Hi, I'm Kate Wadsworth. Welcome to this special Thanksgiving edition of light of life rescue missions podcast. Hope unveiled. Last week we had our annual client and staff Thanksgiving dinner where everyone had a chance to express what they are grateful for, enjoy hearing what they shared and have a happy thanksgiving.
So I'd like to start out saying qhat I'm thankful for. I'm thankful for the women at sister's house. Let me tell you a story because it made me cry. Um, the women, his sister's house, they go every Thursday and Saturday and they volunteer at the meal ministry and I had one of the women come to me this week and she said to me, she said, Sherry, can I talk to you? And I said, yeah. She said, I ran into this woman. She said it wasn't really busy and I got to sit down and I got to talk to her. And here she is, she's homeless, she's living in her car and she has an addiction issue. She, I said, oh. And she said, and I got to talk to her and I got to tell her that there's hope, that I understand it, that I, you know, I've been there and to give her her her experience in strength and now that's all cool to like, that touched me. But this next part is what really brought me back to it was she said I went to a hug her and she didn't want me to hug her because she said that she smelled she's and she said, I told her it doesn't matter. And she said I hugged her and to me that just taught me a whole lot and she said, do you think I can like get her some shampoo and stuff? Yeah, you can do that. But in all things I think that we can learn from each other. So that really touched me. So I'm thankful for the women and the women's heart at sister's house.
Hello, my name is Vira. Um, I would like to say I'm grateful for the People God put in my life today.
Hi, my name's Melissa. I just want to say that I'm very thankful to this program. And it's really helping to change my life for myself and my children.
Hi, I'm Julie. I'm, I'm thankful for light of life, all the staff and all the women that God put in my life and also that they are helping me build my life and work on my nursing license. And
I'm tiffany. I'm, I'm thankful for this program and I'm really thankful for the relationships that God has been mending in my life. Um, just yesterday my mom contacted me for the first time in 10 years and I was actually able to carry on a conversation with her and um, she's actually like showing interest in my life and in my son and her grandson. So it was just a really special moment. So I'm grateful for that.
Hi, I'm amber. Um, I'm, I'm thankful for, um, light of life group program and um, my children, him and I have a five year old daughter. Um, I'm very thankful to be alive today because there was a moment where I had overdosed and my daughter found me. So it was like really traumatic. So that's what I'm really grateful for. Just to be able to be here for my children. Thank you.
Hi, my name is Kristi. Um, I'm thankful to be alive first of all, I'm thankful for Ms Sherry and all the staff at the light of life program. I'm thankful to be a part of sister's house. I'm thankful for the new friends that I've made at sister's house. Um, I want them to be lifelong friendships and I'm thankful to be clean today. Thank you.
Hi, I'm Deeayja and I'm thankful for God just keeping me here and becoming a better parent than that I knew I can be in the light of life program and my children and that's it, thank you.
I'm Gina and I am so, so thankful for my loving, caring family. When I started my journey of recovery 14 months ago, they were all there for me and every step of the way, my family kept growing and my immediate family is 37 people right now. And then I moved to the sister house, so we added 11 more then I went to the program and we added 40 more. And now I'm looking around at all of you and I don't know where I'm going to put you for Christmas.
I'm Robin Griffin. And I am excited. I am blessed today. We celebrate one year, November the third, I suffer from alcohol. Um, God has blessed me and is teaching me that I could live like everybody else. Um, I am thankful for sisters group and I am so grateful for all, all the staff during all the love they have showed me since I've been there on he been here for going on three weeks. And um, and I am so thankful for my new apartment. And like I say all the time, Light of life got it going on.
I'm amber. I'm very thankful for this blessing that God has gave me to be a part of sister's house in the light of life program with the women and children. He has definitely shown me that blood isn't always fam. Your family isn't always blood. And I got a whole bunch of sisters now that I just love to death and I'm very grateful for you, Ms Sherry and your staff. You guys mean the world to me and I'm so thankful to have this opportunity.
My name is Joyce Hernandez. U'm, I don't want to cry, but I'm just thankful because for the first time in three years I have a home for me and my eight year old and we have our first thanksgiving in a really long time and I'm thankful for the program and everybody and that she's finally home with me. Um, and for God. Thank you.
Hi, I'm Rashawn and I'm, first of all I want to say that I'm thankful for Ms Sherry for giving me another chance and I'm thankful for my family. My mom just passed away, you know, we're so grateful for her and the love she had for the Lord. And I want to make her proud. So thank you.
I have speech. No, just kidding. But my name, my name is April, I'm to, I'm a grateful recovering alcoholic addict. Um, and the reason I had to write stuff down, it's because I have a lot of social anxiety, believe it or not, to those people who do know me and I'm comfortable around, I'm, I can talk fine. But when I'm in a big crowd, I kinda get fumbled with my words. So I just wanted to make sure that I really said what I needed to say as far as what I'm grateful for. Um, cus I first want to give honor to God. I'm so grateful that God still still here as a sinner's prayer because if it wasn't for him hearing my prayers, I wouldn't be here where I'm at today. I'm so grateful that even when we turn our backs on God and do what we want to do, our own wealth, that God has never and will never leave us or forsake us, and that even through my mistakes, my imperfections, he sent his son to die on that cross so that I can be made perfect through his son, through Jesus Christ. And I will be able to fulfill his perfect will and purpose for my life. And that's what I'm great for. Sure.
Hello. Hello. My name is Shimica Buckner and I am a grateful recovering addict as well. Um, uh, had a second chance at this program and with second chances. God never left my side. And now that I have okay because I'm tall, I'm now. My life has changed. I have changed. God has made it possible for me to see my future and not be blind to it. And I believe there is so much power in prayer. Um, everybody in my group knows that I like to pray when they say this is what I want to pray. I will be the first one that I raised my hand because I believe that if it wasn't for people praying for me in my addiction and praying for me because they knew I was struggling, that I wouldn't be here praying for other people too. So like, I want to give so much thanks and I have so much gratitude to Ms. Sherry and Ms. Michelle for giving me a second chance because I was there a problem child and now. And let me get there. I didn't finish yet. Now I have. See, I believe, I believe in structure. I believe in that I, my addiction was so bad that I needed someone so much structure in my life that Ms. Sherry was afraid to let me off probation, but like God is good because it works for me. I said, you know, Ms. Sherry, you don't got to worry cause you like five probation officers. But like I'm so grateful for the sisters that I have at sister's house, and I'm a. I am a good mother today. I'm a good grandmother today. Yes. I'm a grandma and I just want to say I love you all. Thank you.
Um, I'm Antonia, I'm at sister's house as well. Today. I'm thankful for trusting God no matter what and turning everything over to him and whatever his will is. In September I was at age h and after a month long background check they denied me because I have a criminal history pretty extensive from 10 years ago, but just by trusting God and working with the staff at light of life, God gave me a job working at a law firm, which is what I went to school for and what I thought I'd never do again. Um, so like I'm so thankful for that and I'm thankful to be where I am thankful that God shows me talents that I never knew I had. Um, I mean, and I never knew that I could paint. I never knew I could just do so many things because I was high all the time. So this is what I'm thankful for today.
Im Ronnie. Excuse me, I needed to clear my throat there. I'm going to have two years clean tomorrow. It's not me, it's gone. I have twins, they're 18, getting ready to graduate high school. I got a relationship with them again. I'm grateful for the light of life because they gave me a second chance. I didn't desteve a second chance, but they gave it to me anyways. And I gotta thank God for that also. I didn't think I was going to have two days rather than two years, but God is providing. Today, this is a blessing. I'm blessed to get a second chance. Most people don't get second chances in life. I was one of them fortunate ones and I did. I'm going back to school. I got to get a sponsor. I got a good foundation built my, um, have a good sponsor. I'm part of the committee board. I've been to conventions. I mean, I can't ask for much more today. My Mom and dad's gone, excuse me, and I'm looking down at me right now. Um, if I can do it, you can do it. Thank you.
Hello everybody. My name is butch. Um, first of all, I want to thank, uh, Lloyd. It gave me a warm welcome the other day and to the Light of Life, now, I feel official and I want to thank my friend Hutch who taught me how to care for people. I grew up with Hutch, uh, as you know, he's very nice guy and Light of Life has been a blessing. It's changed my life. Thank you. God bless Light of Life.
My name is Didi. I'm one of the cooks over at the mission and I'm, I'm just so grateful that the Lord has brought me here and I'm grateful for the fellow staff that took me under their wings and just treated me like family the moment I got here and so grateful for all the volunteers and like all of their hard work that they put in like week after week and helping us and it's just been such a blessing and I'm looking forward to another year hopefully here. All right. Yeah.
I',m Dennis, I got to say this, I'm an alcoholic addict, but I'm grateful first of all, for finding a relationship with Jesus, having a relationship. I'm grateful for my sobriety. I'm grateful for light of life. I've had failings and come to light and ways that I never knew I had. I've always, uh, this is my first time of recovery. I've always had in prison or jail. But, uh, through a loving people, Ms. karen Strickland, Rusty, Abdul. There's from, from the front door to the ceiling. It's just full of love and good, good people. And will you see people like at working in other people's lives and yours, for me, it's just a mind boggling. If it were up to me, I would never leave here. I'm trying to work on that as we speak. But it's truly, it's truly a blessing. I mean the activities. I mean, once again from the front door, Jimmy, our fearless leader was security. Um, both taught both Harvey's. I mean, you're greeted in care to buy from the front door all the way up. If you got a problem, just even how people walk around and associate with you and talk to you and ask how your day's going. Uh, I'm blessed and it just, so it's, it's so unbelievable to see how God works. Like, uh with me and Ms. Karen, I love her to death. And if I hadn't had anybody different is a care team leader, probably wouldn't have worked the way it did for me. She don't, she don't give you free passes with life for anything. Like if you say something, you better remember it because if you don't, she will. I need that. And I used to think, oh man, I got Karen. Talk about parole officers! But uh, I just couldn't say enough. Chuck's now involved a can't tell a book by its cover because I saw chuck would be real tight and stiff. He just real loose guy was a ton of knowledge that wants to give it to you. It just, the whole thing's a blessing. My relationships even with the residents. Uh, I love them and that's the biggest, that's the most of a family of I've ever had. I mean everybody else. It was about what you were doing and what you had a bearish about what they'll give you. So I got. But I'm grateful. Thank you.
How do you fear up after that act. Um, my name is Philip. I'm a resident at Light of Life. I'm just thinking about what I was going to say when I came up here. The only thing that I could honestly say it's a term used loosely. I'm, I am so grateful for the grace of God. I mean the power of God, a realizing what he's done for me. You know what I mean? In Jesus Christ. I mean, I'm forgiven of my sins. I used to condemn myself to death and I'd be in this vicious cycle that I want to get high, getting to numb the pain and the guilt and shame. I don't have to do that no more because she just cries, paid for all that you know, any I shouldn't every day. It's not that, I guess what I've learned, it's about your perspective, what you believe in Christ, and it's really the truth that sets you free. If you understand the grace of God. Thank you.
Hello everybody. My name is Mirane. Close. Closer. Hi. Hello everybody. That sounds better. Okay. Hey, I'm, I'm not. I'm not up here while I am up here to, um, say what I'm thankful about. But mostly everybody in you already know what I'm thankful about. I'm thankful for their love that they showed me. Especially especially the guys and the women in light of life. There's one guy that you know, allows this thing that happen for me to be here, but he told me he tired of hearing me say his name. So Rusty I'm not gonna. Say Your name. I've, honestly, man, I mean me, Mirane Carrie, you would have to really know me that these people in accepted me went through all my bull crap because I got some bull crap will tell you, and they dealt with it and I stuck with them and I'm here know I'm so grateful. I mean it didn't take the. This is the craziest thing. In January I'll be going to school, CCAC to become a drug and alcohol counselor. Giving back. I'm living the dream and I thank y'all.
Hi, I'm Lydia and the assistant manager for our donation center and this stuff. A lot of things that I could be thankful for, but I think the number one thing that I could say that I'm thankful for is God's presence and the reality and power of his presence. See, it says in the Bible that God promises that when two or more gathered that God shows up. Look how many people that are here right now. Look around you. Seriously, look around you. This is a community where God's presence shows up. Things Change supernaturally. People are healed from the inside and out, and we're in an organization that allows for God to do that. And that's amazing. So I want you guys to just even acknowledge that God is here and I'm thankful that we can acknowledge that. And then when two of us are gathered or you, even when all of us are gathered together, that God is here and he loves us and his love is here and it's so tangible and it's just, it's a great thing. So I'm just thinking for God's presence because it's good.
Hi everyone. My name is Corrin and I work on the development team. Um, and I'm thankful for a lot, but I'm especially thankful that a few years ago I was a volunteer at light of life and I was able to see the work that God does in all of our lives and in all of the client's lives. And so that really inspired me to want to get more involved. And then shortly after that I was going through such a rough time at work, like where I used to work and I was just praying and I'm praying for a community of people that I could trust and believers, a community of believers and this year, like I was just talking to my husband about this yesterday, this time last year, like the person that I was then versus who I am today is just so different because of the growth that God has given me and I wouldn't have that without light of life and without knowing all of you here. So I'm just very grateful that I get to work here every day and I'm grateful that I get to witness what I get to witness everyday through doing that. So thank you guys for being a part of my community.
Hi, I'm amber. Not Funny. Don't pick one little people have hearts too. You know what? I'm amber. I'm a women and children's program. And um, I'm grateful for second, third, fourth, and fifth chances because that's how many times it took me to get it. I'm, I'm grateful for the life program because today I have my 15 year old daughter, um, and we have an awesome relationship. She works my nerve because that's what teenagers do. Her room's always a wreck and she's always in my clothes, but I love her. Um, I'm grateful for the women that I got to get close to when I was in sister's house for the six months that I was there, I gained a dad, a Maddie, for my daughter. I gained a big sister and I gained a bunch of other little sisters that I call on whenever I need anything. Um, I'm just so grateful to be given the opportunity to grow within this program, to give my daughter a God again and also to grow within the word myself. So thank you.
Hey how y'all doing. You know what? I'm a recovering addict. My name Abdul when I want to thank God for today because I heard them say that I heard the women come up here and say they were recovering addicts. You know, I work at live your life from the care team leader, but I'm also a recovering addict. And what I know about the disease of addiction, whatever we talk about is I got clean time. I celebrated 14 years clean. But when you get clean time that we got an enemy to try to tell us we don't got no recovery. We got enemy to try to tell us, you don't get up there and say you grateful you on me cause I ain't get up here for two years. I didn't get up here because. Because I was just going on that. But I said, I'm gonna. Get up here this year. I'm going to stop listening to that. I started listening to God so I just want to thank God for getting me out of that hole in the wall was in 14 years ago. I came out of the, you know all that stuff man, because they, I mean I'm grateful for my job and all that. But if I wouldn't have came out with that, it never got that. You know what I mean? And, and everybody prompt me to go into my testimony because they were telling their's and it touched me in a place that did a recovering person get touched. And when you get touched, you gotta share where you came from, and that's where I came from, came from the hole in the wall and here because of Christ, I'm here today to be the person that I am today off drugs with, covering 12 steps, all that. I'm grateful for all that and I'm just grateful for the people at Light of Life who support me, my, my coworkers, my colleagues, people that been around me, the community, the healing community. I say loud healing community. Cus that's what we're about. That's our philosophy. So I'm a share about that. I'm always shared about that, you know what I mean? So, because I love community and I think I'm Jerell say addiction community is opposite of addiction. If you can, you can. If you in community, you can recover man. He can overcome this man. And we got to do this together so we can all live together. So I just want to thank God. I want to thank y'all for listening to me. Thanks.
Hi, my name is Marge. Um, you know, I think about a few years ago I was in recovery and as hard as I tried, I had such difficulty building any kind of a connection with God. Um, I'm very grateful that through the opportunity that I've had through light a life that, that has changed about 100 percent. I have such loving women in my life today. Um, I'm honored to be a part of sister's house and I'm just, I don't know, it's overwhelming at times, you know, but, um, I have life today. You know, I have so many people in my life today, so very grateful.
Hi everyone, my name is Harvey and I wasn't thank God at the bottom of my heart for what he has done in my life through Jesus Christ. And I too was a heroin addiction. I was hopeless, heroin, addiction. And you know, the whole nine, that God saved me. Now he say me, but he's healed me. Set me free. I'm free of drugs for 35 years. No, not only the addiction, he helped me mind, body, and soul. You know, I'm completely healed and I'm recovered. I thank God for the different things he had done in my life. I, I thank you for my wife who is my friend, my confidant, my companion. She's all that for me. I thank you for my two sons and my grandchildren, my great grandchildren. I thank God for that and I thank God for the, for the many multiple years that I've worked here, a light of life and the different opportunities that he had given me to minister to so many men and I even so many women as well. I thank God for that. I thank God for all the staff and the in the eds that we've had that I've had the privilege to be under down through the years and they all have given me great respect and honor. I, I can't thank God enough for that. That's the only by the grace of God for something like that to happen. You know, I've never asked anyone to call me pastor or anything else. You know what I mean, but I've always given, been given that respect and that it. And I really thank God for the bottom of my heart because that's got, but that's from the grace of God. God has done some marvelous things in me. He allowed me to go to places that I've never done. I've only dreamed about going to. I never imagined, you know, being in the Rut and being in the ditch and being in the gutter that I couldn't even imagine being in those places and those spots, you know, it God given me those opportunities to just clean me up just so much. I'm not. And I just thank God for that. You know? And, and I, I think off of keeping them in, in health and strength, I've had many troubles, many troubles, difficult things, but God has kept me in that. I heard someone say today, he'll never leave you nor forsake you. I know that to be real. I experienced that. You know, when it didn't look good, what the hope was diminishing, you know what I mean? God, he's right there all the time. You know, my hope is in. I don't have no hope, no place else. My hope is in Him. And that's it. That's what stops, you know, I've got, he's one that will not disappoint you. You know, so that's, that's my spiel for this afternoon. But, uh, I thank you for listening. God bless you all.
Hi everybody. I'm David and um, I'm overwhelmed with gratitude and the word that has been on my mind and come into mind is friendships is, um, most of all the friendship of my wife Kate. Um her love, but I've got friendships that I just never really have allowed myself to have or appreciate it before. I don't know, like there's something that is happening in my life and I want to praise God the guys in the program. It's a special group of guys. And I want each of you to know that I just love you guys, some value you and I appreciate your hearts, your courage and your strength, that God's strength is being shown through you that has you humble yourselves. I just see it and you guys every single day and he's lifting you up and you're developing in ways that just really, it amazes me. It fills me with gratitude and it shows me God in your lives. Um, and among the staff friendships with you guys, I just can't believe, you know, the brothers and sisters in the community. It just blows me away and I'm, uh, I'm grateful that I don't have to hide, that I don't have to hide my heart and I'm just scratching the surface. And recovery is so many layers. I'm an addict and alcoholic in recovery and there were so many layers to it and uh, I'm grateful to God that he's shown me that it can be seen and grow in this. So thank you.
So. Hi, my name is Russ. A lot of you already know me. I come in a lot of volunteering. Um, 11 years ago I didn't know where I would be, you know, I was a full blown drunk football and alcoholic, had no clue, you know, I watched sober 10 years ago and then I, you know, by the grace of God, I avoided going to jail for almost 16 years. Um, I had gotten into a domestic dispute with my wife and it caused a lot of serious issues. And uh, I was facing a three felony charges and wound up a dirt road through the grace of God wind up getting dropped onto a summary harassment and my wife and I still married. We just celebrated 16 years in September. I'm celebrating in March, I'll be celebrating 11 years of sobriety. So about eight years ago I started coming down with volunteer with Light of Life Rescue Mission. Hutch, Hutch, Hutch, he'll be probably glad to tell you the story. And uh, it was, it started out just being in a big event thing, you know, and over the years it started becoming more and more and I wide to get more and more involved. And you know, I became, I really began to love what I was doing. You know, I started coming down once a week, cook it every week in the kitchen. Thursday nights I used to get handshakes, sit in the corner for people. Man, that food was awesome, you know, because I would use whatever was made from the donations that we would get in on Thursdays to make a fresh hot meal every Thursday. But the reasons why I still down, isn't it because of the food that I cook, it's because of the group of people that's in this room right now and I'm talking from the person that's at the lowest state of where they're at right now, to the people that are at the highest state up into business. You know, there's, there's no understanding for the appreciation of what you guys have done for me y'all. Because if it wasn't for any of you guys, I still wouldn't be sober. You know, it takes a lot of people to keep one person from one to go back and have that drink or wanting to go back and have that, that, that moment where they can go out and get higher, you know, shoot up or do whatever it is that they've done, you know, and through the grace of God and the people that are sitting in this room right here, you know, it helps keep people sober and clean. You know, I've got the pleasure of talking to a lot of these guys. You know, up at promise camp a couple of weeks ago because I went and spent a week up with him, man, some of their stories are just incredible, you know, and that's key, you know, and it was the first thing that I was told when I took a is that's the most important part of it is learning each and every everybody's stories and relating and being able to fix each other. So just keep doing what you guys are doing because the year it's, it's an amazing place. I mean, absolutely amazing. You guys would not understand how, how high standard you guys are on that level of a shelter or, or a DNA program or what you guys do. I've been to a few of them and trust me, this is the best one I've ever seen. So keep doing your good work.
He tells me all the time and I got a story for that one in a minute. Yeah. Anyhow, my name is Hutch and I'm a very, very grateful, uh, delivered alcoholic. Been delivered years ago from 24 years of hardcore drinking. Praise God. Amen. Brother. So to get back to a, usually when I'm involved with music, what Lloyd, Lloyd always puts me in a background, he says, I keep reading them good, and he always has me clapping for some reason or another, well what I'm going to do is just a small, tiny burst with one of my favorite songs that helps me each and every day almost saying it. Then I'm going to explain it to you and you probably already know it already. My chains are gone. I've been set free. My Lord, my savior has ransomed. May It model Lord and my savior can ransom a deliberate alcoholic they put in 24 years of hard work, drinking and nothing else. Then there's hope for everybody else out there and our praise God for each every day to a two important words in my life that I live by a each and every day. And if I could share this with you and I'm going to pray for everybody. Uh, after all saw, hope you live with, they used two words also. It's called humbleness and humility. And I appreciate those two words each and every day. I'm going to let my young brothers here, Rich and Eric, one of my sentences, gentlemen, what are tested in life. There is no testimony. Amen. Brothers and sisters. I love you.
I'm, uh, I'm thankful for beef tenderloin. That was awesome. It's really good. I'm, uh, I'm thankful for hopefully seconds of that beef tenderloin. That was awesome. Um, yeah, so, uh, I just want to say I'm thankful for, um, like being invited into like that I don't have to wonder what my purpose is in life, that, that Jesus has invited me into his purpose. I don't have to wonder every day like, what life is about. Um, I just remember stumbling around in my, uh, high school, uh, years before I knew Jesus, not knowing, trying to find some sort of significance in this or that and just really hunger hungering for like, you know, what the point is. Um, and I'm thankful I don't have to do that. That had been invited into the purposes of God. It's incredible. And then, um, I'm thankful that this community has taught me that. Um, I did to live into that with grace. I know when I first woke up to the fact that like, man, I get to be a part of God's kingdom. This is insanity. I'm, I get to be a part of the Kingdom of heaven coming to Earth. That put a lot of pressure on me and I wasn't schooled in grace and there's so much pressure and doing things right and um, and getting it right when I failed, it would be really difficult. Um, but being in the community that we're in and the things we practiced, like just realizing it's not on me, like I've been invited into this thing and, and that his grace shows up where I'm weak and that's awesome and that my weakness gets to be this amazing platform for God's grace and strength to show up. And so it's like I get this awesome purpose and then he's like the strength to do it and it's just, I just get to sit and enjoy it. Most days when I don't take my will back. So, um, so is it really good thing, I'm just thankful that that's not something I don't stumble around wondering. Like I wake up every morning knowing like I'm loving my wife. I love the people that had come in. It just gets to be about this eternal thing and I don't have to wander, so it's cool.
We're going to be wrapping up, but we want to bring a friend of the ministry, one of the board members and a good friend, Don, pastor Don Tucker.
Kate got me on this. I wasn't prepared for this, but as a minister, you post always people up. What am I thankful for each? Every one of you all sitting out here right now because I was sitting out here 30 years ago or longer, okay. We serve a missionary. God. We serve a god. That's whole mission. When he came here and walks this earth was to see that each and every person is saved and come to know Christ. When that happens, he will return. This is not our home, but the work we do here to further the growth of the kingdom is what he's called each and every one of us to do so. I thank you for light of life. The work we do on the board, I'm grateful to each and every one of you sitting out here because each one of you have a story and he knows that God bless you. God keep you, make his face to shine on each and every one of you as you continue to grow in his glory. Amen. Thank you.
Thanks for listening to Light of Life Rescue Mission's Podcast: Hope unveiled. We hope you join us next time for another story of hope and change.