By Lex McMillan

She came to Agape House last November after realizing that living with one of her daughters was not going to work for either of them.  An independent, strong-willed woman, she had previously lived for six years in a modest apartment in the Borough.  She was stunned last summer to receive a 30-day eviction notice from her landlord.  There had been no complaints, no conflicts.  She later learned that the landlord wanted to use the apartment for a daughter who is a student at Gettysburg College.

Now in her late 50s, she was born in Boston but moved with her parents to Adams County when she was six.  Her mother was a nurse, and her father had a management position in a prominent local manufacturing company.  She had an older brother who served in the Navy for 30 years and was a SEAL.  She described her family as “tight knit,” and credits her mother with giving her a strong Christian faith.  She is actively involved in a local church.

She quickly faced the chronic problem of limited housing for low-income people in our community.  As a temporary measure, one of her daughters invited her to stay with her while she looked for a new home.  It was not long before she realized that she simply had to get out.  She felt verbally abused, patronized, and manipulated.

She was married for almost 19 years, has three grown children and four grandchildren.  She graduated high school and earned her certificate as a Certified Nursing Assistant before completing her degree as a Registered Nurse.  She later earned a culinary certificate and worked in that field for several years after working for eight years as a nurse. She had always worked and prided herself on being self-sufficient.

She was delighted to discover an opening at The Agape House of the Adams Rescue Mission.  It was just what she needed: a chance to catch her breath in a place that showed her God’s unconditional love.  She was able to relax and not feel judged.  The staff helped her with managing and budgeting her limited income and assisted her in finding another apartment that she could afford.

Three years ago, she was hit by a truck while driving her car.  She sustained permanent injuries and now walks with a cane.  She is disabled and no longer able to work, so her income is limited.  On March 3 she was able to move out of Agape House into an apartment of her own.  She looks back with gratitude:  “I knew I had to do what I did, but I also knew that the Good Lord would take care of me.  He is my rock.”

Despite the challenges she has faced, she is hopeful.  She describes the Agape House as a “steppingstone” for her. They met her where she was and didn’t try to fix what wasn’t broken. She has reconciled with her daughter and loves being back in her own place.

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.

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