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“I wanted to stop surviving and start living”

0215_lbrm_nl_02.jpgWhen Shauntel thinks about her life before she came to Long Beach Rescue Mission and entered our Women’s New Life Program, tears form in her eyes.

“I was homeless. I was an alcoholic,” she says. “A month before I got here, I had been hospitalized twice because I tried to kill myself. I was sleeping on train platforms and drinking to numb the pain.”

Shauntel thought AA meetings might help her change, so she came to the Mission to learn where the nearest meeting was. But a conversation with one of our Chaplains kept her here longer than she expected. “I told him, ‘I’m an alcoholic and I can’t stop. I’m not worthy. God doesn’t love me.’”

God proved otherwise by opening doors for her within the Mission and she joined our recovery program.

“God completely changed my life!” she says. “When I came into the program, I had terrible anger problems and would scream at people. God has taken the anger, the hatred and the bitterness out of my heart.”

God has also begun to restore Shauntel’s relationships with her family. “For the first time in 10 years, my mom told me she’s proud of me! There’s no more disappointment, and she’s excited to talk to me now. She rejoices with me about my life because there’s finally something to rejoice about.”

“When I came to the Mission, they gave me a chance,” Shauntel says. “They believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. Now, they challenge me when something could be better, but they also encourage me when I’m making progress.”

“God has used the staff here at the Mission to change so many lives, including mine!”

To read the rest of this issue of Rescue Review, click here.