Rediscovering Hope – Orlando Union Rescue Mission

Rediscovering Hope

 In Story

Andrene was just a handful of semesters away from graduating Howard University with a degree in business. Her dream was to start a career that would earn enough to live beyond the poverty she experienced when she was a child.

Then money ran out before she could complete her degree – and she had to return to her home in Orlando.

Andrene planned to return as quick as possible to complete her degree. Within 2 weeks of returning home, she found a job and an affordable place to live.  For six months, things seemed to be coming together. Christmas was just around the corner when she received devastating news: her company had to make lay-offs, and she was among them.

With 2 months of savings built up, she figured she had enough time to find new employment. But the days came and went with no luck. Depression started setting in. “I was looking at my life and comparing it to my friends’ lives. I felt like I had nothing,” she said.

The day finally came when her savings had dried up so much she couldn’t afford the month’s rent. Her family was unable to help due to their own difficult circumstances. Andrene felt more hopeless than ever – and cried out to God for help. The memory of her prayer is still all too clear, “I prayed that God would at least provide a bed for me to sleep in at night.”

“There were times I thought I would go hungry. But God always made a way. Even if it was finding a dollar so I could get something small.”

Through research of different resources in the area, Andrene came across the Orlando Union Rescue Mission. She can still remember walking in the door for the first time: “A staff member smiled at me and gave me a huge hug. If God put someone like that at the door to greet me, I knew everything was going to be ok.”

Since coming to the Mission, Andrene’s faith has been renewed. She realized that a degree and a job wouldn’t satisfy her – that could only be found in a relationship with Jesus Christ. Her earlier plan of getting a business degree fell by the wayside when she rediscovered her love of children. Through some research, she found a grant that helped her go back to school for a degree in early education. She plans to graduate in May 2013.

“I feel like God has renewed my life. There’s a joy in my soul I can’t describe with words. If it weren’t for caring people here and in the community, I would not be in the place I am right now.”


Recent Posts