A Journey to Success!
Submitted by: Kristin Kennedy for the Benevolence Team
On a very rainy day in January 2006, a woman stopped by the church office in her hour of desperation. She resembled a soaking wet, frightened kitten. She needed financial assistance to be able to stay in a recovery program—her last hope of getting out of the deep darkness which ruled her life at the time.
Messiah came to her aid. The Benevolence Team’s thought was, “If we are going to help someone, let’s REALLY help them.” We determined that we would pay her fees in full. I clearly remember the day she came back in to find out if we might be able to assist her. I told her that our benevolence team was going to pay her fees in full so that she could complete the program. She literally dropped to her knees in thanksgiving, praise, and awe of God for the gift she had just been given. It was a pivotal, life-saving moment for her! And it was a moment I will never forget. There was no doubt that God was in that moment. She was delivered from her pit of despair and I was moved beyond words.
This was Robin Day, a face you may recognize although you may not know her story. Just four and a half months after that fateful day in January 2006, she graduated the program which equipped her with tools that would serve her for years to come.
Her son Ryan, then 14 years old, told her that he’d like to move in with her when she got a place of her own. That gave her added incentive and drive. She struggled financially. She struggled with her own demons and addictions. She struggled with the many, many hoops she had to jump through and steps she had to take. When you live “in the system,” it is often a case of one step forward and two steps back—over and over and over again. Robin lived at the YWCA, she lived in Section 8 housing, she got ahead and she got behind and she got ahead again. But she never quit trying.
Over the years, Messiah’s benevolence team has stood by and supported her. To this day, Robin expresses her deep appreciation that Messiah never gave up on her—even when she gave up on herself from time to time. In 2012, Robin received her diploma in industrial electricity from Tennessee Technology Center and was doing well. She had a full-time job with the state which lasted until programs were cut. But let’s back up a couple years. In 2009, Robin had progressed and her son, Ryan, was able to come to live with her. He was 18 years old and entering his senior year in high school. Knox County Schools will not enroll an 18 year old senior student from a neighboring county, so he was not able to finish high school. He attended the adult learning center to get his diploma for a while but that was not a good fit. Ryan is a self-motivated and highly intelligent young man. He elected to get his GED and then enrolled in Pellissippi State while working at Buddy’s Bar-B-Q. In 2014, he received his certification in Associate of Applied Science in Engineering Technologies. He got a job in electrical work, then a better job, and finally the job he currently holds. He now travels the world to apply his specialized knowledge in the electrical field. Ryan’s story just keeps getting better!! In May, he purchased his own home with assistance from a grant through the THDA HHF-DPA program. He is now the proud owner of a three bedroom, brick home in a lovely neighborhood in East Knoxville. I visited him there a day or two after he moved in. He couldn’t have been happier and his mom and I couldn’t have been more proud! Robin has maintained her housing as well. Not every day is easy, but she pushes ahead with the encouragement of Messiah’s benevolence team, the love and support of her successful son, and most of all her strong faith in and love for God. Thanks be to Messiah for their part in encouraging and supporting Robin and Ryan along the way. Their journey has not been easy— nor is it complete. But it has been made a little better and a little easier with your help!
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