Last Christmas was awful. On Christmas day, I took a walk. The streets were empty, just like me. I had no family, no presents, no joy, nothing. How did I get here?
I was born in a home filled with drugs, alcohol, abuse, and violence. I experienced things no child ever should. For three years, I was abused by my uncles. I’ve got scars from my head to my legs, all from my family. So I grew up angry and full of hate. And I spent my life taking it out on everyone I knew.
I did get married, twice, but I lost both marriages because of my anger and emotional abuse. I have two daughters who want nothing to do with me, because I didn’t know how to love them. When my second marriage ended, I was left with nothing. I had nowhere else to go, so I came to Union Rescue Mission.
The Power of Love
When I came here, drugs and alcohol weren’t killing me. Rage was killing me. I came here because I needed a whole new life. That started when the staff here introduced me to a God who loved me. It continued as I opened myself up to my chaplains and to my brothers here who showed me every day they loved me.
“I grew up angry and full of hate.”
But God also transformed my life through the counseling I got here through the Pepperdine Mental Health Clinic. The more I opened up to my counselor, the more I could face my lifetime of hurts, abuse, and anger. I could let go of my fears, and I could let God fill the emptiness in my life with His life-transforming power, grace, and love. It’s taken a year. But God has brought me out of darkness and filled me with happiness. The angry man I was is gone. I have God in my life, and that’s a joy I will never lose.
The Best Christmas Gift I Ever Got
“I could let God fill the emptiness in my life...”
Last Christmas was awful. I felt empty and alone. This Christmas, it’s so different. I’m not empty. I’m not alone. I’m surrounded by a new loving family at Union Rescue Mission.
As a donor, your support made it all possible. You gave me the greatest Christmas gift anyone could ever give me: a new life. Thank you — and Merry Christmas!
Your gift will give more hurting neighbors the chance to start a new life this Christmas. Will you give today?
URM’S 28TH ANNUAL CHRISTMAS STORE
Give Kids Experiencing Homelessness Joy at Christmas
Thanksgiving and Christmas can be difficult for families experiencing homelessness. But for 28 years, Union Rescue Mission’s Christmas Store has brought joy into their lives when they needed it most.
Thanks to the Christmas Store — and generous friends like you — hundreds of families will find new hope this holiday season.
This year, hundreds of precious children at Union Rescue Mission, Hope Gardens Family Center, and other agencies serving underprivileged kids throughout the greater Los Angeles area will receive brand-new gifts because of the 28th annual Christmas Store.
On December 12th, hundreds of moms and dads with little or no income will enjoy the dignity of being able to provide their children with gifts they select themselves (for free) and give to their children personally.
Help us provide families with Christmas joy by donating an unwrapped toy to our Christmas Store through December 11. For information, please contact Yvonne Belmontez (213) 316-2730.
Help families experiencing homelessness feel true joy at Christmas with your gift today.
YOUR GENEROUS GIFTS AT WORK: MENTAL HEALTH CARE
Many of the men, women, and children at Union Rescue Mission struggle with deep psychological wounds, often the result of sexual abuse, physical and domestic violence, and other forms of emotional trauma.
Thanks to your support, Union Rescue Mission’s Mental Health Clinic, which is staffed by doctoral interns from Pepperdine University’s Department of Psychology, provides professional and compassionate care to guests recovering from addictions, past trauma, and homelessness. The clinic also helps people address their broken relationships and learn how to build new, productive coping strategies that will help them in their recovery.
STORIES FROM SKID ROW
Anger and remorse consumed him. See how your gifts helped transform Juan Carlos’s life!
The season of Advent and the days leading up to Christmas are a wonderful time for thoughtful reflection and joyful anticipation as we celebrate the birth of our Savior. This holiday season, please sign up to receive Rev. Andy’s Advent series of daily devotional emails. Each day until December 25, you’ll receive scripture and messages focused on the Joy of the Season.
PLEASE GIVE THE GREATEST GIFT OF ALL — THE CHANCE FOR A NEW LIFE!
For men, women, and children experiencing homelessness in Los Angeles, Christmas is the most painful time of year.
Everywhere they turn, people are celebrating with colorful presents, great food, and loved ones. But for them, the holiday season is just a daily reminder of everything they don’t have.
But not at Union Rescue Mission and Hope Gardens. This Christmas, men, women, and children will wake up with Christmas joy, knowing they are not forgotten, knowing that someone cares — someone like you.
For just $2.54, you can give those coming off the streets the chance for new life — starting with a meal!
Every $2.54 you give today will provide a delicious Christmas meal. Please be as generous as you can!
NOTES FROM ANDY
The Good News of God’s Greatest Gift
It was the first Christmas. The world was filled with violence, greed, cruelty, injustice, and the weight of sin. It was a world starving for compassion and love. Then, suddenly, that holy night, an angel appeared. “Don’t be afraid,” it said. “I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a savior has been born to you. He is the Messiah, the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11)
It was the good news of a Savior who came to transform the lives of hurting men, women, and children — a Savior who continues to transform lives today, the lives of people overwhelmed by abuse, neglect, addictions, homelessness, and sin.
And thanks to caring people like you, He’s transforming many of these lives at Union Rescue Mission. Your heroic, life-changing support not only provides people experiencing homelessness with meals and shelter today, you help introduce them to a Savior who can transform their lives for eternity.