Quick bit of background info: A few months ago, we managed to raise enough money, mostly via online sources, to purchase a mobile home for a homeless family we were helping. They moved in to their new place February 1st, and they've been financially self-sufficient ever since. We still see them regularly, as they are part of our church small group and he serves in our ministry in a couple of different capacities.
Earlier this year, God brought us another family to help, and we're hoping to raise the necessary funds to help them get their own place within the next week or so.
Please allow me to introduce you to Ayaan and her family. Ayaan is of African descent, but was raised in Germany as a Muslim, and she speaks three languages. She came to this country 7 years ago with her husband, who then promptly abandoned her She was left with no passport, no money, few marketable skills, no green card, no job, very little English ability, and small children to care for somehow. After that, she ended up with a man who beat her regularly, and he would often wave a loaded handgun around. He began dealing drugs and committing other crimes (breaking and entering, etc.). He is now serving a long sentence in Huntsville at the Texas State Penitentiary. Ayaan left him because she didn't want her kids to think that lifestyle of abuse was normal. That led to about two years of homelessness. She moved from place to place and from shelter to shelter with her four children (now ages 12, 7, 6, and 4), because of the policy that most shelters have of kicking people out after 90 days. This time was very stressful on the entire family, and they lost a lot of hope and property as well.
When my wife and I first met Ayaan, she was living in a hostel in a small room with no shower or cooking facilities, where all five of them were sleeping on the floor. They had no furniture of any kind. We took them to dinner, and then to Target to buy a couple of air mattresses. We were immediately struck by the positive attitude and joy that these children had, in spite of their circumstances. Four beautiful kids and a single mom, living in this tiny room, while experiencing threatening looks from neighbors and the constant threat of CPS coming in to break up their family only for being needy. Our hearts were touched with compassion.
One day Ayaan, who had quickly become my wife's friend, called her and said that she had a dream that she and her children were all killed. This alarmed us, because Ayaan had told us before that she frequently had dreams that came true soon afterward. Because of the threatening looks from neighbors, threats from CPS, her car getting stolen, the end of her monthly lease term on the room, and the frightening dream, we made a quick decision to allow the entire family to move in with ours in late January. Though it was challenging, Ayaan managed to keep her kids in the same school and finish out the school year without getting any more absences, which would have caused her to be taken to court by the district. This was a big accomplishment for all of us! The kids were able to do their homework and make good grades for the rest of the year.
The bottom line is that Ayaan is ready now to get her life in order: she still needs a job in food service, elder care, or translation (she speaks three languages) that will make her enough to support her kids. Honestly, any job that would use her skill set would be a blessing. She is a very hard worker - I've seen this firsthand. She needs a place to stay that is safe for her children. Already, God had provided her with a minivan, and has made progress toward getting her driver's license. She has resolved some of her legal issues related to the time when she was being abused.
At this point, we would like to buy a trailer for Ayaan's family that we've found (pictured above). It's in pristine condition, and it's worth around $14,000. The seller heard Ayaan's story and met her and her son, and they are willing to sell it for just $10,000. It has a bunk for each child, kitchen, bathroom, small living area, and master bed. Thankfully, we've raised almost half of the money already.
Please pray for God's guidance about whether he would have you help to make a difference in this family's life.
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If you're looking for a home in the Austin area, you can also visit my primary website at www.austintexashomes.com. Thanks!