Last year was a year of incredible life-transformation here at the Phoenix Rescue Mission. Thank you for helping is impact the community and share these amazing stories.
Time and time again we've witnessed a God at work whose specialty is turning impossible situations into stories of victory and hope. Just ask Luisa, who was a slave to methamphetamine for 17 years. Ask Melissa, who lost custody of her children or Andrew, whose addiction put him behind bars.
Each one will tell you how their situation was impossible, their problems insurmountable - until you helped change their perspective and gave them hope they never thought possible. Your support is making a difference in our community, one story at a time.
“For 17 years I was filled with shame and guilt. I had no hope,” admits Luisa, a recent graduate of our Women’s Recovery Program. Hundreds of women like Luisa come to us every year as prisoners, chained to an unending cycle of addiction and homelessness, followed by tragedy. But through your support, we’re able to put a stop to the destructive spiral by offering them a hand up in love, and witnessing God transform them from the inside out. “Coming to the Phoenix Rescue Mission’s Changing Lives Center changed everything. I was introduced to my Savior Jesus Christ and I found a love here that I never experienced before. My counselors taught me coping skills and pushed me in a way that encouraged me to work hard and not give up. Today I am a woman who is sober, who has lost 60 pounds, who has earned her high school diploma, and who has received the grace of God. Thank you Changing Lives Center for saving my life.
Andrew grew up in a home filled with drug use and violence. Using that experience as a baseline, Andrew experienced frequent run-ins with the law and spent most of his teenage years in Juvenile Hall. During one of his stays, he learned that his father’s addiction to alcohol had taken his life. Rather than recognizing the tragedy as a warning, the news only pushed Andrew further into his own addiction. “By the time I was twenty-two years old, I was addicted to any kind of drug I could get and I was using needles frequently,” admits Andrew, a recent graduate of our Men’s Recovery Program. The dark path Andrew was traveling would have led sooner or later to a meaningless end, but you help set him on a different path. “While I was in jail I started reading the Bible,” Andrew remembers. “I read that we needed to love God with all our mind, body, soul and strength. But I didn’t feel any of that. So I prayed, confessing that I didn’t love anyone because I didn’t know why I should. Right after that prayer, I opened the Bible and I read, ‘You love me because I loved you first.’ I was overwhelmed. After I was released, I felt led to find help. It was at the Phoenix Rescue Mission that I that learned what it meant to be a Christian and a follower of Jesus.” Today, Andrew is free from the addiction and violent tendencies of his past because you helped give him the counseling and direction that transformed his life. He not only graduated from our recovery program, but has also become a chaplain and is employed here at the Phoenix Rescue Mission. He’s taking college courses and has his own apartment.
"When the unthinkable happens, when the state comes to take away your children, it can seem like your world has come to an end. For the protection of the child, that separation is sometimes necessary. But thanks to friends like you, it doesn’t have to be permanent. You help give mothers like Melissa the tools to start over, to overcome their addictions and learn how to become the parents their children deserve. “I lost my kids through DCS because I couldn’t get clean. It was a wakeup call,” says Melissa, a recent graduate of our Women’s Recovery Program. “I knew I needed help. Fortunately, my parole officer pointed me to the Changing
Lives Center. It’s been 15 months and today I’m happy with myself for the first time ever. I’m free of the anxiety and depression that kept my addiction alive and my family is whole again. I get up every day and thank God for all He has done and will continue to do in my life.”
These stories only represent a small sampling of the transformation your support makes possible. Thousands of lives are changed in our city in a myriad of ways thanks to the prayers, volunteer hours and financial support friends like you provide. But as you can see, the number who need help continues to rise. Although God is certainly bigger than these numbers, His work is accomplished through the work of His people. We need your partnership now more than ever! Thank you for making 2016 an outstanding year. We are looking forward to an even brighter one in 2017 as we anticipate exposing more to God’s love than ever before! Together, we're making a positive impact in our city - one life at a time.