Alive and Well!
I was in a very toxic and severely abusive relationship 18 years ago. At that time, I had a 15-month-old son and was three months pregnant. I feared for my safety, as well as the safety of my son and my unborn child. So, I gathered some large trash bags and stuffed them with my and my son's important belongings, and then went to the nearest payphone to call Our Lady's Inn. I do not remember how I acquired the number. When I dialed Our Lady's Inn, which was located in a former convent on Julia Street in Soulard (a neighborhood in St. Louis City, Missouri) back then, Rebecca Ponder picked up the phone. She said they were full, but she sent a cab for us, anyhow. Upon arriving at Our Lady's Inn, I was told that they converted a large storage closet to make room for my son and me! My son and I stayed at Our Lady's Inn for six months. During this time, I attended stress classes, budgeting classes and talked to a lawyer about a divorce. They also helped me to get housing. And I met a resident there with whom I am still friends to this day! How else has Our Lady's Inn impacted my life? I got divorced from that abusive man. A few years later, I met and married a loving and caring man. This summer of 2008, I will celebrate 11 years of being happily married! My "baby" boy Anthony* will be 20 in November and is a sophomore at an area college. The child I was pregnant with became my daughter, who is now a senior in high school. I was able to live out my passion and taught preschool-aged children for ten years. Without the available "storage room" at Our Lady's Inn, none of the blessings in my life would have been possible! ~Annie*
A Letter of Thanks!
For me, Our Lady's Inn was home for several months. My beautiful little girl was born healthy; she weighed almost eight pounds! If it weren't for Our Lady's Inn, this precious little girl would probably not be alive or she would have been born very sick and addicted...I am a recovering heroin addict and Our Lady's Inn gave me a stable environment where I was able to stay clean and take care of myself during my pregnancy. I learned to eat right and take my prenatal vitamins and to stay focused on the health of my baby, rather than getting high. When my family learned that I was pregnant, they kicked me out of the house, but told me I could move back in with them if I would abort my pregnancy. They even offered to go with me and pay for an abortion. I had no place to go, so I stayed in a house where drugs were being used and sold out of, until one day I was told about Our Lady's Inn. So, I called Our Lady's Inn and they helped me get into drug treatment. When I completed the drug recovery program, there was a room waiting for me at Our Lady's Inn. And, now, here I am, months later, clean, healthy with an absolutely perfect baby girl. Also, during the time I stayed at Our Lady's Inn, God miraculously healed the relationship between me and my family and now my family adores the baby they, at one time, didn't want me to have. Our Lady's Inn saves lives everyday. Its doors are open through the financial support of generous people, like yourselves, who believe in the mission of Our Lady's Inn enough to help. I can't express how grateful I am to hold my beautiful baby in my arms and thank God for His gift of life!
*Names have been changed to protect privacy.