The compassion and honest-to-goodness love I felt here blew me away.

With Jesus in my heart, I have the confidence that, through him, I can do anything.

Totally blindsided

Angel came to Simonka Place after an abusive relationship with her boyfriend left her broken,  lost,  and desperate. He got very abusive and became an alcoholic and very controlling. I was totally blindsided. I tried to leave him and … ended up in the hospital because he hurt me and then killed himself.” 

During her time in the hospital, Angel had lost her job. When she had healed and was released from the hospital, she was evicted from her apartment because she couldn’t pay her rent.  

Suddenly, Angel was homeless.  

After staying at a local shelter as long as she could, Angel couchsurfed at her friend’s house for a short time, which didn’t pan out. 

Angel traveled up to Salem determined to find a job. When the opportunity fell through, she found herself in a new town with no work and nowhere to sleep for the night. 

 Is this really a shelter?

Seeking help, Angel reached out to Simonka Place for Women & Children. “I called them and they had an open bed, so I came right down.” I just thought it was a normal shelter, you know?” She recalled. It was just a place to come in, eat food, sleep, find a job, and get back out on my own. 

Walking through the doors with these expectations, Angel was completely caught off-guard by what she witnessed 

It was only my second day here at Simonka and I walked down the hallway in the morning and I heard a lot of commotion in the chapel and I poked my head in. Miss Lily invited me in and I sat down and watched a girl sitting in a chair – that they call the hot seat, you know – and everyone was just pouring out love to this girl in the chair and I’m like, this is a shelter?’” 

It was here that Angel first experienced the love of our Savior. “I didn’t know about Jesus before I got here. But I got a taste of His goodness and love and wanted so much more of it. The compassion and honest-to-goodness love I felt here blew me away. For so long I didn’t have that. I had forgotten what it felt like. I just surrendered to Him.” 

Celebrating Christmas as a new creation

Angel joined our New Life Fellowship recovery program, her love of Jesus growing as she recovered from past feelings of worthlessness and abuse. “I know that I am loved. I have more confidence than I’ve ever had. I’ve gotten three of my four GED classes completed in the short time I’ve been here.” 

Because of you, Angel will be celebrating Christmas as a new creation, filled with the great joy of God’s love! 

“I have hope. With Jesus in my heart, I have the confidence that, through him, I can do anything.” 

And again, when God brings his firstborn into the world, he says, “Let all God’s angels worship him.” 

-Hebrews 1:6 

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From where I began [at UGM], I’ve come almost full circle because I’m mentoring a guy down there right now.
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