Thank you for helping Deborah know her life is precious!

Deborah grew up not knowing what it means to have a caring, supportive family. Her dad was frequently violent. When Deborah was nine years old, he pushed her mom to the floor and threatened her with a knife. When Deborah tried to protect her, he brutally knocked her into a table. But she had no way of knowing just how cruel her dad could be. After Deborah graduated from high school, her dad abruptly threw her out, accusing her of being a “boy chaser” simply because she had wanted to go to her prom.

As soon as she was out of the house, he also made sure Deborah knew she wasn’t welcome back. “He nailed the back door and the windows shut,” Deborah says. He also forbade her from contacting her mom or her brothers and sisters. Deborah was only 18 at the time. With no place to go, she did what she had to do in order to survive. “Someone offered me $100, so I did what I had to do. I didn’t know any better. I didn’t have anyone telling me what to do. I had to run myself. I had to survive,” she recalls.

Falling into addiction

Before long, Deborah discovered drugs could help her forget her pain. “I started doing cocaine,” she says. “I smoked it, shot it, snorted it.” The drugs helped Deborah cope for a while — until they began to control her. Soon, she was caught in a disastrous cycle of doing the things she didn’t want to do for the drugs that were helping her hang on. All the while, Deborah was still living on the streets, sleeping wherever she could find a bit of safety. “I lived in old houses. I lived under bridges. I slept in cars with people,” she remembers. “I just slept wherever I could.”

Years went by living in these conditions. During those years, Deborah had become a mom, but life was still hard as she continued to struggle with addiction and homelessness. “I didn’t care about myself,” she said. “I wished I  was dead. I felt like I was a burden to people.” Eventually, she began living with her now-grown son, who told her she couldn’t stay with him unless she got help. 

So, she came to KARM and entered LaunchPoint, our initial four-week program, where she began to take the first steps toward healing old wounds. As she progressed through the program, her heart and mind began to change. She learned to love herself, to be more confident, and to think positive instead of negative thoughts. Even better, she learned she is loved unconditionally by God.

Soon after completing LaunchPoint, Deborah transitioned to KARM’s Berea program. She kept working on her recovery and began working in the  Abundant Life Kitchen while taking classes and continuing to read her Bible.

On a joyful day a few months ago, Deborah asked Jesus into her heart, and she was recently baptized. This past February, Deborah graduated from KARM’s Berea program. Attending the celebration were her son and her sister. More than anything, Deborah said she just wanted to make her son proud. At graduation, he gave her a big hug and told her, “Mom, I’m already proud of you.”

Thank you for making it possible for Deborah to experience God’s love and grace!