Your Gifts Gave This Family A Way Out

How do you put a value on hope renewed, or on restoring a positive outlook on life? As hard as those values are to gauge, they are in fact the very real value of your gift.

I wish there was an effective way to share with you the glow on the face of Felicia, and the sparkle in her eyes when she realized that because of your gift, Sacred Heart Southern Missions was going to be able to help her and her children out of dire circumstances.

Felicia had to escape in the middle of the night from an abusive relationship with her three children and a fourth on the way. Imagine the horror she faced. She knew she had to get out before the father began hitting the children.

Felicia has not lived in this area for very long. So alone in a strange land, she gathered up the children and somehow found the local shelter for abused women. But her time there was limited.

She needed to move, but had no place to go when she came to us. Because of your generosity, we were able to get Felicia into one of the houses in our Dehon Village.

When Felicia escaped with her children she took nothing with her except a few clothes. So when she moved into her house in Dehon Village, she had no furniture, linens, cookware, nothing.

The father of her children has since left the area. By the time Felicia was able to get back to the trailer she had lived in to see if she could salvage any household items, the landlord had sold the contents and rented the trailer.

Thanks to your giving we were able to canvas our local donors to search for needed furniture. God blessed our search with a corporate donor who was closing down an apartment for its traveling executives and offered the apartment contents to Sacred Heart Southern Missions.

In a matter of a couple of days we were able to provide warm comfortable beds for mom and the kids. Sheets and towels, pots and pans, almost everything needed to set up housekeeping was provided.

Felicia is a little sprite of a woman, less than five feet tall, but she has an inner drive and is devoted to her children. She has trained them well. They are mannerly and quiet, and grateful for all that has been given them. The three older children are in school and doing well.

Although Felicia worked right up until she had her fourth child, she had to quit her job when delivery neared. She plans to go back to work as soon as her baby is a little older. For the time being she turns to Sacred Heart Southern Missions for assistance, but she is fiercely independent and rarely seeks help.

This month we begin our Lenten journey of prayer, almsgiving and fasting. When I reflect on Felicia’s situation and how your Angel of the Heart gift has made such an impact on her family, it seems to me that you have already begun your Lenten journey of re-centering of your life on our Lord. During these forty days, we reflect once again on what God is calling us to be. We renew our commitment to God and express our gratitude for his saving grace.

As you focus your Lenten Season on prayer, almsgiving and fasting, I ask you to remember Felicia and her family. Know, too, that your almsgiving is rescuing many other families like Felicia’s.

Few greater gifts can be given to a mother struggling on her own to meet even the most basic needs of her children, than to relieve her worry and grief.

God bless you and your family during this Lenten Season. You remain in my prayers.

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