My name is Dabna and I came to Hope Cottage in March of 2012. I am the mother of four and was caught in a domestic violence situ¬ation. The situation was very unhealthy for both me and my children. We were homeless for over a year and in extreme poverty. We had no place to go. I called Sherri and she invited us to come and be part of the Hope Cottage family.
We came with nothing but the clothes on our backs. I came to Hope Cottage and immediately my life started to change. I fell back in love with The Lord and started to develop positive nurturing relationships with the ladies at Hope Cottage.
Prayer became an important part of my life again. I had never been in a place where I felt more loved. God brought me to Hope Cottage to save my family and heal my heart.
I was at Hope Cottage for six months and during that time all my needs were met. I was able to con¬centrate on the things that I need¬ed to do to repair my life and my relationship with the Lord. During that time I got a job, a car, and was able to put enough money away to get a healthy place for my children and I to live.
Hope Cottage is the reason I’m alive. Hope Cottage is the reason I smile and Hope Cottage saved my life. Sometimes we just need help to get through a bad situation. Everything that Hope Cottage is able to provide helps someone to get through those situations. Ev¬erything that was shared with us, helps us to heal and move on with our lives. Every single thing that is given to Hope Cottage helps heal someone.
We may not leave Hope Cottage perfect but we will leave Hope Cottage better and we will leave knowing that we are LOVED. We didn’t see that in the world but we see that at Hope Cottage. I want thank all who helped to provide the opportunity for my family to heal.
But, “The Mission,” made room in their hearts for me this past year... My name is J.T. and I was born and raised in the windy city of Kingman, Arizona. My family weren’t practicing believers, yet in conversation they would appear to be.
After attending a funeral at Gospel Light Baptist Church, I was invited to come back that Sunday night for their youth group; Joy Club. Upon hearing the lesson that we were going over, I became convicted of my sin and chose to accept the Lord Jesus as my personal Savior that night.
September 18th, 2005. About a year later I chose to take the next step in my walk, by getting baptized.
The big turning point in my life, was on March 31st, 2009, the day my dad killed my mom and then, killed himself. This tragedy caused me to move up to Flagstaff with my brother and his newly started family. It dealt me a hand that I couldn’t have possibly been able to know what to do with, so I turned to what I knew best, escaping.
I escaped through any means necessary, but mainly through marijuana and video games. This sent me into a downward spiral filled with a depressive state of isolation. Through countless backslides and reprimands, my 18th birthday came all to fast, and along with it, the responsibility that I was not ready to handle... Ultimately, I began living on the streets.
That’s when God brought me to the Mission, and He began to Disciple me through the long-term ministry there. I am currently in my 8th month humbly growing and serving at the wonderful Sunshine Rescue Mission. I have a bright future ahead of me in which, Lord willing, I will pursue the path to holding a position in the ministry of media. I thank God every day for how much He has provided for me and taught me along the way.
My husband, Gary and I moved to Flagstaff from Pasadena, CA 10 years ago. We have 2 sons, Joshua and Aaron. Aaron is married to Holly and they have 2 daughters, Maia and Jade. I was raised in a Christian family and have experienced much joy in the journey of the past 55 years, sometimes crawling and other times walking with Jesus!
A year and a half ago, God set up a divine encounter between Stephanie Boardman and me at the Mission – it was a totally "accidental" meeting. From that meeting I applied to and was accepted on the Board of Sunshine Rescue Mission Inc. in January 2013.
At the end of 2013 Stephanie told me she had prayed about who was to replace Susan Bates, who stepped down in September, and she thought it was supposed to be me! I was totally surprised and honored and went home to talk to Gary about it.
In the past I have avoided "risky" opportunities to step out because my focus was on my limited abilities instead of on God’s unlimited ability to show himself strong in my weakness, so I did not want to miss this opportunity. We prayed for about 6 weeks and ultimately I said "Yes!" I am so privileged to be working in this excellent organization with the stellar staff, interns and volunteers who work together to minister to the precious women and children who enter our doors. This is yet again an amazing opportunity to grow and be stretched further into the person God wants me to be and I am extremely grateful for it!
2 Corinthians 12:9
I am the oldest of 8 boys. My father is a Vietnam Veteran, Navy Special Forces and a member of a well- known MC. My mother was an accomplished jewel thief. I grew up in a Very mentally and physically abusive home. I left home at 14 and hit the streets of L.A., and went with what I knew seeing that all my friends were all sons of MC members as well.
I left school in 9th grade, by the time I was 24 I was grossing 14 million dollars a year, as an Owner/Operator of a chain of Texaco Gas stations throughout the I-5 corridor from L.A. to Portland. My 2 younger brothers and I were running hard with the drugs, alcohol, gambling, women, etc.
Within a few years we lost everything, that’s when I came back to Arizona. Within 3 weeks I was married again, I was working maintenance in an apartment complex, started a beautiful family 3 beautiful daughters and 1 handsome son. Eventually the alcohol and (friends) became a factor once again. I wound up in prison for many years which ended in a divorce and once again losing a lucrative Handyman Business in Sedona, I wound up losing everything home, business, and my family.
I wrote off all of my friends while I was in prison, even though I was angry every day, for some reason I started to pray each night. Still not sure what compelled me to start praying but I never missed a day through all the years. I started to study religion and to grow spiritually. It held on to me even after my release, even after losing everything it gave me strength and hope.
I came to the Mission a couple of years ago looking for a safe haven from the streets as well as a place to grow spiritually. I learned the importance of gratitude for everything good and what we perceive as bad. It is a matter of accepting responsibility and giving all worries to the Lord in form of thanks, because it is all for His good which is ours. I am now a coordinator at the Mission and I am very thankful for this. With doing weekly sermons on the importance gratitude and on how much Thankfulness and Praise are mentioned in the Bible.
In my spare time I have invented an anti-drowning device for children and I am in the process of going through grants for manufacturing. Fox 10 has agreed to allow me to do a demonstration on their morning show. I am also being featured in The Legends Network magazine this next week.
I owe all thanks to God and for the Mission that He provided for me to grow in. I look forward to speaking with larger groups in the future.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18