Soldier and Mother: Road to the Mission

Celeste looked for shelters on-line and when she saw that the Fairbanks Rescue Mission had Veteran programs, she knew this was the right place.

Sometimes you don’t have any idea where God is taking you.  Often, when the journey seems most dark and hopeless, God will break in with His light and provision.  That’s what happened for Celeste, a participant in our SSVF (Supportive Services for Veteran Families) Program.

Celeste moved here from Anchorage because she had quit one job for a better job, and then the better job was not funded.  She had savings and made it through a couple of months, lived with her mom in Anchorage for another couple of months, looking for work all the while, and then moved to Fairbanks at the urging of her sister who lives here. 

Celeste and her two daughters, one in high school and one in junior high, lived with her sister for a week, but a one-bedroom apartment with two women, two girls, and two dogs was just not manageable.  Celeste looked for shelters on-line and when she saw that the Fairbanks Rescue Mission had Veteran programs, she knew this was the right place.  Celeste had served ten years in the Army and had wanted to retire there but the demands of being deployed (she served one tour in Iraq) and of training kept her away from her two daughters an unmanageable amount of time. 

As Celeste told me about finding the Mission and about how SSVF had made such a huge difference in her life, her eyes filled with tears.  SSVF was able to help them get into their own apartment.   She starts orientation at her new job on Sunday and SSVF helped her with getting her some job appropriate clothing and shoes.  She said, with a catch in her throat, that she is “overwhelmed with thanks and gratitude” for our help.  She said the last few months have been incredibly difficult and she has felt really tested.  She said that her sense of being a failure as a parent and as a provider put her into a deep depression that she had to really fight her way out of.  She said her faith was tested during that time also and that being brought into a Christian and believing atmosphere has truly restored her and her faith. 

What an honor it has been for us to serve this fine soldier and mother and to be of help in her getting her feet under her again!  What a blessing she has given us in her heartfelt expression of gratitude! 

Author: Michelle Harpole, Administrative Director at the Fairbanks Rescue Mission