It is exciting and rewarding to witness God at work through The Jimmie Hale Mission ministries.
Because we share the Gospel message of hope and a new life, and through the support of our donors and volunteers, we can say, “Our product is changed lives.”
Thank you for making a real difference in real people's lives. Please take a moment for our clients and graduates to share their stories with you.Tony Cooper
How Can a Meal Lead to a Changed Life?
We say this a lot. Have you wondered how this is possible? How can something as simple as a hot meal, lead to an entirely changed life:
First - when you're hungry, you can't focus on anything else. We often refer to "Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs," to explain this. Your very basic needs - like food and shelter - must be met before you can move on to anything else.
This is why your donation - your gift of a meal - can help someone who is hungry and homeless move on to other needs and focus on getting back to work and back to life.
Second - we also serve the bread of life! Because we teach the Gospel message of Jesus' love to those we serve, we also serve hope to those in need. This provides the men, women and children with a lifetime of support and faith that God is there for them. So, when you give the gift of a meal, your giving us the opportunity to share this message of love and hope with those who need it most.
So when you give the gift of a meal this holiday season, know that you're giving more than a hot plate of food - you're giving the opportunity for a changed life in the year to come!
Click here to give your gift today! Thank you!
My name is Daniel. When I was only 13 years old, my mother passed away. When I lost my mom, I became very angry and turned against God. I rebelled by drinking and taking drugs. I dropped out of school at 16.
My life was complete chaos after several years of addiction. I wanted to beat my addiction, but I couldn't do it on my own. After seven years of doing it my way, I had nothing left but a small truck and bad luck.
A friend told me about the Jimmie Hale Mission and I looked them up online. I read the testimonies of others like me who had gone through the program and how Jesus had set them free. When I arrived, the staff was very nice and wanted to help anyway they could.
Daniel and his family
At the Mission, I found my identity in Christ. He has recovered my life and given me peace. I have a relationship with Him that gave me the courage to take the opportunity offered by the Mission's Stewart Learning Center to get my GED.
They strengthened my career skills and have helped open the door for college and a better job. I would like to offer thanks for their patience and persistence in teaching me. - Daniel T.
A Changed Life
My name is Karl. I came from a broken home and started drinking and using drugs at an early age - I never had a stable environment as a kid.
At 16, I was transporting a lot of drugs. Before I knew the Lord, I lived a dangerous, miserable and ruthless life.
I was in jail when I told a counselor I needed help - she said I needed God. She gave me a list of Christian facilities and on that list was Royal Pines. I feel like the Lord led me here.
Since I have been here at Royal Pines Recovery Center, I have developed a relationship with the Lord. I can see my life getting better already.
Karl reads a hymnal
While at Royal Pines, I went down to the creek and was baptized. I went down to the creek an old man, and rose up a new man!
- Karl S., Royal Pines Recovery Center
What's It Like?
Ever wondered what it's like to be a Discovery Clubs volunteer? One volunteer, Joe, offered to share his experiences with us about this wonderful opportunity to share the Gospel with children.
Q: What led you to actually becoming a volunteer?
A: I have a passion for teaching kids about Jesus. I felt like Discovery Clubs was a perfect way to do this.
Q: What is your favorite part of being a Discovery Clubs volunteer?
A: I love getting to know all the kids. I enjoy talking to them about their week, their hobbies, etc.
Joe and the boys in his class are all excited to discuss the Gospel
Q: How does volunteering fit into your busy schedule? Did you have to make any adjustments?
A: It worked out really well. Monday afternoon was the best time for me and I was able to choose to volunteer at Fultondale Elementary since they meet on Monday afternoons. Other schools meet at different times so someone interested in volunteering can pick the school that is the best fit for them. I was easily able to plan my work day around Monday afternoon.
"These kids are so smart and have so much potential to be a
positive influence in the world if they align with God's will."
- Joe A., Discovery Clubs Volunteer
Q: If there’s one thing about being a Discovery Club volunteer you’d like to share with others, what would that be?
A: That volunteering is such a blast! Also, that it’s important for these kids to hear God’s plan for salvation through Jesus. These kids are so smart and have so much potential to be a positive influence in the world if they align with God’s will.
To learn how you can become a Discovery Clubs volunteer, and share the Gospel with children, simply click here!
A Father's Recovery
David was born and raised in south Florida. Pulled out of school at just 8th grade, he went to work in the construction field. By age 15, he was ‘one of the guys’ and was drinking beer with his dad.
“My dad taught me how to drink and how to work hard,
and I’m good at doing both.” -David
Soon after, David met and married his sweetheart and they had four children together. During this time, he continued to drink. It wasn’t until David was around 30 years old that he began to see his drinking was a problem. “My dad taught me how to drink and how to work hard, and I’m good at doing both.”
David’s health began to deteriorate and so did his marriage. When his divorce was final, David gave up all hope and moved into the woods. For eight years he lived in a tent and only occasionally ventured out for items he needed. He was angry at where his life had taken him.
David was digging through a dumpster one day when a lady approached him and asked if he needed help.
That lady, along with her husband, began to meet with David and talk with him. Those talks helped David decide he wanted a new life. That same kind lady had given David a new pair of boots. After walking 30 miles, those boots helped lead him to the Jimmie Hale Mission.
David works sorting donations at one of our Mission Possible Bargain Centers
David is an example of the lives that are being restored through the Lord Jesus Christ at the Jimmie Hale Mission’s Shepura Men’s Center.
“Being at the Jimmie Hale Mission has been a blessing. I know the Lord has
forgiven me and I'm still working on forgiving myself.” -David
Your donation helps us to continue to impact the lives of men like David for Jesus Christ. Click here to give your gift today!
One Big Family
Can you imagine what it must be like for a scared, young mother to have to bring her child to a homeless shelter? Many of those who come to Jessie's Place, our shelter for women and children, tell us that before coming to us, they were so afraid to bring their child to a shelter.
"For me and my son, Jessie's Place is one big family.
It's so full of love!" - Deborah
But after spending some time with us, they always share how relieved they are and how happy they are to see their children safe and well-cared for!
People like Deborah, who came to us last year needing help. We were able to help her get back on her feet and able to care for her son. Deborah was also thrilled to share with us that while at Jessie's Place, she was able to join a local church and get baptized! Hallelujah!
Deborah at her baby shower at Jessie's Place in 2012
"Thank you for helping me take the first steps to a good
life for me and my son." - Deborah C., Jessie's Place alumnus
Cleaning Up A Life
“My daughter Kaitlyn was stillborn at 8 months of pregnancy. This was really hard for us, my wife Kirstin and me. At that time, I didn’t really know what addiction was. I just knew I couldn’t sleep without (pain) pills.
Though my life changed that day, I had no idea what other trials life had in store for me. My dad died from cancer and not quite a year later, I was diagnosed with colon cancer. I had to have 80 percent of my colon removed and when I woke up after surgery, I found I was hooked up to a morphine pump. I was hooked alright.
Billy and his Kirstin with their two beautiful children
I didn’t understand how this could happen to me. I took chemotherapy for a year and was prescribed pain pills by my doctor, but it wasn’t enough. I learned how to find pills on the street. A few years later, my mother died. It was so unexpected and I was completely devastated.
I started taking illegal drugs, drinking and cheating on my wife. I tried several clinics and hospitals to detox, but nothing worked. After being taken to a local hospital by ambulance, my wife called on a friend for help. He told her about Royal Pines Recovery Center. I just knew it was God working in my life.
Since I’ve been at Royal Pines, God has shown me not to worry and that He will take care of everything. My family has been well taken care of while I’ve been here getting better. I’m cleaning up my life in more ways than one. I’ve rededicated my life to God; I’ve read my Bible more in the last four months than I have in my entire life. I still have a lot to learn, but I know now that God had a plan for me the entire time.” - Billy H., former Royal Pines client
We consider it a blessing to be able to share our client’s testimonies with you.
Because of your support, we’re able to help people like Billy clean up their lives and get back to their families.
Click here if you would like to donate to help "clean up" lives this spring and throughout the year.
At the Jimmie Hale Mission ministries, we like to say that our product is changed lives. Looking back at the Success Stories of 2012, we certainly see evidence of that.
Thanks to your continued support, here's just a few of the lives you helped change in 2012:
If you'd like to help change lives in the year to come, click here to make your donation.
Christmas for the Kids
Alexis is a Jessie's Place child. That's what we call the children that come to stay with us, for a just a little while, at the Jimmie Hale Mission's shelter for women and children. We are blessed to help many children that stay with us while their moms find safe, affordable housing, look for work or go through education remediation or career readiness classes.
Alexis was happy to pose for a Christmas picture. She's so excited!
Alexis came to Jessie's Place with her mom and little brother. When they arrived, they had nowhere else to go. Alexis recently turned five, but she is already a big help to her mom. She helps take care of her little brother and is always looking for ways to help others.
When you give your gift, we hope you know what a blessing you're giving!
Like most kids, Alexis is so excited about Christmas. She asks her mommy every day when Christmas is coming! And thanks to caring people like you, we're able to make sure that Alexis and all the kids at Jessie's Place will have a very merry Christmas.
If you'd like to make a donation, whether it be to feed meals to the hungry or help give a merry Christmas to kids like Alexis, you can do so by clicking here. Either way, know that your gift will be a blessing to someone in need!
What I Didn't Know
James wondered how he could find God
When I arrived at the Jimmie Hale Mission’s Shepura Men’s Center, I knew two things: I was broken and needed help. What I didn’t know was how I would get that help or how I would come to find God.
I had waged my own personal rebellion through drugs and alcohol and knew I needed help, but it wasn’t until my wife kicked me out that I actually came to the Mission seeking that help. I had gone from having a great family life with two beautiful children, and a great job with a major airline, to having no money, no job and nowhere to go.
James studies in the Stewart Learning Center at our men's campus
With God, there is no "point of no return"
I believe with all my heart that God brought me to the Jimmie Hale Mission. The Mission helped teach me that it’s not about what I have done, but about what He has done and what He has planned for me.
James found God and support at the Jimmie Hale Mission
Not only did I learn about God, but I also took classes through their Stewart Learning Center to help get my life and job back on track. I am now blessed to be working at New Faith Baptist Church as their Minister of Music. And though I am submitting several applications looking for weekly employment, I’m proud of the work I do at the church for two services on Sundays and one service on Wednesdays.
I know that God used the Jimmie Hale Mission to restore my soul, even when I thought I was past the point of no return. I now know that with God’s direction I can be the father, son, employee and man that He always intended me to be.
- James P., former Shepura Men's Center client
School of Hard Knocks
Justin fights for his life...
My name is Justin, and I’m 21 years old. Ludicrous is the only word I can use to describe my life before Christ. I lived a dangerous life with drugs as a teenager and that lifestyle soon caught up with me.
I was only 17 when my life turned completely upside down — I was beaten nearly to death with a baseball bat and then shot in the head. I was completely brain-dead when I arrived at the hospital, and I’m told I died three times while on the way there.
When I came out of the coma nine days later, the doctors told my family I would be mentally challenged and probably need to be institutionalized for the rest of my life.
Family Reunion: Justin is rebuilding his relationships with his family, including his dad and mom.
The road to recovery was tough. It took me 36 months to learn to talk, eat and walk again. During this time, I was prescribed strong pain killers, which I became addicted to. My life was a mess.
But somehow, through it all, Christ saved me. He sent a wonderful woman to me who began to witness to me the Word of God and encouraged me to go to Royal Pines Center, a ministry of the Jimmie Hale Mission. If it wasn’t for me being led to Christ, I would be dead by now.
Back to life
When I arrived at Royal Pines, I knew it was the best blessing I had ever received. I can now call myself a
Christian and a man of God.
Thanks to Royal Pines, I am completing goals and getting my life back. I got my GED through their Stewart Learning Center and rebuilt my relationships with my family. I hope to attend college and eventually become a nurse.
In front of the Cross at Royal Pines: Justin stands with Amanda, the young lady
that helped lead him to Christ and Royal Pines. She is now his fiancee.
God has opened so many doors for me, and I thank God, Royal Pines and the Jimmie Hale Mission for giving me a second chance at life.
Thank you all for everything you have done in my life. I will forever remember this and my walk with Jesus. My favorite verse in the Bible comes from Proverbs 16:33, “We may throw the dice, but the Lord determines where they fall.” - Justin P., Royal Pines Graduate
The Greatest Gift of All
When you think of Christmas, you often think of Christmas gifts. And while presents are exciting, especially for children, they are not all Christmas (or Christmas in August) is about. Sometimes the gift is much greater...
When Ashley came to Jessie’s Place, she was desperately seeking help. She’d just found out she was pregnant and was walking around Birmingham, not knowing where to turn. She came across the housing authority building and ducked inside. There, the lady at the desk gave her the information for Jessie’s Place, our shelter for women and children.
Ashley with her sweet little baby girl.
At Jessie’s Place, Ashley first began attending Bible study. Then, she realized that was not enough. “I wanted even more of it,” she said.
Ashley began attending Church of the Highlands with several others from Jessie’s Place. One Sunday, the pastor announced they were going to hold baptisms. “I knew I was going to mess up my church clothes, but I didn’t care — I wanted to get baptized!” Ashley said. “It was the most powerful experience ever.”
Ashley proudly shows off her "Just Baptized" t-shirt.
Now, Ashley feels revived in her faith and is looking forward to living her life. She has a sweet little baby and is excited to be searching for a job so that they can both continue to move forward. “God is good!” Ashley said.
“Thank you to everyone for their support; I’m so thankful
there’s a place like Jessie’s Place that I could turn to.”
A God Moment
A true story from a Discovery Club volunteer: One of my students, Damione, said, "You can't keep sinning and expect to get forgiveness every time." "Really?" I asked. "You mean God draws a line and says, 'that's enough, no more forgiveness for you'?" Most of the boys nodded in agreement. "Okay, let's review some things," I said.
4th grade boys recite a Bible verse after class in their Discovery Club class
I grabbed the Sins and Righteousness t-shirts out of my box and asked Damione and Mario, another student, to put them on. "Tell me the story of these shirts," I said.
Damione answered, "Christ died for our sins." "Right," I agreed. "But not just our past sins - God will forgive us everytime we sin." "But that's not right!" Damione exclaimed. "We can't keep sinning over and over! We have to love and obey Him."
"Yes, you're right, but He will always forgive us no matter what because Christ has already died for our sins," I said. At this point, I had the boys exchange shirts.
A Light Bulb Goes On
"Well, if all of our sins are forgiven, then why do we have to ask for forgiveness?" Damione asked. "Great question!" I said. "Say you say something mean to me. I love you and forgive you without even being asked. So why would you apologize to me later?"
Damione said, "Because it fixes our relationship," he said bringing his hands together. "YES!" I exclaimed. "That's it!" You apologize because it mends our relationship - now there is nothing between us!"
Kinsey and Damione share a learning moment
"So let me get this straight," Damione said. "I'm already forgiven because of Christ, but I confess my sins to Him to fix our relationship." "That's right," I said.
Damione grinned as if a light bulb had come on, and I think it did for the rest of the class as well. We had a God Moment!
"Thank you, Jesus, for shining your light in these little boys' hearts. Amen!"
- Kinsey, Discovery Club volunteer
A Father's Faith
When David began sharing his testimony with us, he started by telling us about his life before the Mission. "Before I came here, my life was a total mess," he said. "Drugs, alcohol and other poor choices had left my life in ruins."
"I had lost custody of my son," David recalled, "and that's when I got desperate. I knew doing things my way was not going to work."
So David decided to come to the Jimmie Hale Mission to get the help he needed. "I knew it would be a slow process and one that is on-going to this day, but with the Lord's help, I am putting my life back together."
Father and son, reunited:
David and his son now enjoy many father-son activities together, including basketball.
David successfully worked his way through our program and came to lean on God when he needed help. "God has really been working in my life," he said. David is working hard now - he is a salesman for his brother's business and is going back to school in hopes of earning his degree in automotive technology.
Bonding and building a relationship:
David enjoys spending time with his son again; they even go fishing together.
But more importantly, David is rebuilding relationships with his family. "I am back in my son's life, and we are closer than ever before," he said. "A lot of my family relationships have been restored." Though David began his testimony by telling us of the bad times, his story ends on a high note. "Praise God!" David said of all the changes he has made.
"I am truly thankful for the Jimmie Hale Mission and the opportunities they offer."
- David F., Shepura Men's Center Graduate
Always Part Of The Family
When Latasha first came to Jessie's Place, she had no job, no license and nowhere to go. Like many mothers, she was unsure of having her kids stay in a homeless shelter. "But I just had to trust them," she said.
Latasha soon learned though that the staff at Jessie's Place was there to help her. "I saw my kids had more than enough to eat," she recalled. She also took full advantage of the classes and services we offered. Latasha worked hard in our Stewart Learning Center, took parenting classes and Bible studies.
Always Part of the Family:
"Even though we're not there anymore, they still gave my kids Easter baskets - this is great place."
"Now, I am back in church and have learned how to grow spiritually with God. I have turned my life and my kids' lives toward Christ," Latasha said. "I have learned that God is always there for us, through the good times and the bad."
Latasha and her family have moved on, but they will always love Jessie's Place.
We're so proud of Latasha and how far she has come. "I have my own housing now, and my children are in daycare," Latasha said. "But she doesn't want to stop there: "I want to go to college and study nursing. I want to give my kids the best life possible."
"I loved my Jessie's Place home. Thank you for everything you have done for me."
- Latasha B., Jessie's Place Alumnus
A Life Resurrected
"I did not know how to live in Christ." That's the first thing Felix said when he shared his testimony with us. "I was not familiar with the Holy Spirit and I lived my life in bondage to certain things," Felix said.
Felix was surrounded by caring supporters and friends at Royal Pines
According to Felix, there were many things that kept him from living the life God meant for him: "I had problems with drugs, women, stealing - you name it." Because of his problems, Felix lost everything that meant something to him. "I lost my wife and children, my home and my job," he recalled.
I was living in the streets, dirty and ashamed, when God put Royal Pines on my heart," Felix said. "I made the call and even though I had tried other places, I truly believe there is where He wanted me to be."
Felix is now reunited with his family - what a blessing!
Since coming to Royal Pines, Felix has dedicated his life to Christ and has even restored the relationships with his family that he thought he had lost. "When I repented and came to Royal Pines, He met me at the door," Felix recalled. "Since I've rededicated my life to Him, it's been nothing short of amazing."
Felix is back with his wife and children, and is back home. "I have a job and way to get to work now. I have been renewed and my bad habits have been changed to good ones," he shared.
"I truly believe Royal Pines Recovery Center is where God wanted me to be."
- Felix B., Royal Pines Client
Learning About Love
When Joe first arrived at our Royal Pines Recovery Center, he felt lost and unloved. "I felt like a nobody," he said. "But as soon as I walked through the doors of Royal Pines, I felt peace and relief - I felt the presence of God there," Joe recalled.
During his stay at Royal Pines, Joe learned of God's redeeming love and began to grow in his identity as a child of God. "My identity is in Christ ... Now, I know of His grace, and I make a point to show it to others," Joe said.
In Africa: Joe and others (including Dr. Stan Graves, chaplain from
Royal Pines) on their mission trip to Kenya, Africa.
Joe successfully graduated from the Royal Pines program and wanted to continue on his path to Christ. "I continued my education when I left and received a bachelor's degree in Christian Counseling," Joe said. "God allowed me to travel to Kenya and use my degree to help others."
Then, Joe received another blessing from God. "I married Heather, my best friend of four years. She is an everyday blessing and reminder that I am somebody in Christ."
At The Wedding: From left to right - Royal Pines Chaplain Dr. Stan Graves,
Heather C., Joe C., and Myra Graves, Stan's wife.
"Royal Pines and the Jimmie Hale Mission ministries is the reason I know love today."
- Joe C., Royal Pines Alumnus
What Do You Love?
Most people might be sad about having to live in a homeless shelter - but not Anighjha. Anighjha and her mom are staying at Jessie's Place, our shelter for women and children, and Anighjha's not sad at all. In fact, there's a lot she loves about Jessie's Place.
Anighjha, age 7, loves Jessie's Place!
According to the Program Coordinator for Jessie's Place, Stephanie Bales, "Anighjha's eyes light up whenever she talks about fields trips."
Anighjha said that she loved the field that Jessie's Place took her on to Spring Valley Beach. "It was so much fun seeing new things," she said.
Anighjha recently celebrated her 7th birthday with us - she couldn't believe
all the love and presents she received!
"All of the children love the Bible studies and the fun crafts we do with them, but the field trips are always a huge hit," Bales said.
"My favorite thing about Jessie's Place is the playroom because it has
lots of toys, and people always come and play with us."
- Anighjha H., Jessie's Place child
Counting Our Blessings
As 2011 comes to a close, we'd like to take a moment and reflect on the blessings we have received from God. Our headlines focus on blessings received from donors and volunteers, but we'd also like to recognize the blessings seen in the changed lives of our clients.
Lives such as Joseph's, whose testimony we shared earlier this year. Joseph came to us unsure and uncertain about his future. "I remember when I was a broken addict who had absolutely no future," Joseph had said. Now, Joseph attends college at Wallace State Community College.
Joseph heads to class at Wallace State Community College
"I wish I could tell you so much more about the program here and how it changed my life, but really, all I can say is thank you so very much!" Joseph said. We thank God everyday for the lives changed here at the Jimmie Hale Mission ministries. And as Joseph said, thank you so very much!
It's not too late to help change lives in the coming year. Give your gift before Dec. 31,
and not only will you give a blessing now, but you could receive a blessing come tax time!
It All Started With A Meal
At the Jimmie Hale Mission, we say that our product is changed lives. But what changes a life? To put it simply, it all starts with a meal.
Our ministries help people with spiritual guidance, education remediation and career readiness, and so much more. But when someone first walks through those doors, the first step in the process is getting a hot meal.
Rodney's first day at the Mission. He came to us hungry and alone.
When someone like Rodney comes to the Mission both physically and spiritually hungry, we immediately provide a warm meal to nourish the body and begin to work on nourishing the soul.
When Rodney came to us, he had been living in the streets. He had not been blessed with good role models in his younger years and was fighting a vicious cycle of bad decisions.
Once his basic needs - food, shelter and clothing - were met, Rodney began to take in the message of God's love. “I listened to what was being said about Jesus,” Rodney shared. “The more I listened, the more I wanted to know.”
Rodney worked diligently in our Stewart Learning Center. Everyone at the Mission is so proud of Rodney!
Rodney’s life is now completely different – he is working full-time for a local steel company, has his own car and his own place.
And to think that this changed life started with a meal.
We hope that during this Thanksgiving season, you’ll consider how many lives you can help change by providing a meal. Just $1.95 provides a hot meal to a homeless and hungry man, woman or child.
What An Education Meant to Angel
When Angel first came to Jessie's Place, she had no job and was lacking a basic requirement to getting a good job. She did not have a high school diploma.
Angel stands in front of Jefferson State Community College in her cap
and gown on the day of her graduation ceremony
But Angel was determined. "I learned to give God my problems because, in the end, it's His will that will be done," Angel said. That faith spurred her on and, in June of this year, Angel graduated with her G.E.D.
If it wasn't for Jessie's Place, the tutors and the volunteers helping me, I would never have gained it," Angel recalled.
"I am now employed, and I am so blessed to be working full-time hours. Praise God!" Angel exclaimed. "Of all the things I've learned at Jessie's Place, I've truly learned to think things through and to trust in God."
Angel with friends Daria and Caroline at Jessie's Place
"If it wasn't for Jessie's Place, I never would have gained my G.E.D."
- Angel L., Jessie's Place Client
Focusing on Family
“I was raised in a Christian home. We went to church and Sunday school, and I even attended a Christian school,” Mr. Estelle recalled. “However, I rebelled as a teenager and walked away from God and everything my mother taught me. Since then I lived in a drunken fog.”
Mr. Estelle shakes hands with another Royal Pines client at his graduation ceremony
“Because of my addiction, I have been estranged from my sons for some time,” Estelle said. “The final straw was when I awoke to find myself in the emergency room, recovering from alcohol poisoning. It was then that I called my parents, crying for help.”
Estelle’s parents came to help. They went to Kansas to help Mr. Estelle pack and bring him to Birmingham, where they lived. It was then that his mom contacted Royal Pines, to see if they had room for her son.
“My stay here at Royal Pines has reformed me completely. Not only have I learned to be alcohol free, but I have learned the principles of how a Godly man should live, respect himself and his family,” Estelle said. “I thank God for my parents, Royal Pines Recovery Center and the Jimmie Hale Mission for helping to save my life.”
“At my recent graduation ceremony from Royal Pines, I was blessed to have 5 of my 6 sons together,” Estelle praised. “Thank you to everyone for your prayers and support.”
Mr. Estelle reunited with his family
"I thank God for my parents, Royal Pines Recovery Center and
the Jimmie Hale Mission for helping to save my life."
- Estelle B., Royal Pines Graduate
Celebrating Freedom Through Christ
“My story begins in a small southern town with parents and grandparents who knew the importance of having a relationship with Jesus Christ,” Jonathan began. “But I found it boring and useless and thought all I had to do was give Him a couple of hours a week.”
Jonathan is now a proud homeowner
As he grew older and moved on to high school, Jonathan discovered a passion for science, but because in his
mind, God and science could not co-exist, “I abandoned my spiritual training.... Science had become the answer to all my questions; I even called myself an atheist,” Jonathan recalled.
He eventually fell into a “partying lifestyle” and started using meth. “Because of my background in science and chemistry, I assumed selling meth could be quite lucrative,” Jonathan said. “I started selling in order to support my own addiction, but I knew that if I was ever caught, the consequences would be more than I wanted to pay.”
During this time, Jonathan’s family had continued to pray for him, asking God to help him through this time. Even when Jonathan was arrested and sent to jail, and as Jonathan put it, “I had little hope in recovery.” His family continued to pray and have faith. “Because of their prayers and faith, I was given an opportunity to go to Royal Pines,”
Jonathan graduated from Royal Pines Recovery Center over five years ago, and still to this day, he recognizes that “I have been truly blessed by God.” He has a good job and recently bought his first home. “Royal Pines helped me to find my new-found faith that would help me recover.”
Jonathan's family is happy to have him back
"Through Royal Pines, I was given the education and tools I needed to recover."
- Jonathan T., Royal Pines Alumnus
Proud Daddy is Reunited with his Girls
"I am very lucky to have a loving family," Kevin said. But before he came to the Jimmie Hale Mission ministries, Kevin's life was not so picture-perfect.
Kevin with his two girls, Alyssa and
Alaina, at his Mission graduation ceremony
"I was taught about God from a young age and was involved in my church," Kevin recalled. "But as I got older, I started experimenting with drugs and I strayed from my faith." Kevin strayed from his faith and from his church. According to him, he felt like a hypocrite going to church when he was involved with drugs. Thus, things went from bad to worse.
Kevin continued to use drugs, even when he met his wife and got married, and even later when their first daughter was born. “When my first daughter was born, I decided I would never be involved with drugs again. I didn’t want to risk losing my daughter, but I was so caught up in my addiction.” Kevin continued to struggle.
Kevin prayed to God to help find a resolution, a way to get better. “I knew I needed to seek Him to beat this battle,” Kevin said. Then, Kevin came to The Jimmie Hale Mission Ministries. “I knew God had led me here.”
Kevin entered the Mission’s recovery program at Royal Pines and said, “As the weeks went by, I learned how God could not only help me with overcoming my addiction, but that He could guide me through anything in life.”
Kevin graduated from the program in late 2010 and according to his family, he is now living a life of peace and joy from living his life through God. He even started his own business and has been quite successful.
"Now, I have become the man, father and Christian that I was meant to be."
- Kevin R., Mission Graduate
Walk a Mile in a Mother's Shoes
“When I first came to Jessie’s Place,” Kimeshia said, “I was afraid, unsure and ashamed.”
Kimeshia and Makayla happy at Jessie's Place
Like many who never thought they would find themselves living in a homeless shelter, Kimehsia said “I questioned myself — ‘How could you allow yourself to be in this situation?’ How could I have allowed my daughter to see me in this situation? How could I have failed myself?”
Before coming to Jessie’s Place, Kimeshia had been working full-time but had unfortunately, like so many others, had lost her job. However, within a few weeks of her stay, “I was blessed with a full-time position with health benefits” — a must for a mom with a young child.
Though she had no transportation, she was determined to make the most of this blessing and walked several miles every day from Jessie’s Place to her job and back. Then Kimeshia received another blessing: a kind Mission supporter donated a car for her to use.
Kimeshia is a wonderful example of a Jessie’s Place success story. Because of her good job and reliable transportation, she will soon be moving on to her own place, and we are so proud of her.
"During my stay at Jessie's Place, I was transformed. They have done so much for me and my child."
- Kimeshia, Jessie's Place client
When Levi first came to Royal Pines, he'd had "nowhere to turn." "Coming to Royal Pines felt like the first day of my new life. Everyone greeted me and told me how glad they were to have me there," Levi said.
Levi ministered to people in Kenya and shared with them the Word of God
Soon after his arrival, Levi rededicated his life to Christ and worked to restore relationships with his family, friends and even his former boss. He was successful in staying away from his former life, but Levi still wanted to do more.
During a Bibly study session with other Mission alumni, Levi heard someone share their idea of a mission trip to Kenya to share their faith with others. So Levi and a team of eight other people worked to make this dream a reality.
“Landing in Kenya, it didn’t seem real to me,” Levi said. “I didn’t know what to expect.” Led by Stan Graves, a counselor at Royal Pines, Levi and the others arrived in Africa to train local pastors how to share the word of God with non-believers. “I prayed for the wisdom to know what to say to these people,” Levi recalled.
Levi hard at work in Kenya, Africa
When they arrived, they were greeted by many smiling faces that were waiting for them. “They sang Swahili praise songs worshipping the Lord for sending us into their lives,” Levi said. “I have honestly never seen anyone as spiritually hungry as these people were.”
As they worked, word traveled through Kenya, and more came to learn of the Word of God. By the end of the mission trip, they had added six more churches to their network, saved 12 lives to Christ, and had one woman commit her life to helping spread the word as well.
Levi has come far since he first arrived at Royal Pines needing help. His journey took him to another continent and to a new phase in his life.
"A year ago, I was broken... but now the Lord has blessed me in ways I would never have imagined."
- Levi, Royal Pines Alumnus
A Mother's Love
Last February, on the day after Valentine's Day, Monisha arrived at Jessie's Place. Monisha had been working full-time to support herself and her children but, like so many others, had lost her job. She took a temporary job to help make ends meet, but it was not enough, and she lost her home too.
Monisha and her kids at Jessie's Place
Relying on her family, Monisha moved in with her grandmother, but after her grandmother passed away, Monisha had nowhere to go. Monisha shuffled around, staying with whoever would open their doors for her, but nothing was permanent. That was when she came to Jessie's Place.
"I knew by the welcome that I got that I was in the right place," Monisha recalled. She was nervous about staying in a shelter, but now is so glad she did.
Monisha attended Bible study, went to church, and took parenting classes. "I learned so much at Jessie's Place," Monisha said. "But the most important thing I learned was about the Lord."
Monisha and her older daughter, Kiyla Monisha and her younger daughter, Ta'Shya
Monisha and her two daughters have sinced moved out of Jessie's Place and everyone is so proud of her accomplishments. She has her own place for her two beautiful daughters and also has a good, stable job to support herself and her family.
"Because of Jessie's Place... my children are happier than ever."
- Monisha P., Jessie's Place alumnus
Nowhere To Go
“I had no place to call my own,” said Stephen.
Stephen had bounced from state to state, and job to job, staying with family members, friends, or whoever would let him. He was doing just enough to get by, but “there was no chance of me rejoining the professional world,” Stephen said.
“It was my mom that found out about the Jimmie Hale Mission,” he said. At that time, “I was out of options. To say that I was lost is an understatement.”
By all definitions, Stephen had been successful in life. He had a good education, a good job, and money in the bank. “But I always felt something was missing… I carried insecurity with me through my life,” he recalled.
Stephen tried to fill this void with drinking and according to him, “alcohol filled the void for a while, but it was merely a poison progressing through my mind, body and soul.”
So in late 2009, Stephen found himself at the Jimmie Hale Mission, with no place else to go. But since being here, Stephen has not only rebuilt his life, he is also building his kingdom in heaven.
Stephen has eagerly work, , ed to regain his life and is now back to work. Stephen works at the Jimmie Hale Mission’s Men’s Center front desk. He helps others who are coming into the Mission and offers the assistance that was offered to him.
Stephen works with Mr. Smiley at the
front desk of the Men's Center
“While I know now that none of my actions in the past brought Jesus in as the Lord and Savior of my life, his Word is alive for me now and I am amazed daily at His Wonders,” Stephen said. “The past is fixed and while I cannot change it, through Him I can make amends and work toward my future.”
“There are many things that I believe the Lord has in store for me. I’m excited to see what His Will entails and look forward to each in day in His Word.”
Stephen is thrilled to be back to work and
back to life!
"Because of the Jimmie Hale Mission... I have learned to rely on Jesus Christ
and it is this fact that has changed everything in my life."
- Stephen W., Current Staff Member of Shepura Men's Center
I Found Peace in God's Word
I was 8 months pregnant when the father of my children left me – left me to care for our unborn child and 11-month-old daughter. I felt alone, depressed, confused and lost whenever I thought of our situation…me, with no help in caring for my daughte, r and another child on the way.
Brenda's son, whom she was pregnant with when she came
to Jessie's Place, is now a happy 4-month old.
When I first came to Jessie's Place I was exhausted, especially in dealing with my little girl who was having a hard time adjusting to her new surroundings and to living in a shelter. However, as a rule at Jessie’s Place, it is a requirement to attend church every Sunday and Bible studies every Tuesday – it was then that I realized that it was God’s word that my exhausted spirit needed.
As I received my daily dose of Christ, I noticed that each time I found comfort, happiness and rest. After six months, God and his Spirit became stronger and brighter inside me. Although I was unwed and caring for two children, homeless and with no job, the teachers at Bible study told me they noticed peacefulness in me that had not been there before. I knew it was Christ.
After much praying, God blessed me with a full-time job that provided me with insurance and benefits to care for my family. It was even conveniently located near a daycare. He has also blessed me with the opportunity to move out of Jessie’s Place and into my own 2-bedroom apartment.
Brenda and her daughter, Nicole
I thank God every day. I , can do all things through Christ!!
I was illiterate
Stanford's New Lease on Life
There was a time when Stanford used excuses to explain his situation - he even blamed others for his homelessness. But now that he has taken his life into his own hands, Stanford got a fresh start, a job and more...
Stanford used to be homeless, but now that he's a successful homeowner, he's helping others. Fox 6's Steve Crocker interviews the former Jimmie Hale Mission client and learns how his success story is now helping others.
When Day and her daughter Anna first came to Jessie's Place, they had nowhere else to go. Day had lost her job and her home, and was without a way to provide for her daughter. But when they came to Jessie's Place, they got the care and support they needed to start a new life. Now, Day is back to work and her and her daughter have a home of their own. Dreams are sweet again.
Will Work For You
Close your eyes and picture a person who would come to the Mission. Now open your eyes. Is this man what you pictured? Greg never imagined he would end up at the Jimmie Hale Mission. When life came crashing down around him, the Mission was there to help him get back on his feet, and today he is back in the workforce.
Lorraine & Kids are Blossoming
Prior to coming to Jessie’s Place, Lorraine and her kids lived with relatives. Lorraine described it as a very negative time in her life. ,
She recalls, “There was frequent alco, hol use in the home and very negative langu, age &n, dash; verbal, abuse,” Lorraine said, &ldq, uo;it was a negative life with no hope and nowhere to go.” She continued, &, ldquo;They didn’t respect me, and I was struggling to make something of myself.” She even said she almost gave up as a mother – because the people she was living with always told her she wasn’t a good mother and that she wasn’t doing a good job. “That made me want to give up.”
She was eight months pregnant when she and her two kids arrived at Jessie’s Place. “When we first came here, we just wanted a place to sleep,” she said. “But we got more than shelter.”
Because of the support system at Jessie's Place, Lorraine was able to focus and get her life back on track. “Jessie’s Place strengthened me and taught me how to deal with life,” she said. “Everyone was so supportive and caring. They set me in the right direction.”
Lorraine got a scholarship to Lawson State Community College and is studying to work in the construction trade industry. “I love my Tuesday classes,” she said. “We take tests and do activities that show us what you’re good at.”
She is also currently working as a substitute teacher for the Jefferson County Board of Education. “The kids in 2nd grade love to sharpen their pencil!” she laughed. “But the kids in 3rd and 5th grade love to help the teacher,” she said. But what Lorraine really loves is helping out at the alternative schools. “I like to encourage the kids that other people have given up on,” she said.
Lorraine and her kids are truly blossoming.,, They ha, ve had their own place since March, and she is so proud of her kids. Nathan, age 7, is on the “A” honor roll at his school, and his older sister Sylvia, age 14, , is Lor, raine’s star athlete. “She plays volleyball and basketball!” Lorraine beamed.
Isaiah, Lorraine’s youngest, was born at Jessie’s Place, and they recently went back to celebrate his first 1st birthday party there. They often go back to visit – her kids can visit with the friends they made during their stay, and Lorraine can still receive encouragement and discipleship.
“The most helpful thing about Jessie’s Place was the discipleship,” she said, “I could talk about my problems without judgment.” She continued, “Jessie’s Place set the tone for what I should be doing – setting goals and meeting those goals.”
Smiley is Smiling Again
My name's Smiley. But I wasn't always this happy.
Friends influenced me to try drugs and alcohol at an early age. It soon turned to an addiction. I lost everything and ended up sleeping in ditches, under trees and in abandoned houses.
Lying in the hospital -- shaking and weak -- a deputy sheriff told me about the Jimmie Hale Mission. That was 1998. Today, I welcome men to the Mission when they walk through the door. I was once where they are now. God restored me, and
He can restore them too. <, /p>
Thank God for the Jimmie Hale Mission and the people who support its work.
It changed my life.
Tell Us Your Story
Now that you've heard our stories, we'd love to hear yours. Please Tell Us Your Story of how the Mission has impacted or been a part of your life.