“My name is Yvette. I am 29 years old, and I currently live at Pacific Garden Mission with my four-year-old daughter, August. As a child, I grew up in a single parent household. We had a simple childhood and my mother always took us to church. So from a young age I had always known about God, but it wasn’t until I was a teenager that I knew about Jesus Christ. I tried several times at my church to restore my relationship with God, but my heart wasn’t fully surrendered.
“In school I was bullied, and I didn’t have any friends, not even neighborhood friends. That really affected how I saw people and my surroundings. The high school that my twin sister and I went to was all Latin American; we were the only African Americans in our entire graduating class. Because I was bullied so much in school, both verbally and physically, I didn’t care to even do my homework or study, and as result my grades suffered. I did graduate high school, and I went on to college where I graduated with a high GPA. That showed me that no matter what was going on around me, as long as I focused, I could succeed.
“After college, I began the relationship with my child’s father. He was very abusive. I endured eight years of abuse from him. I would break up with him several times each year but would always go back. It was literally a cycle. I had heard about there being cycles of abuse but had not realized it until I was experiencing it. Even law enforcement officers, doctors, and nurses told me to get away from him and that I didn’t need him, but I seemed incapable of believing it for myself.
“The first time I had come to PGM was in 2014, and I stayed as an overnight guest for about two months due to the abuse. After two months I left to live with my mother, but I ended up in the same relationship for another four years. From that I had my daughter August, but in 2017 because of the unstable nature of my life, I gave my mother legal guardianship of my daughter until my situation improved.
“I even found myself living on trains in the middle of February for several weeks when it was below zero outside. I truly did not know what I wanted from my life. I felt so lonely and I wanted someone to be there with me, but because the relationship I was in was not from God, I got everything that was not from God. His Spirit was speaking with me the entire time, waiting for me to turn to Him.
“The reason why I am here now at PGM is to restore my relationship with God. Here at PGM, the staff members have taken their time with me. They have realized that it is not something that can be rushed and that we all learn to grow close to God at our own pace. I believe He meets us exactly where we are in our lives. We have scheduled counseling once a week, but every day at PGM you can go to someone and tell them how you’re feeling. The counselors are not going to tell you how they feel, they use the Bible to tell you what God says.
“That is something that I really need, especially for my spiritual growth, someone that is spiritually mature in themselves and has a close relationship with God. If I surround myself with people that are like that, I will grow spiritually and heal, but Jesus is my number one example to teach me how to be spiritually mature.
“I thank God every day for this place. My daughter and I pray daily and thank God for PGM, because if I had never come here, I don’t know where we would be. Today, I am actually able to be a mother and she loves me for that. I thank my mom too because she never stopped praying for me, and to this day she tells me she prays for me and that she is proud of me, and even at 29 years old, hearing those words from her is amazing. My daughter August and I are very thankful.”
Nothing speaks of truth and transformation more than the story of a changed life. Yvette and August are safe, and within the walls of PGM, they are able to heal and begin building a new life. There are 8 mothers with their children currently staying at Pacific Garden Mission, each with their own unique reason for being homeless, whether it’s the loss of a job, escaping an abusive relationship, or an unexpected health calamity. However these women and children found their way here, you can be certain as a faithful supporter that they will be fed by the Word of God and have everything needed to begin a life on a Christ-centered foundation. We rejoice daily for your support and for the miracles happening each day here because of God.
Please help support Pacific Garden Mission today, so that more victims of abuse like Yvette can find both physical and spiritual refuge.