For some, the holiday season is full of family, hope, expectancy, and love… but for many, it is just another day, or a reminder of things lost. At Exodus, we consider it a huge honor to help these women redeem their holiday season, and to focus on the hope and person of Jesus Christ. For many of our women at Exodus, this Christmas will be the very first Christmas that they have been sober, no longer incarcerated, and able to truly celebrate as a family.
From dope houses and prison dorms, to making gingerbread houses with her children, she is learning that the more she lets go, the more she has.
Merry Christmas from all of us at Exodus – where God Himself dwells in the neighborhood.
“Last Christmas, I was at a Motel 6 with two bouncers from the strip club I used to work at. I was filling out an adoption packet for my unborn baby – I had planned to give her up for adoption, because I had nowhere to go. I felt sad – I had no one… no one would pick up the phone when I called. This year, I am surrounded by so many people and have been reunited and reconciled with my family, and I get to celebrate my baby’s first Christmas!”
She ended up keeping her baby girl, and arrived at Exodus when the baby was 3 days old. She is currently 5 months old and thriving with her mama’s support and loving care.She will be graduating Exodus in June of 2017.
“Last year, I don’t really remember where I was. I know that I was running away from my problems, and definitely not with my kids. I was off with my ex-boyfriend. We were sleeping in the back of vehicles. I felt miserable because I couldn’t do anything for my kids, so I just stayed away… because of guilt. This year is completely different because I have both of my kids with me, we have our own home, and we’re going to have an amazing Christmas, and I also get to do something for my older girls. I am very thankful.”
“Last year, I had just gotten to Woodman State Jail. I turned myself in on a 3 year old charge. I felt alone, hurt, and devastated for my son – it was our first time ever being apart. I never imagined missing a holiday with him. This year – for the first time, I get to enjoy a holiday without being worried that the police would come and arrest me. This year is peaceful because I get to enjoy the holiday with my son! To know that there are people that don’t know me or my background that are going out of their way to give us Christmas… it’s amazing. It just shows me how good God is and how much He loves me.”
“The Christmas before Exodus, I was living in a one bedroom shack on the north side of Houston, Texas. I was highly strung out on crystal meth, and didn’t know I was pregnant. For me, every holiday was an excuse to get high. That’s how I celebrated. This Christmas, I’ve been sober for 22 months. I have a clear state of mind, a steady job, and my one year old is with me.”
Davidyne graduated our program on November 15, 2016.
“The Christmas before I came to Exodus, I had recently been released from prison (December 15). I was still in the process of accumulating clothes, but I had no money. I ended up at a sober women’s house. On Christmas day, I went to an AA meeting. My kids were with their dad, and I didn’t get to see them or talk to them. I was pregnant, and I was in contact with an adoption agency – thinking of giving the baby up for adoption because I had nowhere to go. I felt lonely and scared. I had received a few gifts from a church for the kids, but I never got to give them to them. I was accepted into Exodus, and decided to keep my baby, because for once – there was hope. While at Exodus, I was able to get a job, and I never had to worry about whether or not my children would have anything, or if it would be enough… or if we would be lonely. We woke up Christmas morning and were surrounded by family. The season I came to Exodus was a season of reconciliation for me and my family – including my estranged mother.”
Chelsea graduated our program April 2016.
“Honestly, I don’t remember what my Christmas was like back then. Christmas prior to Exodus was ‘just another day’ – I was usually coming off a high and didn’t care about anything. I got to Exodus at Christmas with my baby girl. I was able to find the true meaning of Christmas while at Exodus – it was a magical time of warmth, love, and acceptance. I had community. I’ve graduated the program, but Exodus continues to help me, we are always included for anything – gifts, events, blessings, turkey, coats, and clothing!”
Tina graduated our program August, 2014
“When I was growing up, I lived with my aunt, who was Jehovah ’s Witness so we didn’t celebrate Christmas. Before that I dealt with my mom in her addiction, so we didn’t have much of a Christmas. Everyone was drinking, fighting and beating each other up. Everything we got for Christmas, my mom sold to buy drugs. I’m so glad that my kids won’t have to deal with that because I’m sober now and won’t that let that happen. Christmas at Exodus was really special because it was the first Christmas I had with my kids in a very long time. We’re still a part of Exodus — we participate in the Cornerstone Christmas store, they adopt us out at Christmas, and they gave us turkeys! It will always be our forever family and I will always be grateful for Exodus, and what they’ve given to my children and me. We wouldn’t be where we are now if it wasn’t for Exodus and The Lord. We’ve come really, really far.”
Davina graduated our program June 2015.
Have you been wanting to support the families at Exodus, but missed our Adopt-A-Family deadline? We still have many opportunities for you to love our families! We are a doing a GIFT CARD DRIVE! Last year, you guys provided so many different gift cards, and we’ve been able to use them throughout this year – for birthdays, special events, etc!
What kind of gift cards? Examples: Target, Starbucks, Kroger, Walmart, Bath and Body Works, etc!
When? Now until the end of the year!
How? You can mail or drop of to 4630 Munger Ave. Unit 110. Dallas, TX. 75204
Are you using Amazon at all this Christmas season? Would you do us a favor and set your Amazon smile account to Exodus Ministries? All of your purchases will then support the women and children we serve! (log into AmazonSmile, select Exodus Ministries as your non-profit of choice, do your Amazon shopping as usual!)
So, what year-end giving planning have you done? Oops! Haven’t thought about it? Time is ticking and now is the time to start planning, and here are a few ideas to help you get started.
You can make a year-end financial donation to support Exodus Ministries (“Exodus”), and help lost and hurting mothers heal from the wounds of a chaotic past and learn to be the mothers God intended them to be. A monetary donation of $500, $250, $100, or even $50 will make a real difference in transforming our community into a safer and healthier place to live.
If you have a vehicle you no longer need, just call Exodus Ministries at (214) 827-3772. We will have your vehicle towed at no cost to you. It is just that easy!! Exodus Ministries can accept cars, trucks, and motorcycles.
In addition to monetary and vehicle donations, there are many ways to make a planned gift to Exodus Ministries, and the process is usually very simple. Examples of simple planned gifts are:
Naming Exodus Ministries as a beneficiary in your will with either a percent of your estate or a specific gift amount
Naming Exodus Ministries as beneficiary of an insurance policy
Naming Exodus Ministries as a beneficiary of your individual retirement account
If you are interested in including Exodus Ministries in your estate plans, or have already done so, please contact Douglas Dunn, Director of Outreach, doug@ExodusMinistries.org or (214) 827-3772.
Please make your end of the year or legacy gift to Exodus Ministries today. Make a difference that has eternal implications.