Some folks may wonder why we fought so hard to give moms and children an opportunity to live a life of hope at Hope Gardens Family Center. With the Lord’s strength, we held up for 21 months, 34 neighborhood meetings, and a cost of nearly $1.9 million, until we finally made it to the day when we moved in the ladies and precious children.
One of the reasons we endured for so long is because we don’t see folks only as they are today – struggling, hurting, and overwhelmed by life. We see them as they will be in the future – hopeful, healing, and overcoming life’s challenges.
Recently, I received a card from a young lady in Des Moines, Iowa, whom I had assisted through a ministry program there that I was involved in. When I first met her, she was nearly 17, expecting a baby, and dropping out of school.
We offered her the kind of help that Hope Gardens offers and she turned us down the first time, but I kept track of her through a school counselor and friend. The next report I received was that she had 3 children, expecting a 4th, and was living in the back of a pick-up truck in someone’s backyard, amidst the snowy ground and the extremely cold temperatures. I encouraged the counselor to tell the young mother to come back for another visit to my ministry in Des Moines. The card she sent me years later says volumes about her choice to give life another try on the second visit:
10 years ago I stood before you an abused, drugged up, broken teenage mother of 3 and 1 on the way. I grudgingly asked you to let me live at Good Samaritan Urban Ministries, you opened your doors and arms and invited us in. Later you invited me to take a class you taught at Des Moines Area Community College. Your invites have shaped my life in more than one way. My life at GSUM introduced me to Christ and a drug-free life, and my first successful college course introduced me to a long journey to a college degree. This October I will be celebrating 10 years relapse free living and a degree in Elementary Education with a minor in Sociology and endorsements in Language Arts and Reading! Thank you for loving the broken and poor and thank you for dedicating your life to people like me.
Thank you for supporting Union Rescue Mission and our Hope Gardens Family Center. You are providing a place for miraculous turnarounds! Andy B.