETTING TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER
Shay says that relationships, family, love, trust, and current events are all common topics of discussion. “One lady was sharing about the hurt caused by her family,” she says. “Many of the other women expressed they had been through similar things. They encouraged each other and grew closer that day.”
Because the point of the meeting is to provide a therapeutic meeting where the women can experience the healing that comes from Christ alone, Shay always ties in the discussion to God. “Some of the ladies share Bible verses or encouraging words. Little by little and day by day, they’re learning that God really does care about them. And nothing makes that clearer than Good Friday and Easter Sunday.”
Thank you for joining with Atlanta Mission to help women heal, experience their Savior’s love, and enjoy their favorite cookies!
Please give homeless men, women, and children new hope this Easter season. Every $2.67 you give provides a meal, the good news of God’s love, and more.
Tonight, nearly 7,000 men, women, and children will have no place to call home. For those of us who have never had to survive on the streets, it’s impossible to fully understand the suffering and shame they endure.
But there is a living hope for every one of them — the hope of Easter morning and an empty tomb. That hope takes away sins and guilt and promises transformation, now and for eternity.
From Palm Sunday through Easter, Atlanta Mission will need to serve more than 21,600 meals to homeless men, women, and children. Every $2.67 you give provides another meal, but that’s not all. By God’s grace, you’ll lead our guests from hunger to hope, changing their lives in the name of Jesus Christ.
Faithful Friends Change Lives for Eternity
3 TO 1 MATCHING OPPORTUNITY
A generous friend of Atlanta Mission has agreed to triple-match the first gift of all new monthly donors! Sign up to triple your impact today!
Faithful Friends of Atlanta Mission rank among our most committed supporters. They provide a recurring monthly gift that meets both physical and spiritual needs of our homeless neighbors.
By helping our guests know Christ, walk with Him, and ultimately live for Him, Faithful Friends transform lives for eternity.
If you’re interested in learning more, go to atlantamission.org/faithful. You’ll be inspired by the lasting impact you can have in a homeless person’s life.
We See God-Given PotentialJesus saw potential in people they never saw in themselves. He understood that the power and purpose of God transforms lives.
As you know, that power is alive and active today, still restoring people at Atlanta Mission who have just about given up. Little by little, our guests see that we believe in them, and it sparks new hope.
And when they begin to see a potential that God has for them in His son Jesus Christ, it changes everything. What’s especially beautiful is when one of these men or women shares their newfound hope with someone who’s just come in to Atlanta Mission off the streets.
That’s when they’re really living up to their God-given potential! Your generosity, your love, and your faithful prayers are making this possible. As we celebrate the power of a risen Savior this Easter, please know that your faithfulness is helping many more people escape from the darkness into the light of Jesus Christ’s eternal love. May His light shine upon you, too.
He is alive!
“Your faithfulness is helping many more people escape from the darkness into the light of Jesus Christ’s eternal love.”
Ways to Give
We’d be honored to have you share in the joys, struggles and transformations of Atlanta’s most vulnerable souls.