Fighting a drug addiction, an abusive boyfriend, other gangs. Fighting to survive.
“I’m 26, and feel like I’m 40 with the drug use I’ve put my body through,” she said. “It’s been a hard, hard road.”
She never knew her father, and her mother was an addict. Her grandparents and an uncle raised Keshia and her siblings. She dropped out of school in the sixth grade.
Keshia was in a gang by the time she was 13, looking for the love and acceptance she lacked at home. She quickly became addicted to drugs such as methamphetamine and oxycodone. Estranged from her family, she was involved in an abusive relationship.
Everything changed the day her godson, Damien, was killed through child abuse. On the verge of taking her own life, Keshia fell to her knees at his graveside and cried out to God for help.
“The day we buried Damien, it had just got done raining and a rainbow appeared,” Keshia said. “That’s when I threw the pills out of my hand and I finally went home.”
KESHIA’S LIFE BEGAN TO CHANGE WHEN SHE PRAYED FOR GOD’S HELP AFTER HER GODSON WAS KILLED.
Keshia ended up at the Changing Lives Center, a rehabilitation facility run by the Phoenix Rescue Mission in Arizona that helps vulnerable women break the cycle of addiction, abuse and poverty through counseling and faith in Jesus Christ.
It was there that Keshia trusted in Christ as her savior, and began to find healing.
“When I came here, God said I didn’t have to fight no more, that He would fight the fight for me,” she said. “Sometimes I wish (my past) was just a dream and I would wake up, but at the same time I love that God is in my life. It’s been an amazing change. I’m not angry no more. I’m not full of hate. I’m full of love, and kind to others. Before, I just didn’t even care for others; I just cared for myself.”
Her life blossoms with the evidence of her change. As she began to heal, her focus turned from herself and her own problems to others.
Now, she has started fighting for a cause—sending hope and love to children worldwide through Operation Christmas Child.
At CLC last year, Keshia and about 25 other women spent each Tuesday evening making small crafts and gathering other toys and necessities to pack in shoeboxes.
THE WOMEN AT CHANGING LIVES CENTER MAKE CRAFTS TO PUT IN THE SHOEBOXES.
The women got involved with the Samaritan’s Purse project when Shannen Mills—a local Operation Christmas Child volunteer in the Phoenix area who also volunteered at CLC—had the idea after a shoebox packing party at her church. The thought of combining the two ministries just popped into her head, like a light bulb turning on. Full article…