Archive for December, 2015
Our Women’s Auxiliary hosts an annual Christmas Bethel House Tea party for all of the ladies in our 12-month Residential Recovery Program. Last week, the Auxiliary organized their traditional program complete with carols and delicious holiday fare. It was a sweet time of fellowship and remembering whom we are celebrating in this season of great joy.
After a life destroyed by addiction, Leslie experienced a spiritual awakening at the Mission. “I realized it’s possible to stay clean—and maintain a relationship with God!” This is a miracle because Leslie may not have survived much longer on the streets. She says, “I’ve woken up in the shower with cold water spraying in my face . . . and with my boyfriend crying and screaming . . . and in the hospital as a Jane Doe. I didn’t even recognize my own life.”
Leslie hit rock bottom the day she was arrested. But in that darkest of moments, “a judge blessed me by giving me the choice to find a residential treatment facility.” Then God led her to the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission. “I grew so much at Bethel House,” she remembers. “I slowly blossomed into the woman I am today.” This strong, secure woman graduated from our life-recovery program alongside other men and women into stable, productive lives!
Leslie, for one, will tell you in a heartbeat how grateful she is for help from her “family” of friends at the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission. “It’s such a blessing to have someone love me for exactly who I am in this moment. My life has truly become more than anything I could have imagined—and I say that seriously, because I saw myself dying from my addiction.” But then Leslie continued, “I have come such a long way, escaping a life imprisoned in my own mind. Today I am free, alive, healthy, clean . . . and I have an abundance of love and light to send out to anyone who comes across my path.”
In this brief video, you will meet three of our former homeless guests, and see how we serve community members in need during the holidays.
A highlight of our annual Thanksgiving Feast was notes of hope from donors that were used as Thanksgiving table cards. Each one of our guests received a personal message from a caring donor. One such donor is Suzanne who wrote this note of hope: “Do not give up! The future is filled with good experiences for all. God be with you.” A guest at our feast named Sienna was so moved by her words that she wrote a note of response: “Suzanne, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart…you touched my heart with the message I received when I sat down.” Sienna shared that she was in a place where she really needed this encouragement, reminder and blessing. We are so grateful for the donors who not only give financially but also share their hearts.