As lead cook at the Fresno Mission, Tania knows firsthand that life transformation often begins with a warm welcome and a hot meal at our dining room table.
You might not know it if you met her today, but a few years ago, Tania was experiencing homelessness. “I was on the streets and I had no hope,” she says.
For years, Tania felt a painful emptiness in her life, which she tried to fill with substances. Sadly, addiction ultimately left her separated from her children and struggling to find any purpose in her life.
“I wasn’t getting anywhere in life… I didn’t want to live anymore. I was done,” she says.
Tania was actually planning to take her life when, one night, she heard God’s voice – which planted a seed of hope that she could change.
“I had a hole in my heart for years… but when I came to the Mission, it was filled.”
At the Mission, Tania found help for her immediate needs – like food and shelter – as well as emotional support through Christian counseling and classes to work through some of the triggers of her addiction.
“The Mission helped me learn how to love myself… and figure out my goals to move forward and get my family back.”
Today, Tania has her own place to live, a car and she’s even reconnected with one of her daughters again! And she enjoys working at the Mission, serving nourishing meals to hungry guests seeking help at our doors. “It’s an honor to work here, to love people like Jesus loves and watch lives be transformed every day.” she says.
Tania is excited to celebrate the restored hope she has been given this Christmas – and wants YOU to know just how grateful she is. “I thank all the Mission’s volunteers and donors, because they’re changing lives. It’s making a difference in our city… and in the kingdom of God.”
Tania’s story appeared in the Holiday 2022 edition of Lighthouse News.