Today I stood in this room for an hour listening to Donna tell me about her life. She told me stories that should be in a book or a movie. Once she rode her son's bike to the crack house to get a rock of crack. She had $10 in her hand and rode up to the window...kind of like a drive through for crack....and the guy in line behind her jumped her and beat her up for that $10. He told her he was going to bite her thumb off unless she let go. She has the teeth marks on her arm still today. Then she rode the bike home beaten and bloody to her children.
She said the way she got money for alcohol and drugs was to pick through the garbage. Once she found a brand new electric razor and returned it to Wal-Mart for $26. She said you would never believe the good stuff you would find in the trash.
She told me stories of sex with people she did not know, drinking all day long, rolling a guy outside a bar for the $500 in his wallet, taking so many drugs that when she was pregnant, she considered herself not using because she was only drinking and smoking pot......she talked for an hour.
She used to go behind the grocery store to the bins where they put the smashed bottles and cans from the bottle return. She would collect the glass bottles, and the plastic bottles that can be popped back into shape, and return them again for the money. She spent three days in jail for that once.
One day she was having trouble with the bottle return machine and had a melt down in the grocery store. She said when she calmed down, a young man standing there invited her to church. She went. The people in the church helped her. She was living in her car with her two children and they got her a hotel room, and then talked her into going to GCH.
She told me that she had a clear moment with God when He told her to examine what she was doing to the Mother of her children. She went through the year long program and then moved to Seneca Street where we met her two years ago.
It is fun to paint and redecorate, and to see the smiles on the faces of the people who live there. But, the real treat is hearing their stories. To see the hand of God at work in the lives of people....it is really humbling. Donna should have been dead twenty times. She spent her entire adult life manipulating and stealing to be high every day. She lived a dangerous life. Now she lives a clean life and gives God every bit of the glory for it.