THE LIGHT: April 2019
“The Art of a Resurrected Life”
Struggling with depression, Amber always found solace in her art — until she ended up homeless on the streets. Then she encountered the Master Artist at Atlanta Mission.
“Art is an extension of myself,” says Amber, 28.“I love changing things, taking things that are used and discarded and turning them into something else — like taking an old, worn pair of jeans and turning it into a beautiful skirt.”
In a way, Amber’s art involves giving everyday items a kind of “new life.” It’s a wonderful picture of Christ’s resurrection and His promise of new life to all who believe in Him — the art of a “God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not” (Romans 4:17)
And it powerfully illustrates the resurrection of Amber’s own life. “I grew up in a broken family,” she says. “When I was 12, my mom told me she never wanted me. So I never felt like I was good enough.”
The only person who made her feel loved was her grandmother. But when Amber’s grandmother died, Amber felt lost and alone. She found an apartment with a friend, and started to build an independent life. But the roommate left abruptly and Amber found herself unable to afford the rent on her own. She ended up homeless on the streets of Atlanta.
“It was scary,” she says. “Things happened I don’t really talk about.” Finally, in October 2016, tired and traumatized, Amber came to the Atlanta Mission and My Sister’s House.
With the help of a loving staff, Bible study, and her growing relationship with God, Amber faced her anxieties and depression — and a new person, with a new life, began to emerge: the person God made her to be. “Whenever my heart would tell me that no one loves me, I’d hear God say, ‘You’re OK. It’s fine.’ I learned it’s OK to be just who I am. It’s the best feeling in the world.”
Today, thanks to caring people like you, Amber is thriving in a new job, a new apartment, and in her art. “This is the gift God gave me, and to share it with others is such a blessing. You’ll never know how much this means to me.”
Make A Difference This Easter
Give hope and transform lives this Easter to those in need through Easter baskets.
People struggling with addictions and homelessness need hope that new life is possible for them. Thanks to Easter, when Jesus walked out of His tomb, you and I know that new life is more than just a hope.
When men, women, and children experiencing homelessness come to Atlanta Mission, they receive the real, tangible help they need to rebuild their lives. That’s the kind of difference your gifts truly make — thank you!
These Easter baskets are full of items someone experiencing homelessness would need to get them back on their feet. Even more, your gift today will offer hope for new life this Easter season. So, please give hope this Easter or send the most generous gift you can today. Thank you!
Risen To New Life
Once “dead” and hopeless, Wayne found the true meaning of Easter — and new life — at Atlanta Mission.
In a way, Wayne was already dead — or wanted to be. “I was ready to end it all,” he says. “I was 50 years old, addicted to drugs, homeless on the streets, broken, and hopeless.”
Wayne struggled with drugs most of his life. He’d been to prison, in and out of countless rehabs, and hit rock bottom so many times he lost count. Nothing could change his race to the grave.
“By 2009, I’d been living on the streets for a couple of years,” he recalls. “It was so bad, my only pillow was an old boot with a roll of toilet paper inside. Depression, guilt, and shame were killing me. Spiritually and emotionally, I was completely broken.”
One afternoon, he laid down to sleep on the sidewalk across from Atlanta Mission. He saw a crowd of men at Atlanta Mission’s gate and decided to check it out. That decision led him inside, where he found a safe bed and a hot meal. He’d been in a lot of shelters and rehabs before, but there was something different about Atlanta Mission. He decided to stay. And the longer he stayed, the more he opened up.
“It was like a Bible boot camp,” Wayne recalls. Over the next year, as Wayne grew in the Lord, and alive in Christ, his life slowly transformed.
The transformation was so profound, Atlanta Mission equipped Wayne with hundreds of hours of training to serve on staff at Atlanta Mission and minister to other men who are seeking help here. A true professional, he builds relationships, offers encouragement, and connects them to services that can transform their lives, like his was transformed. He found his true calling, he says.
Wayne remembers when he was “dead” on the streets. Now he celebrates his new life every day. And he knows his new life is possible for one reason: Easter. Christ’s resurrection. “If Jesus Christ didn’t rise again, none of this would be possible,” he says
Jesus spiritually raised Wayne from the “dead.” But your gifts led him to Jesus. Thank you.
Planting Seeds of New Life
Every spring, as new life begins to take root in nature around me, I’m reminded that it’s really God’s design to point us to the Easter promises of redemption, renewal, and hope.
That’s what Easter and Christ’s resurrection is all about. And it’s what Atlanta Mission is all about. Every day, hurting men, women, and children come to us seeking to escape the darkness of their lives. Then, once inside, they find a safe bed and a warm meal, and they begin to experience the light of love, care, and compassion — and just like spring, hope begins to sprout!
With renewed hope, they begin to believe that redemption and even new life are possible in Jesus Christ. In a recent Bible study, one of our men said that Atlanta Mission planted a new seed inside of him — a seed of hope, a seed that is now growing inside of him. Thanks to the Bible studies, he said, he knew God was with him and he saw real change in his life.
That’s what your support for Atlanta Mission really means. Your gifts offer men, women, and children true Easter hope that through Christ’s sacrificial death and resurrection, new life is possible for everyone who believes — just like the new life you’ll read about in this issue of The Light.
This Easter, I’m so grateful for your generosity, compassion, and love. God is transforming lives through you. Hallelujah!
President & CEO
Ways to Give
We’d be honored to have you share in the joys, struggles and transformations of Atlanta’s most vulnerable souls.