12 Dec Staff Stories of Transformation – Part 1
At Wheeler Mission, transformation is evident not just in our guests, but also in our staff and volunteers. In many cases, an individual’s journey with Wheeler doesn’t end at graduation – his or her story continues as they join our staff team. Staff stories are testimony to God’s goodness and grace, and serve as remarkable encouragement for our guests.
“Sixteen years is a long time to carry someone – but that is exactly what our Lord has done for me. He pulled me out of a pit of despair and addiction so deep there was no light as I lay dying at the bottom.”
For years, Candace suffered from broken relationships, alcoholism, and suicidal thoughts. “I existed in that hell for the better part of 25 years. I had no hope that things would ever change. I knew I wasn’t capable of fixing myself – I had tried and failed too many times,“ she says.
Finally, Candace came to the end of her rope: she was homeless, living in her car, and out of money. So on May 15, 2002, Candace came to Wheeler Mission for help. “By that day, I was so sick. I could barely climb the front steps,” she remembers.
But then things began to change!
“The staff at Wheeler took me in. They listened to me tell my self-serving version of my story, but they also heard my heart and told me, ‘Candace, if you want to stop this – stop living like this – we can help you.’ For the first time in twenty-five years, I felt hope. I still treasure the memory of that moment.”
Candace’s journey to recovery began: she became sober, came to know Jesus as her personal Savior, and started living her life with joy, hope, peace, and purpose. “The staff and volunteers at Wheeler gave me all those things, bit by bit, with love and kindness, discipline, and redirection. Through the Higher Ground program, Bible study, counseling, and just plain hard work, our Lord began to reshape me into the woman he called me to be.”
Today, Candace is active in her church, serves Christ daily, and works full-time at Wheeler as our development associate. “But this is not my accomplishment,” she admits. “This victory belongs to our Lord Jesus Christ alone, for He has carried me every step of the way.”
Our Center for Women & Children is filled well beyond capacity – all our beds our full. To keep up with the need for safe shelter, we currently have at least 70 women and children sleeping on cots and mats on our floor each night. So we’re #BuildingforChange and expanding. To help us grow our Center for Women & Children and provide help to even more women like Candace, go here.