This past June, we were blessed to have our largest graduating class ever at the Women and Family Development Center! Reflecting on this amazing achievement, I am reminded of the strength and resilience of every resident who has graduated from our programs. Many who have come to Star of Hope arrived at our doors broken and lost. For Michelle, a traumatic childhood and unhealthy living situation caused her to feel resentful. This is her story:
Growing up in Chicago, Illinois, is where I first witnessed violence. As a child, I saw my mother fighting with various men. She would also regularly miss rent payments, leading to eviction and us having to live in multiple shelters in the city. Eventually, my mother abandoned my siblings and me at one of these shelters, placing us in the foster care system.
There I was constantly verbally abused. My foster parents would tell me, “See that trash, this is what you are! Your mother doesn’t even want you. You should be glad that I want you.”
I came to Houston for a new beginning as an adult, but it was not what I expected. For 13 months, I lived in a condo infested with roaches, and the street I lived on had frequent visits from HPD due to extreme violence. My uninhabitable living situation is what brought me to Star of Hope.
I have learned so much since coming here. The classes have also taught me to prioritize myself more and to lean on my relationship with Christ. In doing so, I am learning to set boundaries and distance myself from those who are not seeking Christ. Thank you to the Star of Hope staff, donors, volunteers, and my personal development classmates, who have encouraged me along the way.
Michelle has now found joy in Christ after growing resentful from years of abuse. We can face all things if we lean on the Lord in difficult times. Thank you for continuing to support Star of Hope!