Jennifer left home at age 16 and quit Grade 12 with only two months to go. But she enjoyed life, held a number of jobs, and had two long-term relationships.
Turning 30 for Jennifer was a milestone, so she made a 10-year plan. First, she wanted to get her Grade 12, and she did at age 32. Then she wanted to become a continuing care assistant (CCA). Not in the plan—a single mom when Paxton was born in 2012. Jennifer says, “It was the happiest day of my life so far!”
Jennifer knew she would end up on social assistance if she didn’t find a better way to support her son. She still wanted to take the CCA training, but searching for available help was a hard and discouraging process. Then she found Brunswick Street Mission in Halifax, Nova Scotia, a Mission & Service–supported community ministry. Agar, the volunteer coordinator of the Benevolent Program there, helped Jennifer create a budget and identify ways around the many barriers.
A local nursing home offered a scholarship, Brunswick Street Mission covered childcare expenses and a bus pass, and its clothing and food banks helped extend Jennifer’s tight budget. Throughout the months of training Agar called regularly. “He encouraged me so much,” Jennifer says. “I wouldn’t have made it without Agar!”
It’s been a long and often difficult and discouraging journey for Jennifer, but now she has graduated from the CCA program and has a full-time job! She says she loves her job, she knows she makes a difference for her patients, and she knows she is a good role model for her son.
If Mission & Service giving is already a regular part of your life, thank you so much! If you have not given, please join me in making Mission & Service giving a regular part of your life of faith. Loving our neighbour is at the heart of our Mission & Service.