A Letter from Sammy, NLF Participant
Dear Donors and Supporters,
My days used to consist of panhandling for just enough money for alcohol, a half-gallon of gas and a little food. I tried to live as the master of my own little world, but when I was sober, all I had to do was look around to realize I had little left to be master over. In those moments of sobriety, I longed for relationship, to be around people that I love, rather than searching for the next bottle. I finally came to a point where the peace I was lacking outweighed the pain I was trying to escape. I’d been to the Mission several times before, but each time I was driven by things designed to enable my behavior and help me continue to feel like the master: a new job, a new house. This time, I came because I knew I needed Christ – I needed authentic hope and someone to take over the role I had been trying to play. At UGM, I found exactly what I needed – what I could never find at the bottom of a bottle. I’ve made up my mind to establish myself in relationship with Christ, not because I want to escape, but because I want to belong. Now, I have motive not to use, motive not to drink, motive to keep a job. Your giving to UGM has meant so much more than any amount of money I received on the street. It is what has truly begun to change my life.
A Letter from Ekatirina, NLF Graduate
I can still feel my daughter clinging to my leg, hear her screaming, “No mommy, don’t go! Don’t leave us like dad did.” My daughters’ father – my husband – hung himself years ago. I turned to meth, my mother turned me away, and my daughters were turned over to the care of my sister-in-law. I began selling everything I owned to try and follow them. When they flew out to Indiana, I planted a free sign out in the yard in front of all my possessions – I had nothing of value left in life. After that, I spent six months in jail, was almost killed by the Mexican cartel, and believed if I lived on the streets I would be killed. I ended up at Simonka Place because I literally had nowhere else to turn. It turned my life around. I’ve rediscovered hope and purpose through this place. And none of this would be possible without you. There is no longer a close-out sale on my self-worth – I’ve rediscovered it in Christ. Now that I’ve graduated from the New Life Fellowship Program I plan to find ways to give back and continue to grow my faith. I hope to finally be able to follow my daughters to Indiana – trusting God throughout the process.
Thank you for giving my life value again.