One of the many heartbreaks a homeless person is likely to experience is watching helplessly as his or her own children follow in his or her footsteps. The sad reality is, someone who does not grow up in a healthy, supportive environment will not know how to provide a healthy, supportive environment for their own children.
In this edition of ICM E-News we tell the poignant story of a mother who broke the cycle of homelessness by putting her trust in the Lord and making the tough choices, and who, as she begins to look toward life beyond this life, rests easy in the knowledge that she has given her children more than she ever had….
A Mother's Journey
Kris came to Inner City Mission with her husband and four youngest children in September of 2011, her life and body decimated by the ravages of alcoholism. As is often true of the homeless, she was angry at God and not thrilled to be in a shelter that associated itself with Him. We were, however, the only safe place available.
Four months later, Kris was making progress. She experienced what she said was the first sober Christmas of her adult life. But within days of achieving that milestone, a physician gave her the devastating news that she had terminal cancer.
Kris’ plight resonated with you, our supporters. You stepped up to give Kris some of the joyous experiences she had missed out on in this life: She was treated, along with her family, to a meal at a high-end restaurant; she took beauty treatments with her mother and oldest daughter; she went on a camping trip with all the kids; a Cardinals game; a trip to the children’s museum in Chicago….
Meanwhile, we moved Kris and her family to a larger space in our shelter to allow room for her care, and additional privacy to work on personal and family issues. The Lord had given us an unknown time frame in which to work with Kris and her family, so we set aside the usual playbook and focused on prayer and critical needs. We were so pleased when Kris, her husband, and her son Tyler asked to be baptized while under our care.
One of Kris’ greatest fears was that she would leave her four young children with no legacy but anger and chaos. Though it was emotionally difficult, she worked with our staff and with attorneys to set up legal guardianships that would allow the children to live together in a stable home.
Kris has little energy left, but her work is done. Her kids are provided for; living in their new home and spending time with her when she has the strength. She no longer resents the Lord, but rests in His arms, understanding He was there all along.
Please join with Inner City Mission in prayer for Kris, that the Lord will continue to work in her life to bring her closer to Him, to give her peace and joy as she spends time with her family, and physical health and comfort as His greater plan allows.
All your children shall be taught by the LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children.
Isaiah 54:13 NKJV
Kudos to ICM supporters Ron and Teena Jockisch for hosting a pool party for ICM kids in their backyard this July. Mr. and Mrs. Jockisch live next door to Jeff Higginson, our chaplain and volunteer coordinator, in Fancy Prairie--a tiny community outside of Springfield that barely registers on the map but is full of heart.
Contributing to the splashing were members of the Licking Valley Church of Christ in Newark, Ohio, who came to Inner City Mission for several days of mission work. Besides feeding the residents for the week, the group also helped move a resident into a new home and performed other helpful chores.
The greatest gift from the group’s visit was the opportunity they afforded our residents to see God’s selfless love at work through the body of Christ.
Offer from a Supporter
Terry Snook is a supporter of ICM. Recently, he shared this awesome post on his Facebook page:
Over Memorial Day weekend my family spent a few days with some WONDERFUL people at a homeless shelter in Springfield IL. That experience has changed our life as it has done to so many more who not only go to help out there but also to those who live there. Inner City Mission does not take government funding because the freedom to teach and model the vital truths of the Bible is essential to the life-changing work that goes on there. They are fully funded by the Body of Christ working through area churches, businesses and individuals with a heart for the homeless. Because of this we have felt led to initiate a fundraiser on their behalf. My family has designed some awesome bracelets that we are selling and 100% of the proceeds will go to the mission!! Please let me know if you feel called to help support this life changing organization that God has blessed everyone with. Please feel free to visit their website and learn more about them at innercitymission.net and see if God has called you to be a part of the life changing transformations that go on there. God bless you all!
Terry’ bracelets are $3 each and 100% of the proceeds will be going to ICM. They come in medium and large. Free shipping on all orders of a dozen or more. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org for payment and shipping info.
Kris Montgomery's tumor is not getting bigger, and she continues to have a positive mind-set.
Many of you have been praying for Christian. Christian is a newborn who at three weeks old ended up in the ICU for a few days. He is doing quite well & is again at home with his mother at ICM.
Cierra (16 year old child) is doing her driving with one of the staff members and is looking forward to being the first of her parents’ children to get a driver’s license.