Angie’s Journey From Illness to Fulfillment
I became ill with a muscular skeletal disorder about 14 years ago. The illness was so complicated and hard to diagnose that I had to quit working while the doctors tried to figure out what was wrong. I was a single mother of three so my income was supporting the entire family. It was my pastor who recommended the Orlando Union Rescue Mission to me as a place my family and I could go during this difficult time.
I can still remember driving to the Mission, scared and extremely upset. I had been working since the age of 13, had a college education, and my career was going smoothly. I never expected something like this to happen to me. But when I took the tour of the Mission, I was able to see the caring demeanor of the staff. I realized this wasn’t a shelter – it was a temporary home for families in temporary difficult situations.
I was quickly at peace with staying here. During my time I received food, support while I recovered from my illness, spiritual guidance and a chance to better my career skills. I made some of the best friends I’ve ever known, and I was also able to use my background to help other residents in developing their career experiences. To be in a place where I was growing -not only my physical health, but more importantly in my relationship with God by serving His people – was a huge blessing to me.
One day I took a dear friend of mine to a job preparation program at Goodwill. By God’s grace, I was also offered a position during the appointment. The director that offered me the position knew first-hand the challenges of being the sole provider of a family and graciously explained the benefits of this position and my chances of success at work and with raising a family. This position gave me career and spiritual growth.
From there, God blessed me to be able to help the Director of the Jobs Partnership program start the program in Central Florida (including the Mission) and I also worked with Frontline Outreach. Both of these programs are near and dear to my heart because they help men and women get the job training, education, or opportunities they need to succeed. And for the past nine years, I have worked as a Career Specialist/Advisor at UTI/Universal Technical Institute. This involves working with students from the age of 17 on up to help them grow in their future career endeavors and guide them through life’s obstacles.
When I was diagnosed 14 years ago, the doctors told me I would be in a wheelchair within a few years. I am proud to say that I am very healthy and I enjoy running and playing with my kids. God gave me the gift of a husband in 2007, since leaving the Mission and he also has three children. Our blended family of six children fills me with more blessing and joy than I ever could have imagined.
I will always thank the Mission for all they did for me and my children. I also thank them for the encouragement, guidance, and opportunities for growth that I still hold on to in my continued journey and share with others on a daily basis as I help them in their journey. I know that the Mission is so successful in their ministry because they teach people to fish rather than give them the fish. This way the families can not only continue to grow and succeed after they leave, but also be a blessing to others.
Angie was able to heal and rebuild her life. O.U.R. Mission Home offers this kind of life-changing care to more than 30 families each day. Your support today will create more stories of transformation tomorrow. Each gift of $26.82 provides a hot meal and care for a homeless man, woman or child in Central Florida!