Lori, a Thistle Farms Survivor-Leader and Shipping Specialist, shares a story we can all celebrate as part of Human Trafficking Awareness Month...
"I serve an awesome God! Let me share with you a Love that Heals.
I came from sexual abuse, dirty needles, a pimp, and walking the streets as a prostitute with no shoes on my feet on a hundred degree asphalt or three inches of snow. I was homeless, staying in abandoned sheds, houses, buildings and cars. I hopped in and out of cars with strangers and have been raped and beaten more times than I can count. I had no self-esteem or self worth.
At 45 years old and after living on the streets for so many years as a prostitute and drug addict (25 years to be exact) I felt hopeless, and I could not see a way out...
In December 2013, while in prison I signed up for a program called Magdalene On The Inside, led by Sheila McClain, a wonderful Thistle Farms graduate. Shelia came to share a message of hope and love. Upon my release from prison, for the first time in many years, I had a place to go to that I could call home. It was "Magdalene on the outside," the two-year Thistle Farms residential program.
Fifteen months into the program, I have been shown true unconditional love by the staff and the women in the program. I am now employed at Thistle Farms, the longest I have ever been employed in my life—one whole year. I buy my own groceries instead of stealing sausages and beanie weenies from a store. I have a checking and savings account. I can buy myself nice things and help someone else. I can even pay a few bills. I have two and a half years drug free! Believe me when I tell you that "Love Heals!" Thank you, Becca Stevens, for your vision and for bringing hope back into my life. I love you dearly!
Thank you to Regina and Donna with the Magdalene program team, for trusting and believing in me. Thank you, Valerie, for leading and guiding me in my recovery process. I could not do this without you. You are the best sponsor ever!"
Love heals women, one day at a time; and, love heals family relationships, one day at a time.Thistle Farms is the miracle that my daughter Rachel needed coming out of prison having lost everything in her life. The miracle she needed provided a safe place for recovery from almost 20 years of substance abuse and addiction -- years of treatment, recovery and relapse.