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Matthew - May 2019

I’m sitting in a Books-A-Million coffee shop catching up on work. A man came in unkempt with threadbare jeans and long dirty hair. He was thin and appeared nervous as he perused the Joe Muggs candy case. “How much are these chocolates?” he asked, holding up a package. The clerk scanned the product and the man quickly returned them to the rack, saying, “I’ll be back. I’ve got to get to an ATM.” It’s been an hour and he’s yet to return. There’s so much to consider in that single interaction, but certainly the stigma of poverty stands out. Could it be that he didn’t respond “I can’t afford that” because today’s culture values power over potential, wealth more than willingness? I’m thankful that’s not Watered Gardens’ culture. We don’t respect our wealthy partners any more than we do partners like Matt who ran out of options but didn’t give up, instead coupling his potential with willingness. Here’s a bit of his story.

“My mother left when I was six and my brother was in prison, so it fell on my shoulders to help my Dad when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. It meant I had to quit work. After my Dad passed, I found myself on the edge. I couldn’t hold down a job long enough to find the stability I needed. I came to Watered Gardens when I finally ran out of options.

This place helps in ways I didn’t expect. The Worth Shop keeps my hands and my mind focused. The Outreach Center provides a bed and meals for me so I can settle down and be patient in finding a good job.

While staying here, I’ve taken classes at the Job Center, I’ve become CNC Qualified, and, after a recent interview, expect to begin work at a new job this month. I’ve encountered a lot of trials and tribulations, but this place is helping me through it.”

Matt said he “ran out of options.” Watered Gardens was all that was left. Yet, because of faithful ministry partners like you, we’re here for Matt and countless others who find new inspiration and hope for a brighter future. Thank you for your support. Together, we’re truly empowering people.