Michelle Finds a Family During Time at the Mission
Michelle found more than a refuge from an abusive ex-husband when she and her daughter arrived at the Mission in 2003.
“I really needed a family and that’s what I found here,” she said. “The people here are family. The workers are family. It’s too bad we had to move out because I would have stayed in this family forever.”
Michelle came here from a domestic violence shelter in Sanford. She had already moved a number of times to get away from her ex-husband, who was continually trying to take her to court.
“My attorney told me he was trying to drain me of all my money and that’s what he did,” she said. “I had nothing when we got here.”
Michelle quickly made friends and began working in the kitchen as a disciple. The Victorious Life class gave her faith a spark and she developed a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
“I realized that every time I read the Word and got involved with it, that is when things got better for me,” Michelle said. “The stress went away when I put my faith in front. I learned I had to stay focused because the devil is always at work.”
Michelle grew up in Venezuela until her mother sent her to school in Italy. “I had to start all over with another language. Then I was sent to the United States and had to start over again with English.”
All of that upheaval kept Michelle from getting her high school diploma. When she got to the Mission, she discovered another reason for her academic problems.
“It turns out I had ADD,” she said. “The teachers there really helped me overcome it.”
Michelle got her high school diploma in 2004, and one of the things she is proudest of is that her daughter got to see her graduate.
“I wanted to be an example for her,” Michelle said. “I’m so glad that she got to see me graduate, and then I got to see her graduate last year.”
Michelle and her daughter had a small photography business until her daughter left this fall to attend Webster University in Missouri, where she is pursing a bachelor’s degree in art.
Today, Michelle lives in Lake County and works at an Orlando theme park.
“The Mission is a good place,” she said. “If you come to grow spiritually and become a better person and a better family member, it’s the right place to be. I’ll always feel like a part of this family.”
Michelle and her daughter were able to find stability during their time at the Mission. Each day, O.U.R. Mission Home offers life-changing care to nearly 33 families, like Michelle’s. Your gift of $26.82 provides a hot meal and a day of care for a homeless man, woman or child in Central Florida.