A message from our CEO…
A True Account
This is the true account of one of the women in our program…
My name is Laletia Griffin (Tia), and I was born in Colorado Springs, addicted to drugs and suffering from fetal alcohol syndrome. Diagnosed at age three with autism, I was put into foster care to escape a childhood of parental abuse and violence. Unfortunately, the situation worsened instead of improving, and once again, I was faced with cruel and harsh discipline. Many times, I was forced to sit on a stool in the middle of our kitchen, wearing a dunce hat. With tears streaming down my face, my foster sisters, instructed by my foster parents; would point, ridicule, and laugh at me. I was told I wasn’t worthy to even make eye contact with anyone, and I should just keep my mouth shut and be invisible.
At age seven, I began cutting myself and embraced a lifestyle of physical mutilation, resulting in the ruining of my left forearm. At age fourteen, after being told my birth mother had died, I finally ran away and ended up homeless on the streets of Denver.
During my following teen years, I lived a life of drugs, alcoholism, PTSD, pain, anger, and misery. On a number of occasions, I attempted suicide. Finally, at age twenty-two, contemplating another attempt at ending my life, I awoke to a beautiful, gentle, melodic voice speaking to me about the life He had freely given to redeem me from the world I had become so used to living. It was Jesus!
I decided then and there to give my life to Him. Feeling that I should try to reconcile with my ex-husband, I moved to Sioux Falls to be with him. My attempt at making my marriage work didn’t work, and once again I found myself alone and homeless on the streets. I then prayed and asked for the Lord to direct my steps. He led me to the Union Gospel Mission where I joined the women’s program in August of 2018.
The Mission was an absolue miracle, blessing, and sanctuary for which I am ever so grateful. I know I’m shy, battered, distant, and I stick out like a sore thumb. But, I also know God has brought me here to become the woman He wants me to be. I finally feel like I’m part of something bigger than myself. I found the family I’ve always craved and feel I now have a purpose in life. Thank God for His love, His grace, and for those He has brought into my life at the Mission.
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