Below are the notes from a conversation with “Debra” this evening! Debra isn’t her real name, but her story is. What’s even more eye-opening is her recognition of the relationship between her success and tithing.
Folks this is real talk:
- 7:47 PM: DewittRobinson To keep the identity safe of the person being interviewed, I’m calling her Debra.
- 7:48 PM: DewittRobinson Debra, how long have have you been homeless?
- 7:48 PM: DewittRobinson Debra: “Since Monday of this week.”
- 7:49 PM: DewittRobinson How has Family Promise of Jacksonville assisted you and your family?
- 7:52 PM: DewittRobinson Debra: Provided courage to move into the shelter. Assisted with transition from former residency, yet keeping normalcy in life. Because of work schedule they provide transportation for child to and from school. FPJ has been helpful to work around my schedule.
- 7:52 PM: DewittRobinson Debra: I have been able to keep my private world private.
- 7:55 PM: DewittRobinson Debra: I feel the love from the organization. There isn’t a sense of “had you not done x y z, you wouldn’t be in this situation.” Instead FPJ, provides a next step forward in life. They don’t focus on what happened, but how can we help to fix the problem.
- 7:55 PM: DewittRobinson How did you hear FPJ?
- 7:55 PM: DewittRobinson Debra: Google, LOL
- 7:56 PM: DewittRobinson What was the path that led here?
- 8:08 PM: DewittRobinson Debra: It started when oldest son was killed in car accident October 2004. After death of son, back and forth to another state, husband had back surgery from car accident, local family member offered an opportunity to come to Jacksonville. Unfortunately, employment ended in December of last year. Without consistent employment, housing and other bills suffered. As a result we had to seek shelter.
- 8:09 PM: DewittRobinson How does this experience make you feel?
- 8:12 PM: DewittRobinson Debra: This is a very humbling experience. Before getting unemployment I wasn’t a tither. I attended church, but I didn’t give the tenth. The doors before this time, where doors I opened. That’s why they all closed. Now since tithing, the doors opened, God has opened.
- 8:12 PM: DewittRobinson What does the future look like for you and your family?
- 8:15 PM: DewittRobinson Debra: I signed a lease today. We’ll be leaving soon. The future is bright. I see the rainbow after the rain. My son and I now have a reason to smile. There is a joy that I have, not because I make so much more money; but becasue I’m in God’s will. It’s not about the money.