The Light: November 2016

Broken, Bruised . . . and Now Made New

Broken, Bruised . . . and Now Made New

It’s hard to believe anyone could survive the things Marica has been through . . . physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Beaten and abused, broken and bruised, crushed every which way till her body and soul were almost shattered beyond repair.

But today, thanks to your support, Marica now knows the true joy, grace, and good news of Christmas . . .

Marica’s story began in early childhood when she was sexually abused, a pattern that continued through her teens. Rather than protect her, Marica’s mother blamed Marica for the abuse.

“My mom said she was a Christian,” Marica remembers. “I thought I had grown up in a Christian home. I was like, If this is Christianity, I don’t want any part of it.

At 18, Marica left home and joined another religion, which at first brought her some peace. But her past trauma haunted her, and she turned to drugs to numb her pain. There were a few relationships, all of them abusive. She was in and out of domestic violence shelters.

“I was always terrified,” she says. “But I just kept praying that God would take me out of those situations.”

Marica finally did leave her abuser, but ended up homeless. She soon met another man, got pregnant, and found herself completely alone . . . and scared.

Someone suggested Atlanta Mission. When she learned it was a Christian ministry, Marica resisted because of her old misconceptions about Christianity. But with nowhere else to turn, she went anyway.

“And they welcomed me with open arms,” Marica says. “They didn’t judge me. They just loved me.”

Marica gave birth to a girl named Savannah. A few months later, she decided to embrace Christianity. Now she’s excited about what she calls her first Christmas as a true follower of Jesus, and she even has her own new apartment.

“The love shown to me last Christmas at Atlanta Mission makes me excited for this first Christmas as a follower of Christ,” says Marica. “Lots of parties, lots of joy. Now that I know the reason for all of that joy, this should be my best Christmas ever!”

Stories like this are a direct result of your kindness. Thank you!

No Christmas Memories . . .

How you’re helping Brandon discover the hope of the holiday.

16-11-f02at-enewsletter-blog-story-1-280x260When a child gives birth to a child, the odds are stacked against both.

That’s just how life began for Brandon, born to a 12-year-old girl in 1979. His mother wasn’t ready for that responsibility and abandoned him. Brandon ended up with his grandmother, who had a series of boyfriends, including one who was busted for running a meth lab.

Childhood Christmas memories? There aren’t any. “When Christmas rolls around every year,” he says, “I kind of just push it aside. It’s supposed to be family time, but I never really had that. That’s hard. It gets to you.”

Brandon’s adult life has been a series of jobs and bouts of homelessness. When his grandmother died in 2005, Brandon spiraled into depression and suicidal thoughts.

When he came to Atlanta Mission in early 2015, Brandon found something a lot like family. As he’s made good friends, he’s expecting this Christmas — perhaps for the first time ever — to be one to remember.

“If it weren’t for Atlanta Mission, I’d probably be dead,” Brandon says. “But here, I’m surrounded by people who genuinely care. I love it here.”

Thanks to your kindness and generosity, men like Brandon can experience joy again . . . at Christmas, and all year round.

Why We Support Atlanta Mission

by Todd and Jamie, who have supported Atlanta Mission since 2004.

There are so many who struggle to eat, to find a dry place to sleep, or to get help moving forward. While we can’t solve all of the world’s problems, we certainly can be a part of helping those in our own city.

16-11-f02at-enewsletter-blog-story-2-280x260When we consider supporting a nonprofit, we ask, ‘Is God’s blessing evident here?’ And, ‘Are they good stewards of my gift?’ When it comes to Atlanta Mission, the answer to both is a resounding ‘Yes!’

Atlanta Mission brings real support and real change to people’s lives every day. Who wouldn’t want to be a partner in that?

You’re Changing Lives!

Your support of Atlanta Mission helps to provide the services that help struggling neighbors turn their lives around and start afresh.

16-11-f02at-enewsletter-blog-story-3-280x260For example, at My Sister’s House — our shelter for women and children — we’re using a new approach with personalized services to meet each guest’s needs.

Thanks to your generosity, some of those guests who had been struggling to make progress are now moving forward.

God’s Unconditional Love

Dear Friend of Atlanta Mission,

When Jesus was born, Mary and Joseph must have had dreams and aspirations for their little one. They knew He was special, sent to save the world.

Likewise, when our children and grandchildren are born, we have dreams and aspirations for them too. Still, many kids grow up in difficult situations, and their struggles continue into adulthood. Many of these wounded children have grown up, and walk through our doors daily — folks whose parents may have once had great dreams for them . . . but they’ve since lost hope.

Some of our guests at Atlanta Mission have no relationships, no family. That’s particularly painful at Christmas. But Christmas is also an opportunity to invite them into God’s family . . . and the “extended family” at Atlanta Mission . . . which includes you!

Because of you, hurting people can hope and dream again.

Your generosity is always treasured, but more than ever, your help at Christmas sends an incredibly strong message. When I tell our guests that we receive no government assistance, that it all comes from sacrificial givers like you, they are overwhelmed with gratitude . . . and a glimpse of God’s unconditional love.

Merry Christmas to you and your family!

16.07-eNewsletter-Blog-Director-Photo-140x140Jim Reese
President & CEO