A Family’s Hope For The Holidays
Djerry and Patricia had high hopes when they moved to Orlando from Atlanta during the fall of 2016. They had secured jobs, put down a deposit on an apartment, and were ready to start a new life with their three sons.
But their dream became a nightmare when they arrived to find they were victims of a rental scam. There was no apartment, and their deposit and first month’s rent were lost.
So instead of an apartment, they wound up paying nearly twice as much for a basic hotel room. And without a stove or refrigerator, they had to order out for all their meals, which was costly.
“We had used all our money to get down here,” Patricia says. “We were working, but paying $340 a week in rent and eating out every night, we were spending more money than we made.” By God’s grace, Patricia learned about the Mission’s Family Home. They applied, were accepted, and moved in last December – four days before Christmas.
“A safe place to stay was the best Christmas present we could ask for. And to make things even more special, they had Christmas gifts for the kids. We were so blessed.”
Patricia is now studying to become a medical patient care technician, while Djerry continues to work full-time as an auto detailer. Their boys are doing well in school and the family is paying off debts and saving money for their own place.
But it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. Mission guests are expected to follow guidelines and are held accountable, and Djerry had a hard time with that at first.
“I was like, ‘I’m a grown man and nobody’s going to tell me when I can come and go, and what I can do.’ I also had a hard time with the fact that I couldn’t provide for my family.”
When Djerry continued to break other rules, the family’s status at the Mission was in jeopardy. But with extensive counseling and lots of prayer, he let go of the emotional baggage and resentment. Today, he attends First Baptist Orlando’s Celebrate Recovery program and is a model guest, while Patricia is grateful wife.
“I think us almost getting kicked out of here made him see the consequences of his actions and helped him become a better person. He’s growing into the man that God wants him to be, and it’s made our family stronger.”