Some of you may have recently read Brenda’s story in our Christmas newsletter. She, her boyfriend, and their 2 young daughters spent months living out of a Ford Taurus.
Can you imagine? If you had to stuff everything you owned in the trunk of a car, what would you bring with you? What would you struggle to let go of? (Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below). Every day, families right in our community are making those tough choices. We don’t often see them — living in the car is illegal in California, so most families do their best to stay hidden — but economic struggles have forced a growing number of “invisible homeless” families to survive this way. For Brenda’s little girls, the hardest part of living in the car was when they had to give their dog Bailey away. For the first few weeks in the car, Bailey brought a sense of normalcy and safety into the little girls’ lives. The family was constantly on the move to avoid being seen, but having Bailey curled up in the back seat with them made it a little easier. Once he was gone, the girls struggled even more to cope. A few Christmases ago, Brenda and her girls were still living in that Taurus, but this Christmas is much different — this year they’ll be celebrating together as a family in their own apartment. What a change — and it’s all thanks to the generosity and prayers of people who care. As you prepare to celebrate the holidays with your family, would you remember to pray for families like Brenda’s who have yet to come to Shepherd’s Gate? Would you ask God to keep them safe and provide shelter for them? Thank you for caring about those who are hurting this Christmas. Your prayers really do make a difference!
Carla McRee Associate Director, Shepherd’s Gate