Courage to Begin Again…

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Talking to Gussie is a little like talking to a bashful young woman in the middle of discovering she has something special to offer the world. In the past couple of years she has battled grief, spread her wings of independence, and gone from being homeless to volunteering in our women’s overnight shelter.

“The reason I moved from Asheville to South Carolina about a year ago is that my fiancé died. When he died it really did something to me. The memories were so strong that I had to get away and take a break to grieve. It’s not easy getting over that kind of love, but WCRM has been here for me and helped me learn how to deal with it.

“When he passed, I was helping here as an overnight supervisor, and when I left for South Carolina the staff made it clear that I could come back to the Mission anytime.” In fact, staff members shared that they called Gussie to come back from South Carolina on a few occasions when scheduling issues arose.

“My heart was always here at the Mission helping others. I needed to come back, and I’ve been back four months working the night shift with the women upstairs. They’ve needed me more than I thought they would.”

According to a staff member, it has always been more difficult to find volunteer staff for the women’s program than the men’s program. “Gussie has done a great job for us and for our women and children. We are delighted to have her back.”

Gussie shared that she enjoys, “Working with the women, helping them know they are safe, and making sure they know they can count on us when they have a problem they need to talk about. I’ve been down the road they’re on, and it’s not easy. Having been homeless for three years was a wake up call, and while I wouldn’t want to go back and repeat it again, I learned a lot through it. I’m not bitter about my past circumstances because they helped me to grow, to trust others, and to depend on God.

“Was I scared? Yes. Who’s not scared to be homeless? And who’s not scared to venture out again after being homeless? Everyone needs another chance. Just like everyone, I have regrets, but I cannot hold on to regrets. I have to show these women the love they don’t think they deserve. If I don’t show them love, they won’t want to change.

In addition to being a volunteer staff member, Gussie is taking part in our Abba’s Love program*, which is helping her rebuild from the inside out. She is also participating in Success Academy*, a multi-faceted training program that builds work and life skills to help people move toward self-sufficiency. The more involved in training Gussie gets, the more confidence she is gaining to help her take the next steps of growth and self-sufficiency.

Thank you! Your gifts have not only helped Gussie step into the light of opportunity, they have given her courage to risk starting over again. Please join us as we pray for Gussie’s continued success.

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