Blanca’s Last Resort was God’s Best – Orlando Union Rescue Mission

Blanca’s Last Resort was God’s Best

 In Story

Blanca was used to sitting on the helping side of the table – not on the side of needing help.

She had her Master of Social Work degree and had built a career around helping the less fortunate. Her world came crashing down however, when she lost her job in 1999, just weeks before the lease on her rental home expired. The owner decided to sell the home, forcing Blanca and her three kids to look for a new place to stay.

If Blanca was employed, this would have been inconvenient but manageable. But with no job in sight, she didn’t meet the standard qualification of earning three times the monthly rent payments. Blanca’s sister offered her home to the family as a temporary fix while Blanca looked for work.

Blanca’s family and pastor had recommended looking into the Orlando Union Rescue Mission but she refused. Throughout this time, Blanca describes herself as prideful and arrogant.

“I thought I could handle everything by myself. I wasn’t looking to God or anyone else for help – going to any kind of housing assistance program was absolutely at the bottom of my list of options,” she said.  “I had seen shelters before in my line of work and I wasn’t going to bring my children to live in one.”

The bottom dropped out when her sister announced that her family was moving away and Blanca had to leave – fast. All the doors were closed and all Blanca was left with her last resort. She arrived at the Mission with skepticism and apprehension, thinking it would just be a place to sleep at night. Instead, she found more than she could have imagined

“I felt like I was in a mansion. Everything was so nice and clean,” she said. “Not only that, but the staff wanted to help us build our lives on a foundation that would last.”

While here, Blanca took advantage of all there was available – finance classes, refresher courses in academic subjects and Bible studies. She renewed her once-forgotten faith in God and was able to see all three of her children place their faith in Christ during Vacation Bible School at the Mission.

Arrogance and pride was transformed into a humility and trust in God like she had never known. “Being at the Mission was like God taking me away from the world to a place where I could focus on Him and the real things in life that matter,” Blanca said.

For six months, Blanca tirelessly looked for a job that would support her family. She remembers sitting in her case manager’s office, displaying a stack of rejection letters but still determined to keep going Her patience and persistence finally won out when she was hired to work in medical billing. It wasn’t her ideal job but it paid the bills.

With a stable and sufficient job in place, Blanca’s family was able to move to a home of their own in Orlando. Blanca continued to work in medical billing for two years but longed to return to her true calling of social work. Having experienced homelessness personally, she was eager to extend her newfound sympathy and testimony to those in need.

Her opportunity came when a friend told her about an opening at Workforce Central Florida. She was hired to help members of the community write resumes, practice interviewing skills and apply for work. She can identify with the pain of rejection and the anxiety of the search because of her own experience 12 years ago.

“I tell my clients that there is hope. We don’t always know why we are in certain circumstances but we have to learn from them and keep going,” she said.

Blanca still lives in Orlando and has been at Workforce Central Florida for more than 12 years. Her oldest daughter now works there as well, serving in the same role. Her middle daughter is taking college courses while working at Wal-Mart and her youngest son is wrapping up high school. He plans to study engineering.

It’s been over 14 years since Blanca came to the Mission. Looking back, she can see that her last resort was actually God’s best for her family.

“What was sown in our hearts during our time at the Mission was not in vain,” she said. “I know now that when I walk in obedience to God, I walk in blessing, no matter what circumstances may confront me.”

Fourteen years after leaving the Mission, Blanca still remembers the impact friends like you made in their time of need.  Each day, O.U.R. Mission Home offers life-changing care to nearly 33 families, like Blanca’s. Help create more stories of life transformation through your support today. Each gift of $26.82 provides a hot meal and life changing care for a homeless man, woman or child in Central Florida.

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