Dear Lexington Rescue Mission,
This letter comes to you with a heart full of gratitude. As we continue on our journey as empty-nesters, I could not leave without saying thank you and putting into words the impact that you have had on my life.
We moved to Lexington almost 3 years ago, following our daughter as she completed her college education. God brought me to you and to the Jobs for Life program almost immediately, not as a student but as a mentor. As I sat through the first class in the basement of the New Life Day Center, I spent many hours arguing with God as to why he brought me to this place to do something I felt completely unqualified to do. Yet, I could not turn away from it; I felt drawn to the students in a way that I cannot explain. They seemed to need what it was that I had to offer, and I needed to give it.
As time progressed, I grew in close friendship with Lisa Fields and, eventually, had the pleasure of meeting Julius Johnson. I cannot write about these God connections without tears in my eyes. It did not take long to see that God had a plan brewing with these newfound relationships, one that included creating a JFL team for the women in FCDC. I am still amazed that He allowed me to serve these women, sitting alongside Lisa and, miraculously, beside my own daughter!
Because of the faithful path that LRM and Julius Johnson were following to love all, serve all, I was given this incredible life changing gift that I got to share with my daughter and my new friend and sister in Christ, Lisa! Our lives became forever changed on Friday afternoons at FCDC! We may have set out to serve the women there, but they gave us way more than we could ever return! I continued to grow in purpose and in spirit as Julius provided another opportunity for another group of us to enter Woodford County with the Genesis Program. These teams and women behind bars everywhere will forever be in my prayers!
You would think that this letter should end here, as this would be more than enough reason for my gratitude to LRM, but there is more, so much more…As JFL moved from the Day Center to LRM, God introduced me to a young man who would not only change my life, but my entire family’s life. Brian Lewis walked into our class with potentially more enthusiasm for life than any human I had ever met. After almost 9 years of being incarcerated, Brian was ready to start living the abundant life that Christ had imagined for him, and I just happened to have the energy to help him make that happen. I, now, have no doubt why God brought me to LRM and to the JFL course…to walk in Christ with women who are incarcerated, to grow in Christ with Lisa and my daughter, and…. BRIAN!
By the end of our class, Brian and I had developed a trusting relationship, and he had handed me over a 90 day plan that he needed help accomplishing. Brian completed that plan in about 45 days. I cannot explain to you the joy that I experienced seeing him accomplish his goals, from getting his first driver’s license to starting college, abundant living was being experienced by the both of us, and the joy was so BIG that it overflowed to my family! It did not take long before Brian made his way into the hearts of my husband and daughters, and even our extended family!
Today, almost 2 years later, Brian works long hours at two great jobs, is an awesome dad and an excellent student working on his Associates in Business Administration, has a wonderful girlfriend, and has truly become part of our family. This past month, Brian joined our church connect group to cook at Ronald McDonald House, and both of our families had the opportunity to celebrate over the Christmas season together. This I know, without a doubt, was the way God meant it to be!
Brian never stops saying thank you to us, but I am pretty certain that we have received way more than he has. I feel unbelievably blessed that God allowed me and my family to be a part of Brian’s life transformation! Brian was going to make it with or without us, and once we move on, he will continue to spread his optimistic, Christ like energy to others. It was our gift from God to get to be a part of it all. I am excited to continue to support and encourage him from afar and celebrate this life with him and his family!
Lexington Rescue Mission, this is what you are doing! You did not feed my stomach like you have so many thousands of other people, you fed my soul! You did not provide me with a paying job like you have so many others, you gave me a Christ driven purpose! I am leaving this season of my life richer… richer in purpose, richer in spirit, richer in love! And, though I have mentioned only three names in this letter, there were so many others along my path at LRM that have poured into that richness… they know who they are.
My family and I believe in the work that LRM is doing, and we will not forget you in our prayers and support as we move on, and I ask that you pray for Brian and our family, that we may rise to the level of love, service, and abundant joy that God has already set before us!
Abundant love, blessings, and gratitude,
P.S. Because of my time at LRM, I pursued and am almost finished with my Masters in Human Services in Counseling with a concentration in Life Coaching. Looking forward to seeing how God allows me to use my newfound knowledge…
“Here am I, send me…” Isaiah 6:8
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