For a long time, Kimberly wandered from home, physically and spiritually.
She grew up in a loving, Christian household with her parents as her Sunday school teachers. But in 2010, she fell into an abusive relationship that introduced her to addiction. Together, the two went on a downward spiral, overcome with addiction, that ended with seven months on the streets in six different cities.
“We slept on the streets for seven months, right in the elements,” said Kimberly. “We started in Colorado, where we actually slept behind a church. Looking back, I see that God was there protecting me even then.”
Looking for warmer temperatures, the two went to Arizona, which is very intolerant of homeless people, meaning they had to hide themselves every night. This lead them to San Diego, a “homeless friendly” city.
“There were so many homeless people, we were surrounded and didn’t feel safe,” said Kimberly. “I would say the Lord’s prayer and ask God to protect me.”
Kimberly finally found the courage to leave on her own and go to Las Vegas. She was tired of living on the streets, and sought shelter, but they would only provide her a bed (without food) for four hours at a time. So instead, she checked into the hospital.
“At one point, I was on my knees in a Las Vegas hospital with a handful of pills, begging God to help me not take my own life,” said Kimberly. “That was when I got word of an opening in transitional housing, which eventually helped me find my way home to Omaha.”
She initially tried getting into another shelter, but when it was one bed too full, she came to Open Door Mission’s Lydia House and eventually joined the New Life Recovery Program.
“I was in survival mode for a while,” said Kimberly. “My inner light was so dark. Then one day, it’s like I woke up and saw others around me smiling, laughing, and knew God was here. It reminded me of growing up and I found such comfort in the Bible classes.”
Kimberly rededicated her life to Christ, was baptized, and began seeing herself as a new creation.
“My spiritual mentor who teaches our 12-step class showed me that I don’t need to feel guilty because that’s not who I am anymore,” said Kimberly. “I know that God allowed everything to strip me down so He could rebuild me into something great.”
Whenever she gets the opportunity, Kimberly loves sharing her experiences with donors and volunteers, using her spiritual gift of exhortation.
“Open Door Mission not only gives you basic necessities of life,” said Kimberly, “but they help fill that void you’ve had for love your whole life. There is unbelievable support here. They gave me a purpose and showed me how to live for Him.”
Kimberly graduated from the New Life Recovery Program this past February and is in her second month of The Urban Ministry Institute, a program offered at Open Door Mission. She is a faithful volunteer at the Administration Building. Because of friends like you, Kimberly is home this Easter.