For several weeks I had just not felt right. I had assumed it was my heart, mind, and body all catching up from the shock, anger, sadness, and desperation I was feeling after my husband decided to abandon our family. He had been living a dangerous lifestyle for a family man and rather than changing he decided to just leave to keep us safe. So I found myself in a patient room at a free Women’s clinic trying to figure out what was going on. You can imagine my shock when I heard the words, “you are pregnant.”, but instead of the overwhelming joy I had felt with my first two children – I felt my world crashing in. What was I going to do? I came back a few weeks later for a sonogram and as I walked in I felt ashamed and heartbroken believing my only option was to give this child up for adoption. I didn’t have the means to care for my little family of three…what would I do with another mouth to feed?
Then God intervened. The minute I saw my son for the first time on the screen during my sonogram, it was love at first sight and I knew that I was going to be the one to raise him. Although I didn’t know how, God intervened and had a plan. It was then that I met an angel, Sarah, a case worker at the clinic. She took me under her wing and became my support, my friend, and a mother like figure to me and my children. In the depths of my despair, when I thought all hope was lost, she introduced me to Shiloh place.
The application process was not easy, and I knew if accepted, I had a lot of hard work ahead of me. However, in my heart, I knew Shiloh Place was where I needed to be and I would do anything to prevent my children from living a life of fear and poverty. A few weeks after Jacob was born, we moved into our new home at Shiloh place. The first night there, when I was able to put all three of my children to bed in a safe place, look around at our newly furnished apartment, and feel God’s amazing love, I broke down and cried tears of joy, relief, and thankfulness- in that moment knowing for the first time in months that everything was going to be OK.
My time at Shiloh place was the hardest I have ever worked in my life. I got a job as a bus driver, which meant extremely early mornings. I was also a full-time student to become a Certified Medical Assistant and then a Medical Lab Technologist. Our evenings throughout the week were very busy, filled with counseling, life skills classes, and lots of homework… for both me and my children. We were all taught the importance of God’s love, budgeting our finances, how to live within our means, and so much more. My kids have also grown from this experience. They are mature beyond their years and humble in regards to our lifestyle. It is not from shame, but from an understanding of real life. They know that when I say no to things, like more toys or games, it is so that I can say yes to necessities like a home, food and clothing. They are amazing kids who are now excelling at school and I am beyond blessed that we were never separated when things were at their worst. While at Shiloh Place I also received the devastating news of my father’s death in the Philippines. This would have derailed me earlier in life, but by being at Shiloh Place when this happened I was able to mourn yet stay focused. I have learned that Jesus loves me and comforts me through the people in my life and I know that’s how I got through that time.
I cannot imagine what our lives would look like now if I had never heard about Shiloh Place. Since graduating from the program we are now living in a three-bedroom apartment. I have a career, no debt and a growing savings account. Not only did I graduate with my degree, I have chosen to go back to school, on my own, to even further my education and my ability to advance. I love that my children get to see me work hard and provide for my family on a daily basis. All of this is great but I also know it’s nothing compared to the peace I now have. I was so very angry at God for letting me end up in where I was and I hated having to depend on others. The peace I have now is beyond explanation … I know I can provide for my family now, I know I have changed their future forever, I am free from charity and dependence on others, and I know that My Jesus loves me.
There are not enough words to express my gratitude for what you have done for my family. Your support and generosity to Shiloh place has forever changed the lives of my children and me. It is because of you that we have this amazing life, one that I never thought was possible. We pray every day thanking God for the way you and Shiloh place have bettered our lives. So please know it is from the bottom of my heart when I say thank you, 1 million times over, THANK YOU, for being a life changer.