A woman living in her old car for the last year sat quietly in the public library with her head down in a posture of embarrassment and sadness. When a past acquaintance stopped at the table and asked the woman how she was doing, the woman replied, “Well, I’m having a hard time today. My car is in the shop. I am between places to live right now. I have nowhere local to stay tonight.”
After the woman’s two calls to a women’s shelter went unreturned, the acquaintance drove the woman to the shelter for the night. But when a second night was denied, the acquaintance looked to Grace Church where she was a volunteer at the Care Center. At the church, the associate pastor of the Care Center remembered the women from previous visits. He said, “I haven’t seen you in a year. Where have you been living?” The woman looked down and whispered, “I have been living in my car for the last year.”
That night, the woman left the Care Center with food from the Choice Food Pantry, a two-night stay in a local hotel and the promise of a newer vehicle from the Care Center’s Vehicle Ministry if she joined the Care Center’s co-op program that helps people reach sustainability. The next day, after the acquaintance helped transfer all the women’s things into her new van, the woman started laughing and dancing in the church parking lot. In that few minutes, she was able to receive — and enjoy — a wonderful gift!