The Light: September 2017
''I was destroying myself.''
Harry was a shattered man. His once happy life had broken apart. Now, he’d not only missed out on Thanksgiving — he hadn’t eaten in four days . . .
“I had it all, but I lost it all.” That’s how Harry summarizes the disastrous events that brought him to Atlanta Mission. He had everything a man could want — family, home, career and more. But when his wife of more than 20 years left him, it all came crashing down.
Harry was overwhelmed with sadness and “completely lost.” To ease that pain, he used cocaine heavily — only to lose the last thing that was keeping him going, his job. He stayed in motels until his money ran out. Then he was homeless.
Last year at Thanksgiving, he hit rock bottom.
“My best friend invited me over to celebrate, but I was so brokenhearted and lost in addiction that I missed it. I was destroying myself,” he remembers. Indeed, Harry was so low that he went four days straight without eating.
Desperately hungry, Harry realized he would have to dig through trash to eat — something he had never had to do before. The thought was so upsetting, so disturbing, that it finally convinced him to come to Atlanta Mission for help. “I came here with just the clothes on my back,” he says. “It was a day or two after Thanksgiving. When I got here, I couldn’t believe how nice this place was. Everyone was so welcoming. And I was so relieved to have food, I was trying to eat everything and then some.”
Those meals sparked a healing journey that continues to this day. Now, not only is Harry clean, but he’s also living responsibly and recently began a new job. His relationship with his children has strengthened and he’s growing in faith.
Looking back, Harry says, “When my wife left, I should have followed God. Instead, I listened to my flesh. My teachers here taught me about spiritual warfare, and my counselors taught me about healing. I see now how I need God in everything.”
When he thinks about the pain he was in last Thanksgiving and where he is today, the contrast is stunning — and Harry is filled with gratitude. “Atlanta Mission has been a big blessing,” he says. “The people who support this place gave me another chance.”
Why They're Grateful for You
In their own words, our clients explain how your faithful prayers and support transformed their lives . . .
“I was on my own but I needed help. I didn’t know where I could go. I didn’t know how I would survive. But when I came to Atlanta Mission, everything was okay. The presence of God is here.”
“I used to come to Atlanta Mission just for a meal or a place to sleep. Eventually I got tired of being homeless and came for life transformation. Today I have a good job and a better future.”
“I was lost and hopeless, but I felt like God was saying, ‘Atlanta Mission is where you’re supposed to be.’ He was right of course. They gave me the help I needed.”
“If it weren’t for Atlanta Mission, I’d probably be dead. But here, I’m surrounded by people who genuinely care. I love it here.”
“I’m so grateful for Atlanta Mission. God redeemed my life here, and they helped me get back on my feet.”
Give Your Homeless Neighbors a Thanksgiving to Remember
ON THANKSGIVING DAY we’ll serve more than 1,000 turkey dinners. Take a look at the ingredients that make such a grand celebration possible:
- 150 turkeys
- 2,000 rolls
- 100 lbs. of butter
- 725 lbs. of potatoes
- 90 gallons of gravy
- 36 gallons of cranberry sauce
- 80 gallons of macaroni
- 150 lbs. of cheddar cheese
- 180 lbs. of green beans
- 20 lbs. of onions
- 50 lbs. of celery
- 80 pumpkin pies
- 80 apple pies
- 90 lbs. of chicken stock
- 1,200 eggs
- 150 lbs. of flour
- 120 gallons of milk
Thank you for helping our homeless neighbors experience a celebration that fills their hearts with gratitude.
Thanksgiving Meals Transform Lives
Very soon now, our homeless neighbors will begin arriving at Atlanta Mission in large numbers to escape the streets and enjoy a Thanksgiving meal. As they experience food and fellowship and learn about God’s love, many will be inspired to begin a long-term healing journey — just like Harry.
Between now and Thanksgiving, we must serve close to 98,000 meals. And we need your help!
It costs just $2.67 to provide one nutritious meal. However many you choose to give, please don’t delay. We must have funds in place by October 10. Give Today.
Your gift will provide delicious meals for our guests and other life-transforming resources that help end homelessness in Atlanta. Click here to donate this Thanksgiving season.
The Grace of Giving
Thanks for sharing God’s love with severely disadvantaged children and families.Dear Friend of Atlanta Mission,
In my top desk drawer, I keep a letter from a man with two quarters taped to it. As he explained, it was all he had but he wanted to give it to the Atlanta Mission because of the critical needs of the people we serve — needs that were greater than his. Like the story of the widow’s mite in Luke 21, I believe God honors these gifts and performs miracles with them.
I see his letter every day, and it is a wonderful reminder to be grateful for the sacrificial giving exhibited by so many good people in our community. A heart of giving is itself a wonderful gift from God.
As recorded in Acts 20:35, Jesus said it was more blessed to give than to receive. I see that firsthand at Atlanta Mission when I watch men and women who may not have a single possession share with one another. Even if the gift is small — like a candy bar or an extra portion of dessert — this act of kindness never fails to brighten the day of both people. But the biggest smile always belongs to the giver!
In that same way, I hope your faithful prayers and support for Atlanta Mission fill your heart with joy this Thanksgiving, too. I have seen tears of gratitude in our halls, and they are a testament to the impact of your compassion and support for Atlanta Mission.
Ways to Give
We’d be honored to have you share in the joys, struggles and transformations of Atlanta’s most vulnerable souls.