THE LIGHT: July 2018
For most of his life, Solomon was filled with self-pity. He blamed everyone else for his problems. Then, he had a thought that changed everything...
“This is how life is, and this is how it’s going to be. This is just who you are.”
Those were the words Solomon said to himself when he was suffering on Atlanta’s streets. He didn’t believe change was possible, and self-pity was his identity. For eight years, Solomon suffered out there — in heat and cold, rain and snow. During summer, his mind was fixated on air conditioning. “I’d look for any place to get out of the heat,” Solomon remembered, “even if I got chased out a minute later, it was worth it.”
But that suffering never compared to the pain Solomon felt on the inside. “My problem was, I could not come to terms with the abuse I suffered in childhood,” he said. “I went through things no child should go through. That’s why I started medicating with drugs and alcohol,’’ he added.
He continues: “Unfortunately, the more I used, the more I blamed everyone else for all of my problems. Addiction cost me everything I had: work, relationships, home…”
When his life hit rock bottom, Solomon would come to Atlanta Mission for a break from the streets — for a meal, a bed, a shower. But he’d leave just as quickly.
Long, Hard Look in the Mirror
Three and a half years ago, Solomon had a God-given revelation: “I began to question why bad things kept happening to me. I came to realize that I was the source of every broken relationship. That’s when I stopped blaming everyone else.”
Pretty soon, Solomon decided to stay at Atlanta Mission for longer than a night. He entered our Choose Help Services, joined a Bible study, and started volunteering in the kitchen. “Everyone here was so encouraging,” he said. “I met with a therapist who helped me forgive the people who hurt me. Until then, I hadn’t understood what a powerful tool forgiveness actually was. Suddenly, the pain from my childhood was gone.”
Today, Solomon is a new man. He’s employed and he’s back on his feet. Relationships have healed, and his outlook is entirely changed. Looking back, Solomon said, “There was a time when I thought I would always be homeless and miserable. I was rescued and saved at Atlanta Mission. Now I have joy and peace I never knew.”
Life on the Streets in Atlanta
Here, our homeless neighbors share what it’s like under the summer sun...“Since I had a stroke a few years ago, summer is dangerous for me. Carrying my bags, trying to find shade . . . I’ve passed out from the heat before. It’s scary.”
“Being homeless is hard, and in summer it’s really tiring. Every morning I have to plan where I can go for air conditioning and water.”
“It’s hard to find water when you don’t have money. Sometimes restaurants will give you a cup, but that’s not always enough. Once I ended up in the hospital from dehydration.”
“I try to find air conditioning, but you usually have to buy something to stay in. I’m in a wheelchair and I’m homeless — most places don’t want me around.”
“Being homeless in the summer with a small child is scary. I’m always trying to keep the sun off her. I’ve got to keep myself cool, but I really worry about my baby.”
Without adequate water or a break from the heat, our homeless neighbors face a significantly higher risk of dehydration and heat stroke. But when they come to Atlanta Mission, they receive:
- Clean Clothes
These things help a person feel cared for and safe — and by God’s grace, are the first steps to healing.
This Summer, Share Living Water with Your Homeless Neighbors
God has such a heart for people who suffer. Over and over in the Scriptures, He promises to comfort them, to be a shade from the heat.
Your support provides suffering neighbors with water, food, shelter, and spiritual transformation.
And today, He uses you to extend His mercy — to men, women, and children trapped on the streets. To people who are destitute, addicted, or abandoned. To anyone in Atlanta who needs hope and a second chance. This is especially true in summer when the southern sun heaps misery on our homeless neighbors.
Your Gifts Bring New Life to Hurting People
New people are always walking through our doors. They’re desperate for cool water, a shower, and a break from the intense heat. Your compassion gives them all that in a safe, air-conditioned environment — and much more.
By God’s grace, your faithful prayers and support provide living water that transforms hearts. Through counseling, spiritual growth, and job training, broken lives are restored.
Living Water in the Heat of SummerDear Friend of Atlanta Mission,
The heat in Atlanta during summer can be overwhelming. It always makes me wonder: what if I couldn’t get out of it? What if I didn’t have an air-conditioned car or home?
Thank you for giving many broken-hearted people the living water that transforms their lives for eternity.
Because that’s the reality for our homeless neighbors. And there are so many of them here, like Solomon, who would spend their days searching for a little relief from the summer sun. (This is why we made the referral cards — to encourage people to come here. If the opportunity arises, I hope you’ll hand one out!)
Thanks to your generosity, Atlanta Mission helps men, women, and children trapped on the streets cool off — with water, food, shelter, and so much more.
In John 4, Jesus asks the Samaritan woman for a drink. Then, He promises her living water — “whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”
For someone who’s been parched on the streets, that’s a powerful promise! And by His grace, it is fulfilled here on a daily basis. Thank you so much for giving many broken-hearted people the living water that transforms their lives for eternity.
Ways to Give
We’d be honored to have you share in the joys, struggles and transformations of Atlanta’s most vulnerable souls.