Gift of Grace Stories

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story-1WHO DO WE HELP?

We help women and children like Xandra and her family.

"IMAGINE BEING A CHILD and suddenly becoming homeless. That’s what happened to me when my mother decided it would be better for us to live on the street than to stay in an abusive home. So my mother, along with me and my two little brothers escaped to Pioneer Park carrying all of our belongings in garbage bags. We had no plans or place to go other than to get away.

I will always remember how scared I was. Fortunately, someone gave us the phone number to the Christian Aid Center and it wasn’t long before a staff member came to pick us up.

Everyone at the CAC was so happy to help us and gave us everything we needed to feel safe. I knew I wanted to be just like them when I grew up.

Twelve years later, I now have a family and two children. I am going to school to get a degree in education. I came back to the CAC not as a guest in need, but as a volunteer to fulfill my dream of helping others like they helped me. The volunteers and staff really made an impression on me and showed me how amazing people can be when God works through them." —Xandra


story-2WHO DO WE HELP?

We help women and children like Nancy* and her son.

“I'VE SEEN A LOT of brokenness in my life. I grew up in a broken home with broken people and I think, consequentially, I became broken as well. Years of being addicted to meth didn’t heal anything, but only brought me in contact with more broken people like me. I continued on a spiral of drug addiction for years, but this year was different. This year, I lost a lot of things in my life: my license, my home, my brother to a drug overdose, and my ten-year-old son to Child Protective Services (CPS).

I was almost arrested for driving on a suspended license six months ago. I was handcuffed, interrogated, and then left on the street in the middle of the night with no transportation and nowhere to go. After that night, I ended up here at the Christian Aid Center. Not only have I been clean for six months, but I am learning so much every day. I’ve graduated from the parenting classes; I’m now in class learning about boundaries, and I’ve even started leading tours of the Center when we have visitors. The people here at the Christian Aid Center believe in me, accept me, and are constantly pushing me out of my comfort zone to the place where I can grow. I am so grateful to the Christian Aid Center for showing me God’s love, peace, and acceptance, and for bringing me to a place where I can begin to heal.” —Nancy

*Name has been changed to protect confidentiality.


story-3WHO DO WE HELP?

We help women and children like Debbie* and her family.

 “I HAD A MESSED-UP childhood. My mom was a drug addict, so my grandmother raised me till I was seven. But my grandmother had some issues, so I moved back with my mom. My father was never around, and as the oldest of five children, I ended up raising my siblings, starting at the age of 12. About that time, my mom gave birth to a premature baby who died within minutes. My mom lost a lot of blood and almost died herself. It was all very traumatizing. My mom started using heroin, and I became a loner as a teen.

Mom ended up in prison when I was 15, I got pregnant at 16, and had two children by 18. I didn’t have any guidance through those years, and I made a lot of bad choices—meth, alcohol, and abusive relationships. I had no self-esteem.

Fast forward to my mid-20s. I had three children—ages 12, 11 and 9. I was an addict and in an abusive relationship. After I was sexually assaulted, I finally decided to get help. I realized my kids were also in danger, so I asked Child Protective Services (CPS) to take them while I tried to turn my life around.

I came to the Christian Aid Center, desperate. The circumstances that brought me here are sad. But I’m also blessed, because it was God who led me here. I’m learning to take responsibility for my choices and to set boundaries. And with God in my life, I feel better about my future, getting my kids back, and living a good life.” —Debbie

*Name has been changed to protect confidentiality.


story-4WHO DO WE HELP?

We help women and children like Elizabeth and her family.

“FOR THE LAST thirteen years of my life, I’ve struggled with alcoholism. At first it began as a way to temporarily escape from the trauma of leaving a thirteen-year-old relationship that ended abruptly. Then, I got involved with a very abusive man and the drinking escalated. At the same time, I was trying to take care of my children. I went through two alcohol recovery programs, but I failed to stay sober. In my relationships I was searching for something more, something that I could never find or understand.

After losing my apartment and walking away from that abusive relationship, I moved into a household that struggled with addictions. We enabled each other’s addictions until I got tired of it all—tired of the drinking, tired of the never-ending cycle, and tired of just being tired. I wanted and needed a different way to live. So I moved out without a plan or a place to go and eventually found my way here to the Christian Aid Center.

Now I am taking classes that encourage me to speak about my feelings, teach me how to cope with trauma without alcohol, and how to be a better parent. I’m also studying the Bible. For the first time, I have structure and purpose in my life. I even have dreams and ambitions that I never had before. 

With the help of the Christian Aid Center, I have found what I was searching for—Jesus. And through Jesus, I will never be alone. God has a purpose for me.” —Elizabeth