The Moment it All Changed
During a single month in 2012 we turned away two pregnant women. We just didn’t have the capacity to serve them in our downtown LifeChange program. We had a small recovery program for single childless women only. We knew that wasn’t enough. We were already talking and thinking about a new way to serve not only women, and we wanted to add children. I remember we floated the idea on our Facebook page of expanding our women’s program and a homeless woman wrote, “We need this. I’m living in my car and I’m scared … ”
Telling two pregnant women “We can’t help you” and the words “I’m scared … ” from a vulnerable woman, that was a turning point. We began trusting God for the resources as we found a property for the new women and children’s center in Beaverton and relied on donors, volunteers and churches to provide the essentials to get us up and running. We opened in December 2013, and have been blessed to help so many women and children escape abuse, homelessness and addiction. On the day we opened we had been so stretched that we didn’t have the time or funds to buy food! That afternoon a church brought in dinner and a week’s worth of food. God began to multiply our loaves and it hasn’t stopped!
Our women and children’s center is a place of safety and healing. It is a place full of what we call “happy noise” as children are getting the care and stability they need to thrive. It is a place where moms and children heal together. A mom does not have to face the prospect of giving up her child to the foster care system because she needs help to recover from addiction or homelessness.
Mother’s Day is just around the corner. I think of all the moms who are learning great parenting skills and becoming healthier mothers every day at the women and children’s center. This will have an amazing impact on each child’s future. The bonds of abuse and addiction are being broken.
I encourage you to recognize a mom you care about by making a donation in her honor to help moms in need at Union Gospel Mission. This is a simple way to do two very important things – 1. Honor a wonderful mom 2. Help a mom and child in need create a new, happy future.
Executive Director of Union Gospel Mission, Bill Russell, wrote this blog post. Bill has been a leader at Union Gospel Mission for 25 years. He is the co-founder of Union Gospel Mission’s LifeChange recovery program. LifeChange helps men, women and children escape abuse, addiction and homelessness to transform their lives.