I had destroyed my life…

Christmas season is the perfect time to begin anew

2023 December #1

By a Joy Junction Staff Member (JBF)

There are times when some of our guests open up and share their story the moment they arrive. But, for the most part, it usually takes them a few days to feel comfortable enough to talk about why they have become homeless. For such a sensitive subject matter, it may take a while to muster up the courage to reveal how their lives took a sharp turn away from “how their lives used to be.”

Some feel desperate enough to want a change in their lives immediately, and they jump right into the program. While others, who are struggling with the question of whether they can trust us (the staff) enough to talk about their innermost feelings, need more time to examine our procedures and operation. 

Our Christ in Power Program guides a person through Scripture to enlighten them about God and teaches them how to trust Him. After that first step is taken, they can move forward and learn how to trust others, and even themselves.Among other things, the program’s curriculum also teaches about responsibilities and how to overcome addictions and/or destructive behaviors.

For those who need specific documentations (driver’s license, social security card, etc.) reissued, or direction on signing up for SNAP, we have a case worker who assists them with the process. Step by step, they can begin to get their lives turned around.

One of our guests, Arch (not his real name), deeply wanted a transformed life. Here’s his story:

I found myself at Joy Junction because I was an addict.

I had destroyed my life…

Not only that, but I had really tarnished the trust I had in myself. I felt like a big, fat zero.

I was sick and tired of the way my life was. I heard that Joy Junction had a program to help people like me, so I left the place where I was staying and found a ride here.  

I joined the Christ in Power Program because I knew I needed help. I had tried and tried to get clean on my own, to no avail.

I knew about the Bible, but I was not familiar with it. I found out it is the Word of God.

The program goes over the Word of God in a non-forceful, non-judgmental way, so new believers like me can feel comfortable to participate in the discussion. It helps us to receive the Word with an open mind.  

All of us can approach the staff without fear of judgment or condemnation.

I feel Joy Junction is a safe haven, and I’m so thankful for all their help.

Arch is working hard to change his way of thinking and his habits. He is looking forward to a new way of living. 

We believe the Christmas season is the perfect time to begin anew.

No matter the cause for why someone has become homeless (seniors who have to choose between medication and rent, or moms who have had to take their kids and quickly abandon an abusive homelife, or people who have lost their jobs…or many other possibilities), we are concerned over their well-being and the need for food and shelter. 

We start there – by providing for their immediate needs. After that, we begin to invest in their daily lives by making sure they know they do have a chance to turn their lives around. We want them to recognize that there are options available.

We also want them to know that we understand it is hard for them to adjust to their new situation, and sometimes loneliness and depression hits in a deeply painful way. It can be a difficult time when there seems to be nothing but darkness as they try to envision their future…especially in the midst of a holiday season.

Our hearts hurt for them, so we try to lighten their load by providing a little something extra, as an incentive to look toward and focus on a positive future. 

As one of our “gifts” to them for Christmas, we like to offer a bright spot of hope in their lives by preparing a special holiday dinner, complete with ham or turkey and all the fixings, as well as dessert and coffee. We enjoy giving them something special and speaking encouragement into their lives as they work toward a new beginning.

We all need to feel hope. 

We are going to be preparing and hosting the holiday meals at our shelter location and our Feast event location. 

We will have a pre-Christmas meal at our shelter on Monday night, December 18th at 5PM. Then, our annual Christmas Feast will be held at the Albuquerque Convention Center on Thursday, December 21st from 11AM to 2PM. After that, on Christmas day, we will serve our holiday meal at the shelter at 2PM. 

It has been a true pleasure, in the past, to see the eyes of our guests light up when they see a traditional holiday meal set before them. That meal brings a symbol of “home” to their hurting hearts and helps them focus on the possibilities of positive change yet to come.

We’d love to have your support to provide a special meal for those who are hungry, homeless, or have no means to cook a holiday meal. Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those who come to us for help.

If you’d like to send in a gift to help provide special Christmas meals, you can call us at 505-217-9586 or go online at www.joyjunction.org. You can also send in a check or money order to PO Box 20550, Albuquerque, NM 87154.

Have a Blessed Christmas!