THE LIGHT: May 2018

Ikea at Atlanta Mission's Women's and Children's Shelter, My Sister's House

Suffering & Faith

Life hasn’t been easy for Ikea, but hardship brought her near to the Lord. Thanks to your prayers and support, she’s continued to grow at Atlanta Mission.

“I came to know God through hardship. And my faith grew in suffering.”

That’s how Ikea describes her spiritual journey, and there’s no doubt that God has carried her through many trials.

“My mom and brother and I fled domestic violence in Florida, but life didn’t get much better in Georgia,” she explained. “We had a lot of issues. My mom was verbally abusive and our relationship was toxic.”

Such a tumultuous childhood carried over into adulthood. Ikea struggled to find steady employment, bouncing from job to job and home to home. Her life was defined by instability… and then she had a daughter with special needs. That was a watershed event. “Having a child is wonderful. She’s an amazing gift from God. She gives me so much joy, and motherhood taught me a lot about myself.”

However, even as she devoted herself to her daughter, Ikea was also running out of housing options. Without steady employment or a close family, she and her daughter became homeless. But she never stopped trusting God, and He did provide.

The Lord gave me and my daughter a chance for stability and a better life at Atlanta Mission.

“One night I was wandering through Kroger, and I saw a lady there. I just had a sense she could help, so I approached her. That was God’s leading for sure, because she was the one who brought me to Atlanta Mission.”

“Just knowing that we would have food and shelter meant the world to me,” she said. “But they’ve done so much more. So many people poured into us. They helped me grow as a person, a Christian, and a mother. My daughter has also made outstanding progress, and I’m very proud of her.”

Today, Ikea credits her many struggles with forcing her to depend on God, and says her faith has been greatly affirmed at Atlanta Mission. Now she’s working on forgiving her mother.

While Ikea isn’t sure where the Lord will lead her when she leaves Atlanta Mission, she knows God will continue to care for her — just like He always has. “The Lord gave me and my daughter a chance for stability and a better life at Atlanta Mission. I’m so grateful He brought us here.”

Gary at Atlanta Mission's Men's Shelter, The Potter's House

A New Life, A Better Father

When Gary arrived at The Potter’s House — Atlanta Mission’s residential addiction recovery program for men — he thought he was beyond hope...

Before I came to The Potter’s House, I was not any good for my daughter, my mother, or myself. I was at the tail end of a devastating meth addiction, and I was ready to die.

My problems started when I was a kid. Back then, I always felt “off,” and struggled with depression. That’s the reason I first tried marijuana. That’s why I moved on to harder drugs. But the more they “worked,” the more I had to use them.

Drugs got me kicked out of high school, then college. When my girlfriend got pregnant, I cleaned up for a while. But after our daughter was born, we both picked up the habit again. Our house was completely dysfunctional. When I looked at my daughter, she was my motivation to get help. I wanted to be able to look her in the eye and tell her I tried everything I could to get clean.

That’s why I came to The Potter’s House, Atlanta Mission’s residential addiction recovery program for men.

Best Choice I Ever Made

To be honest, I didn’t believe they could help me. My addiction was so strong I didn’t think I would ever be free from meth again. But I’ve never been so grateful to be wrong. Coming to The Potter’s House was the best choice I ever made.

Because of their care and guidance, today I’m clean, I have a steady job, I’m saving money to move closer to my daughter, and I’ve made sincere friends — guys who know my problems, but they love me anyway.

Since I’ve been here, my entire conception of love has changed. I see how it grows when you give it to others. That understanding has transformed my relationship with my daughter. I love her with my whole heart. I’ve spent more quality time with her since I came here than the previous five years combined. Before, I was always so consumed with drugs that I couldn’t just be in the moment. With my daughter, she wasn’t my focus, my addiction was. Now when I’m with her I’m really with her, even if it’s just playing Uno or watching a movie. She knows she can count on me now.

For everyone who donates to Atlanta Mission, I just want to say thank you. I could not have recovered on my own. You restored my hope and you gave me another chance.


$90,000 MATCHING GIFT DOUBLES Every Gift Made By June 30!

The Justin Landis Group, a local affiliate of the real estate company Keller Williams, has committed a $90,000 Matching Challenge Gift to Atlanta Mission. Just as they help families find homes, they’re also committed to helping our homeless neighbors find better places to live, too.

That means every contribution from friends like you before the deadline of June 30 will double in value. With summer approaching, this is just the boost we needed.

“The Justin Landis Group believes that everyone deserves a home—including the nearly 7,000 people in Atlanta facing homelessness. Our challenge to help 90 buyers find a home in 90 days helped us raise $90,000 that we are honored to offer as a matching gift challenge for Atlanta Mission to help end homelessness in our city.” — The Justin Landis Group

We have just until June 30th to match the generous support of $90,000 that the Justin Landis Group at Keller Williams is giving to Atlanta Mission. And we are asking for your help, because we believe that every child should feel safe — whether they’re at home, at school, or in the arms of their mother or father. But boys and girls whose parents struggle with homelessness or addiction are burdened with extreme insecurity. Many of these children have endured more hardship than most of us can imagine.

Atlanta Mission is determined to help these families heal, by providing the comprehensive services that address root issues of poverty, addiction, and other crises. That’s why the matching gift from The Justin Landis Group at Keller Williams is so critical…

When you seize this opportunity to double your impact, you help meet the most urgent needs in Metro Atlanta. That includes food, shelter, counseling and life transformation. By God’s grace, your support gives new hope to homeless men, women, and children, reuniting families and healing broken hearts.


Your support is restoring families and giving hope to men, women and children facing homelessness in our city.

Redeeming Family Relationships

Emotions run high on Mother’s and Father’s Days at Atlanta Mission. Many of our guests, like Ikea, suffered through traumatic, heartbreaking childhoods. In fact, the main reason they’re here now is because of what they experienced back then.

Men and women who struggle with wounds from their past have to work hard to forgive, and their scars show up in unexpected ways — but our Heavenly Father can heal the deepest wounds.

You see His touch in a woman’s life as she becomes the mother she wished she’d had when she was a little girl. She grows in patience and love, nurturing her child tenderly.

You also see our Heavenly Father’s fingerprint on the men here, as they mature in faith and suffer a deep longing to reconcile with their children. They lead by example, not just with words, and the foundation of their interaction is love.

Your faithful prayers and support make this possible. You are not only transforming individuals, you are giving new life and hope to their families, too. As we celebrate Mother’s and Father’s Days, I thank you again for supporting this beautiful ministry of reconciliation.


Jim Reese
President & CEO

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