Susan’s parents traveled from Baltimore to see for themselves. The mom and dad had been estranged from their 29-year-old daughter for too many years. They did not speak often, and when they did, the conversations ended where they often began: in a disagreement. But now, Jesus had transformed the young mother’s life.
“There are people who I knew before God saved me who cannot recognize me,” Susan confesses. “I have changed that much.”
Once angry and dealing with feelings of depression, Susan often thought of giving up. When she first came to Greater Vision Outreach Ministry at Mills Home in Thomasville, she was only looking for clothes and shoes for her children, Rubi and Ezequiel. The children’s father, and her boyfriend, was living a dangerous life,
one that eventually put him behind bars. Alone and caring for two small children, she struggled to provide for them as a family.
Greater Vision Outreach Ministry helps meet the essential physical and spiritual needs of working families who are struggling
financially. The ministry helps families work toward self-sufficiency and independence.
Greater Vision manager, Sara Becker, remembers Susan’s first visit. “There are so many roadblocks women like Susan face. They want to care for their children, but it is almost impossible for them to find a job. And if they do find work, there is the question of reliable transportation to and from the job. And then there is the need for daycare. It can be overwhelming.”
But Sara saw something in this young single mom and believed “there is such potential in Susan.”
Susan says that Sara helped her make a plan and set goals. Four-year-old Ezequiel was accepted into a pre-k program that helped with his special needs. She was able to borrow a car when needed and she found work as a cafeteria worker at an elementary school in her community. But things remained precarious.
When Susan abruptly lost the use of the car, she feared she might lose her job. Everything she earned went to paying rent for a very modest, low-budget apartment and the basic needs of her children.
Through her eyes, buying a car was out of the question.
“I knew getting her own car would change Susan’s life,” Sara says. “But it wasn’t going to be easy, or at least, I thought it wouldn’t be. But God had other plans.”
A car quickly became available. The cost was minimal, but Susan did not have the money saved yet. A donor who had learned of the need came forward and offered to purchase the car for the small family.
Susan remembers thinking in amazement, “Who am I that someone would want to help me?”
Susan had never owned a car and did not realize more would be needed. She needed a current driver’s license, insurance for the car, and additional costs related to the purchase. Sara assured Susan that God was not going to stop what He had begun.
This is when Susan turned to her mom. It was difficult to reach out. Her mom was skeptical, but she heard something different in her daughter’s voice. She assured Susan the money would be coming. The next thing she heard was her father’s voice on the phone. He asked questions about the car. He told Susan they would visit soon
so he could check it out for himself. Her parents wanted to also see the change in her life.
Susan’s father brought his tools and serviced the car. He approved of the car’s condition and felt relief that Susan was now on a good path. The walls that had been separating Susan from her parents for so long began to fall.
“Greater Vision is a part of what God is doing in the lives of broken, hurting people,” Sara asserts. “We work to help families get on their
feet, but just as important is that we love them like Jesus loves them.”
Susan gives God the credit for everything that has happened in her life. She says it was God who healed the brokenness between her
and her parents. She says there is now hope for her children’s future.
“Susan is a strong person who has worked very hard to get where she is today,” Sara says. “Her life is a testament to all that God will do.”
Susan says she wants to be like Sara. She dreams of a day when she can help others, sharing how their lives can be different.
“I am proud of myself,” Susan says. “I am a better person. I am happy.”
Written by Jim Edminson, Editor of Charity & Children