The Woman at the Gate
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; Give thanks to him and praise his name” (Psalm 100:4).
Last year, Jennina came to our Women’s Mission under dire circumstances. At the time, she was living in her car and waiting for an upcoming surgery to remove a tumor on her thyroid. It was becoming colder at night, and she had nowhere to go. Looking for shelter, she eventually located the Mission after driving around the neighborhood.
At the gate, she met Shelley and Joy. Although there was no room for her at that time, she was allowed to park overnight in the Women’s Mission lot to keep her safe. About a month later, a room became available, and she was brought inside.
Jennina has built a close relationship with her counselor, Victoria Craig. Victoria went to the hospital with her and stayed with her before and after the thyroid operation.
“[Victoria] pushes people [to be their best], but she’s always there,” Jennina stated. “She recognizes individuals and their needs. She took me to the hospital and has never left my side yet.”
Jennina recalled the sisterhood she has developed with her fellow guests: “You learn to live with people from all walks of life. It puts everything in context when you learn their stories. It equips you to go out and love people, despite differences.”
Before she arrived at the Mission, Jennina struggled with asking for help. She overworked herself, taking care of others while pushing off her own needs. During the prior 15 years, she took care of her father and her children’s father as they struggled with health issues. Both have since passed.
Although she was exhausted when she arrived, Jennina has since found peace and rest. She said, “The Mission helps you find yourself, find your purpose. It helps you find where God wants you to be. [He] will show you the direction to go, and the Women’s Mission gives you the freedom to explore those possibilities.”
Jennina has an incredible heart of thanksgiving towards God and the Mission. “God has provided everything I have asked for,” she reflected. “I don’t know where I’d be if God didn’t nudge me. I thank God for the Mission. It’s safe [here]. It’s marked by God.”
Jennina desperately hopes to give back to the place that has made a critical impact in her life, either as a volunteer nurse or desk attendant. She previously was studying to become a nurse and is planning to return to school and finish her clinical rotations. “I’m not becoming a nurse to get paid,” she emphasized. “Payment is good, but it’s God’s. I would be less if I didn’t come back to serve.”
“Every woman here has been at the gate,” Jennina concluded. Like her, each woman who arrives is facing incredible challenges. Like her, they can learn to fully rely on God and take refuge at the Women’s Mission to rest, reset, and overcome.
Jennina graduated from the Mission’s program on October 18. We look forward to seeing what the future holds for her!
Please consider donating today to help change the lives of women like Jennina. You can donate on our website at https://www.bethesdamission.org/take-action/donate/. Thank you.
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