Special from the Adams Rescue Mission
By Lex McMillan
No one plans to be homeless, but when she was 35 with two young children, she realized that she was at a crossroad. The small business that she had launched with her boyfriend had failed. Her relationship with him was also failing. She knew she had to leave him, but she was in debt and had no place to turn.
Her parents had divorced before she was 6. Growing up she had bounced between her mother’s home and her father’s home in another state. Neither could be a resource for her. Although strong and optimistic, she felt that she was out of options.
A friend at her church suggested she meet with Connie Keller, the manager of Agape House, the family shelter operated by the Adams Rescue Mission. Fortunately, there was space available in the ten-apartment residence on Chambersburg Street. She moved into a tidy one-bedroom apartment with her children in early summer of 2019 and enrolled in the Agape House program.
She describes coming to Agape House as like “going to grandmother’s house.” But this is not a grandmother who merely wants her grandchildren to enjoy themselves. She quickly realized that Agape House would expect as much from her as she would receive from the counselors who gave her a chance to begin again. She described it as a place for “active rest.”
She discovered there that a major theme of her difficult life was believing that “it’s all on me. I had to be the strong one. To fix everything.” Through the Agape House program, which balances discipline with love, she learned that it’s ok to fail and to start over. She also learned that a loving family is the foundation for a healthy life. The healing that she experienced at Agape House and counseling to deal with her repressed traumas extended to her relationship with her children, particularly the older child, who was 10. She was learning to let go of the need to “power through” every challenge and to accept the love of God that was coming to her through her church and the staff at Agape House.
She came to realize that she had never been parented. At Agape House, she found healing and peace. She also received the practical tools she would need to manage her life more effectively. An essential part of the program is learning to make a budget and stick to it.
She worked diligently at Agape House, began applying for jobs, and completed the program in four months. She now has a full-time job with benefits in her field, is living on her own with her two children, and paying down her debts. She says the most valuable thing she learned while at Agape House was that she had never before taken seriously her need to allow herself to heal. Her gratitude to Agape House is deep. Her hope for the future is high.
The Adams Rescue Mission exists to proclaim the passion of Jesus toward the hungry, homeless, abused, and addicted; to accelerate recovery and restoration to the least, last, lonely, and lost. Lex McMillan is a board member of ARM.
To support the Mission: http://www.adamsrescuemission.org/donate-now.