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When I came to East Gate Ministries, I was shamed and broken and suffering from the effects of sexual childood abuse.  I had given up on God, given up on joy, and I had given up on myself.  However, I have come to learn that even when we give up on ourselves, God never gives up on us.  At East Gate Ministries' Door of Hope program, I found acceptance, as well as accountability and understanding.  It was the first place I could confess every sin and lay my shame before the cross.  The staff loved me despite my past.  It still blows my mind!  East Gate allowed me to realize my self-worth, and for that I am forever grateful.  My dreams, desires, and life have completely changed; totally, radically, and utterly changed since I walked through East Gate's doors.  East Gate Ministries, to me, has been the hands and feet of Christ.  They are one of the greatest examples of God's unconditional love. 

Before I came to East Gate Ministries' Grace House program, I struggled with an alcohol and drug addiction, a failed marriage and an unplanned pregnancy.  Hurting from the poor choices I had made in life, I knew I needed help to straighten out my life before I ended up killing myself.  I could not have made it without the love and support of East Gate's Grace House program.  At first the program was hard, but the staff stuck by me and never turned away from me.  They loved me and ultimately helped me change my life.  Even though I was devastated when I first learned that I was pregnant, I now realize it is what God used to save my life.

When I think of East Gate Ministries my first thought is cool.  I first learned about East Gate's Grace House program when I was two weeks away from being released from jail.  Since I only had six cents to my name, no family support, and doors that had slammed shut, I figured I would at least give them a try.  When I first entered the program, I wanted to run away because I thought I didn't need help from anyone.  But after a few weeks into the program, I was able to see that God closed other doors because the Grace House program was exactly what I needed.  While in the progam, God took my stony heart and softened and changed it.  His grace poured out and showed me love even when I didn't want it or know how to give it.  God used East Gate Ministries as a tool to show me family relationships, love and fellowship.  East Gate Ministries is so different than any other organization I have been exposed to.  God is so in it!  The resources they provided for me were endless.  After the birth of my son, I stayed on in the Grace House transitional care program.  During that time, they helped me get a job and find affordable housing.  I will be forever grateful to East Gate Ministries, and for loving me, and challenging me to soar higher.

When I found out that I was pregnant, it was on April fool's day.  After taking about ten positive home pregnancy tests, I realized this was no joke.  I never felt so alone and ashamed in all my 26 years.  I wanted to run and hide.  This was not part of the plan I had for my life.  Then I learned about East Gate Minstries' Grace House program through a friend.  East Gate welcomed me with open arms.  Not once did they make me feel ashamed or embarrassed.  I enjoyed meeting some of the other girls that had gone through the program and hearing their stories - it gave me hope.  At East Gate, I was continually told that I had value and worth.  I learned that my value wasn't determined by looking for "love" in men, but in Jesus.  Only in Jesus!  East Gate Ministries has blessed me beyond measure.  More than that, they blessed me by showing me the love and compassion of Christ.  Without the support East Gate provided, I don't think I could have made it this far.  I'm learning to forgive myself and let go of my past.  I am learning to forgive others, realizing it's a process.  I don't regret choosing life for my daughter.  She melts my heart every time I look into her eyes.   Thank you!

The process of living a life post-abortive has had its challenges. I never knew that God could take such a horrible act of selfishness and sin and turn it into a growth opportunity with him.  I am truly blessed that God has forgiven me.  The healing process has been intense and incredibly difficult.  The hurt, anger, and intense depression, and unwillingness to forgive - I never thought I would go through such a wide range of emotions and still make it in one piece.  And better than that, to end up in a more desirable state, wanting to know more about God and have a relationship with Him.  While at East Gate Ministries' Door of Hope program, I learned about God's mercy, amazing grace, forgiveness, and unconditional love.  I am so grateful that I had East Gate to help guide me through this journey.  It has truly meant so much to be able to share such a personal aspect of my life with someone and not fear judgment.  I'm not sure where I would be right now had it not been for East Gate Minstries, but what I do know is that I would still be suffering silently and I may have missed an opportunity to receive healing and restoration.  Now I can focus on moving forward with my future, instead of always wondering "what if."  Thank you so much!  

When I first learned that I was pregnant, I literally had no where to go.  Because I was pregnant, I was asked to leave the homes of friends and family because I would become a burden.  Without an income and nowhere to live, I ended up in a homeless shelter.  With no support, I was planning to have an abortion until I learned about East Gate Ministries' Grace House program.  Thank you for helping me choose life! 

I came to East Gate Ministries' Door of Hope program desperate and hurting from the childhood effects of sexual abuse from a family relative.  At the age of thirteen, I learned that I was pregnant and I was forced to have an abortion.  Over the years my life deteriorated.  The pain became so great that I wondered how I could survive if something didn't drastically change.  I contemplated suicide many times and became obsessed with hurting myself to numb the pain.  Through East Gate Ministries, I encountered God's grace and forgiveness, and His love.  God has blessed the staff with such an ability to love and empathize, and see beyond a person's hard shell.  Thank you for everything and for not giving up on me, and for giving me a new life in Christ.







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