Kimberly Dunaway first walked through our doors in October 2016. She, like so many that we serve every day, was in need of hope and desperate for help. Kimberly, a thirty-one-year-old single mother of five, arrived here at the end of a long series of tragic misfortunes that found her homeless and her children taken away due to her extremely unstable situation. Kimberly came to BridgeBuilders at the recommendation of two former students, Sophie and Tiandra, in whom she had witnessed a significant transformation. Sophie and Tiandra’s lives were beginning to flourish and she desperately wanted to find the source of their change.
A New Outlook
Kimberly graduated from our WORK Training Program in November 2016 with a renewed sense of determination and a growing faith in Christ. Armed with a new outlook, Kimberly started moving forward again, determined to do whatever she could to make things right. It wasn’t long before she was able to secure full-time employment in a fast food restaurant where, despite entry-level wages, she worked hard, earning the respect and favor of her employer.
In the months following her time at BridgeBuilders she came nearly every month to seek encouragement and advice, believing her friends at BridgeBuilders were uniquely equipped to help her overcome the many obstacles that stood in her way. Through every step of Kimberly’s journey, our WORK team modeled the biblical admonition to “bear one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2), as they spent countless hours walking with this dear sister.
A New Life
Today, Kimberly is engaged to be married, living at the Family Place—a home for battered women—while she prepares to move into her new apartment. Kimberly has petitioned the court for custody of her five children and every indication is that she will succeed in reuniting her family given her newfound stability. You cannot underestimate the value of the relational time spent with this precious woman as our staff prayed, wept, and worked to help her achieve her goals. Of course, none of this would have been possible if Kimberley weren’t willing to do her part and to her credit; she did! However, without the help of BridgeBuilders, her restoration would have likely been so much longer at best or simply unrealized at worst.
Kimberly said, she “owes it all to BridgeBuilders” because “y’all helped me break the poverty cycle and discover my spiritual needs.”
The road out of despair and deprivation is often long and painful. However, when Christians join together and enter into the suffering of another to demonstrate the compassion of Christ, the journey is more easily undertaken, and the cause is sure.
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