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Lydia's gate newsletter spring 2013

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Lydia's gate newsletter spring 2013

  1. 1. "As I grew up God be-came so distant, so frag-ile of an idea, He hardlyexisted to me at all ex-cept in my bitterness. Mychildhood and youngeryears had filled me withmemories I hoped toforget. I didnt want tofeel, and didnt have to."Her way of forgettingwas not so uncommon toso many.While in the process offorgetting, Gail con-ceived children. Ratherthan giving them up tothe state she decided togive them up for adop-tion. She had almostGail came to Lydias Gatein September 2012. Notas a guest to a shelterthis time but with a re-newed hope, as a newperson.When Gailwas a child,her birth fa-ther, mother,and sisterwere regularchurch atten-dees; but years later shewas living in abandonedbuilding after abandonedbuilding somewhere inGeorgia, hopeless andpraying for death.“So where do we begin?”I ask Gail."Well, I suppose at thebeginning," And sostarts the not-so-uncommon but none-the-less magnificentstory of Godsredemption."As a child myfamily alwayswent to church.But in the vehi-cle afterwards,at home, myfather was a differentperson. He had abusedmy mother, us. Mymother had children as achild and so she reallyknew no one else. Ittook her nineteen yearsto leave him.GAIL’S STORYFROM ABANDONED BUILDINGS TO ABUNDANT LIFELETTER FROM THE DIRECTOREvery four years we havethe pleasure of experi-encing a presidentialcampaign. Each candi-date works endlessly toconvince you that theyhave a plan to make thefuture better. I havefound that we have a lotof people in our countrythat talk about hope andchange, but very few thatare willing to roll up theirsleeves and help to makechange happen.That is why I enjoy thework of the mission. I getto work alongside staff,volunteers, and donorsthat want to do some-thing - people that careenough to put action totheir words.This has been a difficulttime for this region, theeconomy has been in adecline, jobs have beenscarce, and doom andgloom is in the air. Butultimately we have achoice, we can let all thisMAY 2013IN THIS UPDATE:GAIL’S STORYLETTER FROM THE DIRECTORWE CELEBRATEPARTICIPANT CORNEROPPORTUNITIES TO GIVEnews depress us, or wecan find ways to start theturnaround by our ownactions and attitudes.The number of brokenlives walking through thedoors seeking help andsolution has continued toincrease everyday.Continued on Back“I have come that they may have life & have it abundantly .” – JesusWe would like tocelebrate all of youcelebrate all of youcelebrate all of youcelebrate all of you whohave been involved, forthe blessings we havereceived through thegrace of God to help inour mission to serve thecommunity!Thank You.A SHELTER FOR THOSE IN NEEDLYDIA’S GATE
  2. 2. www.lydiasgate.orgPhone: 989.217.0973Email: info.lydiasgate@gmail.comMailing Address: PO Box 988Mio, MI 48647Physical Address: 115 Deyarmond StreetMio, MI 48647Facebook.com/LydiasGateCONTACT LYDIA’S GATEAddiction and trouble caused herto leave Gaylord under an alias andshe moved to Georgia. Homeless,living from abandoned building toabandoned building, she foundrandom jobs for $40 a day only toget her next fix. Under the influ-ence of drugs & alco-hol “nothing matters”she says. There wasno fear of her circum-stances.She ended up with aman who in her words “lived a lifeof crime”. They stole copper fromabandoned buildings which wouldearn them enough to get high fortwo or three days, then the cyclewas repeated, and repeated, andrepeated, for around two years.One night Gail found herself lyingon the floor in the middle of anabandoned building all alone. Shebegged God to take her life.(...continued online)To read the rest of Gail’s storyof redemption and road topeace, log on to:Facebook.com/LydiasGate orwww.LydiasGate.org(launching soon!)casually commented that she didn’tcare, but you could detect the hurt.When I probed her about this later,"Do you think you really didn’t care,or do you think you cared so muchthat you couldnt bear to and sodetermined not to care? Or becauseyou were afraid youmight not change?""I think you determinenot to" she said. "Ofcourse I care now. Butthen, in the grip of drugs, you don’tthink about quitting, you thinkabout getting your next fix.”During this time her biological fa-ther passed away and for Gail it wasa celebration, “this man could nolonger hurt me.” but pausing in re-flection, “It does.” she says. “Youdon’t say goodbye. You don’t makeamends. You don’t give them achance to make amends.”This led to one of Gail’s worstdownward spirals. Her motherthought she was dead. "I treatedmy mother and stepdad like gar-bage.” she searches her thoughts,“There really is no reason mymother and step father should wantanything to do with me at all.”GAIL’S STORY (CONTINUED)ChristThe Keyby LarryThere is no prison withBig enough wallsTo keep out salvationWhen the Savior is called.For upon my kneesOne night I fell,Blessed in ChristIn a prison cell.Behind these barsI became freeTo live in HimEternally free.No longer chainedTo my sinful waysI became a new personWho loves and prays.Though seasons comeAnd Holidays pass,In jail with Jesus,My hope does last.PARTICIPANT CORNERWE CELEBRATE!We are so grateful for the blessings from God that allow us to extend Hislove to those who enter Lydia’s Gate. We received a new furnace this pastwinter which helped us reduce our heating bills so we can put those fundsto use in other areas of the shelter. Several of our previous guests havefound jobs in and outside of Oscoda County and have received housingassistance allowing them to sustain their lives outside of Lydia’s Gate.Some of our guests have opened their hearts and received the Lord intotheir lives and have committed their lives to His service! We are verygrateful for all our volunteers that have joined us in our mission here toserve others, and to all the people who have made numerous donations ofclothing, food, paper products and money. May God bless you all!OPPORTUNITIESTO GIVEPlease pray for the resources to adda second bathroom and an outdoorpicnic table. Consider giving aone-time or monthly tax-deductible gift to Lydia’s Gate.Make Checks Payable To:Lydia’s GatePO Box 988, Mio, MI 48647Include name, address & email“God became sodistant, so frag-
  3. 3. they were able to be happy.I ask Gail if she remembers the firstthings she learned. "The tempta-tions that Jesus went through. Hewent through a lot of temptationslike we do and he survived themand he made it through them." Shepauses to think. "The little old ladytold us, ya know God talked toHim. God always guided and di-rected them. and I thought to my-self, how could this be?.”"And I remember the beatitudes.Blessed are the poor in spirit. Whythat one stuck I never knew.""I suppose you were feeling prettypoor in spirit…” I venture."Yeah. I did. ButI didn’t under-stand it then."She takes a mo-ment to collecther thoughtsinto words. "Inever really started understandinguntil I went to prison. It seemsmost people who teach in correc-tional facilities are so focused onyour life of crime, and getting youaway from your life of crime, thatsometimes I really think they ne-glected to teach us about what wereally needed to learn – which wasabout the salvation. That reallyshould have been my first memory:Salvation… but it was not."Naively, I ask, "Do you think itwould have made sense if it wasthe first thing you learned? Wouldit have seemed possible?"She pauses to think before re-sponding, “When you don’t under-stand how anything came to be,why Jesus was here, why he wasdoing these miracles; When you"My life had spiraled downward sobadly… living for drugs, alcohol,from abandoned building to aban-doned building, not knowing whereI was going to sleep, not knowingwhere I was going to eat; I wasready for death. ...Well, in his ownway, God answered my prayer.”“Three days later I went to jail.” shesays. The man Gail had been livingher life with had purposely set abuilding on fire after stripping it ofall its copper. Landed in jail Gailwent through delirium tremens andwithdrawals. Her emotions were rawand bared and she was once againgripped by bitterness and hatred.One day an elderly woman askedGail if she could help her read, sinceshe had trouble. Reluctantly, Gailsaid yes, thinking, ‘yah, ok, I’ve gotnothing better to do’, but when shearrived to meet with the woman,she was surprised to discover it wasthe Bible she was reading! Thewoman was leading a Bible Study."Every Tuesday, Wednesday andThursday women would come fromthe prison church services laughing,joking, singing and praising God. Icouldnt stand it!” So she tells methat one day she burst out, “What inthe sam hill are yall havin a goodtime for? You realize yall are in jail,right? What is there to laughabout? What is there to joke about?Why are you so freakin happy?”Then would come their response,"Gods got us covered! What do wehave to worry about?" Gail wouldturn away frustrated and angry, allthe while still reading for the littleelderly woman doing the Bible stud-ies. She sat in her cell for 3 weeksbefore beginning to ask questions -before even wanting to know whyGAIL’S STORY (CONTINUED)don’t learn the why first, ya know,you don’t understand. Teachingsomebody about Salvation andwhy God was put on this earth,then miracles will make a littlemore sense to you. Youll see whatthings are possible and why theywere done the way they were done- why he was doing them in thefirst place."This made sense. I had taken it forgranted that most Americans,some time in their lives, have hadthe story of the Cross explained tothem. But here was Gail, raised in achurch, studying the Bible and stillnot having come across the wholeGospel. She had learned that hecame, what he taught,how to live, but whywas still elusive."I spent my first threeyears very confusedabout God. I was try-ing to learn all Icould, but I just couldn’t under-stand. I wanted to know, I wantedto learn, I just couldnt under-stand." So was the slow progressof Gail’s understanding of Salva-tion.Thats when Gail was transferred tofederal prison, where she says, shefirst started to understand. “Godbless his soul." she says, reflectingon the Pastor she met there. "Thefirst service I sat in, he looked at usand said, Do you know why Jesusdied on the cross? No, I reallydon’t I thought.”The Pastor went on: "Jesus died onthe cross for you and for me. Hedied on the cross in our place. Heis our mediator. He is the one whogoes between us and God.""But I still don’t understand yet"“I never really startedunderstanding until Iwent to prison.”
  4. 4. don’t think anythings been likethat exact moment."While Gail had been away her con-tact with the family had beensparse and hurtful. She had de-cided to write her mom to tell hershe had been baptized on Father’sDay - she began to make amends.In reply, her father told Gailsmother, "Tell her to come homewhen she gets out.""Them two parents of mine. Noway. I do not deserve parents likethem." Her comment seemed toecho her experience with God. Theday she arrived at the bus stop inGrayling both her parents werethere to greet her. "My mom and I,weve never been any closer thanwe are right now. And my dad,hes proud of me today. Ive neverbeen more happy to see my mama.Ive got the best parents in theworld."So how did Gail come to us here atLydias Gate?"Well I couldn’t find a job aroundhere for anything. I prayed andprayed and asked God to help mefind a job. Miss Laura down thereat Mental Health sent me here toLydias Gate. Well, here I am. Ihave been out one year and threemonths after six years in jail. Itsaved my life. You hope it doesnttake that for everyone, but for meit saved my life."While volunteering at Lydias Gate,Gail is taking online courses toearn her degree in Social Servicesand will be spending a week at aSaginaw Mission to gain moretraining in Case Management."I dont know the whole story ofhow this house became, but all Irecalls Gail. "Why would someonewant to go die on a cross for me?"Whether a statement made by herprison preacher or an answer to herown rhetorical question Gail givesthe answer. "Because, in fact, wereHis children." She recalls, a little bitmore starts to sink in. “Im God’schild? Jesus died so that I wouldhave a home? Why would some-body want to do that? Why wouldsomebody want to die for some-body like me that is totally unwor-thy - that lived a life of crime, drugs,alcohol, promiscuity... Why wouldanybody want to do that for me?"Again, Gail seems to answer herown rhetorical question, "BecauseGod has compassion for us and lovefor us. He wants his children homewith Him. So he took his son andput Him on that cross to give me alife. To give you a life. To give us anew start."Gail began attending church ser-vices and bible studies regularly inprison and soon joined in spiritualdancing, "A whole other eye openerfor me." Praising the Lord throughdance, out of love for him, becameanother profound way Gail found toworship God. "And it was awe-some." she reminisced.It was Fathers Day, and Gail’s bap-tism day. She sat in her chair shak-ing and crying like a baby. The Pas-tor asked, "Are you ready Gail? Youknow youre fixin to die to self rightnow? Youre gonna’ be reborn.When you come up you will be res-urrected in Christ.”"And when he put me under I wasstill crying and shaking," she recalls,"but when I came up nothing feltheavy. I felt a calmness and peacethat I don’t think Ive felt again. IGAIL’S STORY (CONTINUED)care about is that this is the Lord’shouse, and everyone in it is Hisservant."The following morning after ourinterview, Gail was facilitating herfirst Celebrate Recovery group atLydias Gate; a program that helpspeople to recover from hurts, hab-its, and hang ups through thepower of Christ. As for Gailthat power of Christ hasredeemed her life andgiven her a new chance.She will be seven yearsclean in June.www.lydiasgate.orgPhone: 989.217.0973Email: info.lydiasgate@gmail.comMailing Address: PO Box 988Mio, MI 48647Physical Address: 115 Deyarmond StreetMio, MI 48647Facebook.com/LydiasGateCONTACT LYDIA’S GATEOPPORTUNITIESTO GIVEPlease pray for the resources to adda second bathroom and an outdoorpicnic table. Consider giving aone-time or monthly tax-deductible gift to Lydia’s Gate.Make Checks Payable To:Lydia’s GatePO Box 988, Mio, MI 48647Include name, address & email

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