March 2, 2016

Happy Endings Like This are What Easter is All About!

Do you remember being 10 years old? It’s such a beautiful age, when a child’s future holds so much potential and every day is full of excitement and wonder. Easter is a time that should bring wonderful memories of celebrating with family.

But sadly, for many children growing up in poverty, childhood is filled with harsh realities that leave lasting scars. For many, Easter is just another hopeless, awful day.

Wendy* is one of these many tragic stories.

Her father was a violent abuser. So Wendy and her mother fled for their lives. After that, her mother worked long hours to keep a roof over their heads, and Wendy was often left to her own devices. By 10, she was using alcohol and marijuana! In high school, she was selling and using all kinds of terrible drugs. By 19, she had her first of three children with a horrifically abusive man.

I am delighted to tell you that Wendy’s story does have a happy ending.

Just like Jesus overcame death, Wendy came back from certain destruction.

After escaping from her abusive husband, Wendy relapsed, lost her kids and ended up in jail. But after watching a cellmate die from withdrawals, she enrolled in our long-term recovery program as soon as she finished her sentence. She was baptized at a local Everett church last year on Easter Sunday.

This Easter, she celebrates 14 months being clean and sober – the longest ever in 20 years.

Talk about redeemed! She gave us a little snapshot of her gratitude, saying:

“On my birthday, after I got the kids off to school, I laid on my bed and looked up at the ceiling with a huge smile on my face. I was thinking, ‘I have my kids back. I have a wonderful church that loves and supports me. I have friends, not just acquaintances. I have people that care about me and that I care about. Such a difference from a year ago!’” 

To hear Wendy and so many others tell us how the Mission has changed their lives is an incredible feeling. People can be redeemed, no matter how hopeless life may seem! More than that, your kindness and support puts me in awe of God’s provision. Your prayers and support are always just enough to make the promise of Easter real to people with nowhere else to turn.

I hope you enjoy your Easter, knowing you are giving people new life and a brighter future by supporting Everett Gospel Mission. God bless you and yours!

Sylvia Anderson