Written by Kim Souza
Often our paths cross with people that leave a fingerprint on our hearts. Angelia is one of those people. Years ago, as a young teen, Angelia was a guest of the Union Gospel Mission. Because of her mom’s addictions and mental illness, they became homeless. Angelia remembers thinking, “I will survive this,” but as time went on, her resolve dwindled. She shared with me the blessings of receiving a warm meal and fresh clothing from the Mission.
“Dumpster diving behind Safeway did provide a steady diet of cast-off po’ boy sandwiches,” but they soon had lost their appeal. She and her mother found their way to the Union Gospel Mission for chapel services and dinner. Hearing the Gospel message provided “food for her soul,” followed by a warm evening dinner, filling her empty stomach. She remembers fondly the Sunday services led by Pastor Mooney that impacted her searching heart from the worship and teaching.
Angelia “felt human at the Union Gospel Mission,” something she had never felt before. She remembers connecting with Robin, the Women’s Outreach Coordinator at the time, who encouraged Angelia to go to college. Whenever she came to the Mission, Robin would meet her with the love and hope of Jesus while pushing her to keep going. While feeling ashamed, Robin assured her, “Everybody needs somebody.” Those words kept Angelia coming back.
She is now a college graduate, earning a bachelor’s degree in public health, and uses her own experience with homelessness to help others facing hardships. She dreams of starting her own non-profit organization to address homelessness of the elderly and writing a book about her journey as a young teen facing homelessness.
Please pray for Angelia as she moves forward in her career, helping the downtrodden of Sacramento and often connecting with her clientele in a real way. She still faces PTSD as she comes across familiar smells and faces the colder weather, a reminder of her past, but she keeps going back to the Lord. Angelia knows He was faithful through all, standing strong for her when she couldn’t. She thanks the donors who supported her through the Union Gospel Mission, leading her to Christ. Angelia says, “Donors help change lives and truly bring out the best in people who are counted out the most. Thank you for not counting us out.”