Special from the Adams Rescue Mission
By Lex McMillan
When she was 14, her parents divorced after her father went to prison for having abused her for years before her mother knew of it. She was placed in a foster home where she remained into her early 20s. Her foster parents operated a horse farm where she came to love being around the horses and other farm animals. She has happy memories of attending horse races and getting to know the jockeys at a thoroughbred track near her foster home.
She married in her early 20s when pregnant with her first child, and two more children soon followed. She spent the next 27 years being a mother and homemaker. In April 2017 she was a passenger in a serious car accident on the Chambersburg Road. Critically injured, she was air-lifted to the hospital where she underwent hip reconstruction surgery. While in the hospital for more than two weeks recuperating, her husband filed for divorce.
Having never completed high school, she has had great difficulty finding work, but after her divorce she began volunteering at the Adams Rescue Mission where she met Jill, the resident staff person at Agape House. For two winters after her divorce, she was virtually homeless and had received food, shelter, and community support through Gettysburg C.A.R.E.S. (Combined Area Resources for Emergency Shelter) and the local soup kitchen. When the Covid pandemic struck in early 2020, she could no longer work at the Rescue Mission, and her small financial settlement from the accident was almost gone. Jill offered her a place at Agape House, where she has found more than shelter for the past 18 months.
“They have helped me a lot. I don’t know where I would go without Agape House” she said.
While looking for work and planning to complete her GED, she has enjoyed volunteering at the local Clothing Closet and the Blessing Shop on Baltimore Street. She also volunteers to watch children at the Intersection Church, where she was recently baptized.
With the help of Agape House staff, she has learned to budget and manage her finances, start saving money, and learned to navigate the complexities of state aid programs. She is getting professional counseling to deal with past traumas and improve her self-esteem.
Most importantly, she feels that she is growing closer to God. She enjoys weekly Bible study and feels that she is getting back on her feet. “I have felt God’s love here,” she said. Her fellow residents have enjoyed her cooking skills throughout the confinement of Covid. “I like to stay busy,” she explains. She regularly bakes cookies and other treats for all to share. Feeling safe and secure for the first time in many years, she is looking to the future with renewed hope.
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 an ARM board member.
To support the Mission: http://www.adamsrescuemission.org/donate-now.