Mission in My Words: Stacy Case

Mission in My Words: Stacy Case

I’ve always been drawn to people, especially children, down on their luck. For so many, the root cause of their current circumstance can be traced back to either abuse or untreated mental illness. Those two things often lead to desperate and poor decision-making and, frequently, addiction. It becomes a vicious cycle that’s hard to break without the intervention and services from places like Nashville Rescue Mission.

My work with the Mission started shortly after our family moved to Nashville in 2006. I was a new mom, working part-time as a national network news correspondent, and I had a little extra time to volunteer. I was eager to get plugged into my new city. I called the Mission and asked if I could teach a class to the women staying there.

Each week, I would teach different lessons. I will never forget looking into the eyes of a woman who had been abused so severely she would barely look up. She was at the Mission because she’d finally gotten the courage to leave an abusive relationship. After weeks together, she finally made eye contact, and I smiled. I saw a glimmer of hope in her eyes. She did not speak English, and I speak broken Spanish, but a translator helped us communicate.

Later that year, our family took her and her two boys to their very first Predators hockey game. We had such a great time. And I think it was good for them to see my husband model healthy behavior toward our children and me.

Our family has continued to volunteer at the Mission, helping with backpack drives and trunk-or-treat events. There is nothing better than seeing a smile on a child’s face when you give them a new backpack or a costume and some candy. Over the years, we’ve adopted different moms with kids each Christmas so they’ll be sure to have gifts under the tree on Christmas morning. We also enjoy serving meals throughout the year and during the holidays.

“I TRULY APPRECIATE THE COMPASSION MY CHILDREN HAVE LEARNED FROM THEIR MANY EXPERIENCES AT THE MISSION.”

I’m thankful for what these women and their children have taught me. They’ve made me a better person. I truly appreciate the compassion my children have learned from their many experiences at the Mission. There’s always a need, and I encourage anyone looking for a way to give back just to pick up the phone and call them. Your heart will be so blessed, too.

 


Stacy Case’s career as a journalist has taken her all over the world. She’s the main anchor at Fox 17 News in Nashville. Her 27 years as a journalist includes stops in New York; Cincinnati, OH; Champaign, IL; and Greenville, MS. Stacy and her husband have been married for 21 years and have two children who were 1 ½ and 6 months old when they moved here in 2006. After living all over the country, they handpicked Nashville to raise their family.

God’s Prompting to Pray

God’s Prompting to Pray

“Several years ago I felt a strong prompting from the Lord to pray for the women staying at the Mission. The funny thing is, at the time, I didn’t think women were staying there.”

 

God’s Prompting

But the prompting was so strong, Shawna finally searched online and discovered not only were women staying there, but also there were mothers with children finding refuge at the Mission.

And for the next year, Shawna continued to pray for the women and children the Lord had burdened her heart for. It wasn’t until her dear friend, Jennifer, a supporter of the Mission, who participated in Shawna’s Bible study, invited her to take the Mission’s “I Had No Idea” tour that Shawna experienced the Mission for herself.

 

Transformation

“When Jennifer invited me to join her on this tour, all I could think was that this was no coincidence. It was a divine appointment from God.”

During the tour, Shawna met several staff members, as well as participants in the Mission’s Life Recovery Program. The experience deeply moved her.

With many years of teaching the Bible and leading Bible studies for women throughout the community, Shawna asked if there was an opportunity to teach the women in the program. Her request was met with a resounding yes.

“I am honored and blessed by my experience as a volunteer at the Mission,” shared Shawna. “My passion is teaching the Bible. With each lesson, I see the healing as it takes place right before my eyes in each of these women. On their first day in my class, some of them can barely lift their heads up. Over time, I see their confidence build, and I see them transform right before my eyes. It is amazing. Only God can do that.”

 

Spreading the Word

“A few years ago, that same friend invited me to join her at a fundraising event for the Mission called Hearts of Hope. Before the event, she expressed a need they had for donations of nice clothes, shoes, and accessories so the women could dress up and attend this event.” The outpouring of support from the women in Shawna’s Bible study was astounding. She lost count of how many trips she made to the Mission to donate clothes, shoes, and more for these women she had grown to care for so deeply.

“One thing this experience taught me is that many people in the community want to be a part of helping, but they often don’t know how. Once I invited people to join me in these efforts and pointed them in the right direction, I was amazed by their response.” Twice a month, Shawna delivers an early morning time of devotion for the women in the Life Recovery Program.

“Each time, I thank God for letting me be a part of starting their day. I hope and pray it makes their day just a little bit better.”

“I think what Nashville Rescue Mission does is so beautiful. Our city should be proud of them and the great work they are doing. I’m glad I get to be a part of it.”

“I am honored and blessed by my experience as a volunteer at the Mission.”


 

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Searching For A Safe Place

Searching For A Safe Place

“Nashville was the closest city I could afford to get to when I bought our bus tickets out of town,” said Christine. “I couldn’t imagine staying one more night in Southtown (public housing in Birmingham). We’d lived there for three years, but these shootings happened right outside our home. It was becoming increasingly more violent every day. I feared for our safety.”

 

Dreams Deferred

Christine was born in Montgomery, but their family moved to Birmingham when she was a teenager. After graduating high school, Christine enrolled in Lawson State Community College then transferred to the University of Alabama. She had high hopes for her future. But when her daughter was born in 2014, she dropped out of school to get a job and raise her daughter.

 

Challenges and Courage

Since then, the last four years have been trying for Christine. Her father died in 2016, and her mom, who is currently battling cancer, still cares for several of Christine’s siblings.

“I wasn’t sure where to go or what to do,” said Christine. “I was between jobs, and I didn’t want to add to my mom’s burdens. Plus, she lived in a rural area, too far from a bus stop and without a car; I had no way to find work. Out of desperation, I decided it was time to go somewhere new and start over.”

“I tried to find a place to stay in Nashville before leaving Birmingham,” said Christine. “All the places I contacted told me I had to secure a bed in person and I couldn’t do it over the phone. I took a massive leap of faith in getting on that bus to Nashville, not knowing where we might sleep that night. But I was trusting God to provide.”

Christine had just enough money to pay for a motel their first night in Nashville. The next day, she began the process of trying to find temporary shelter. After hitting several roadblocks, someone finally pointed her towards Nashville Rescue Mission.

New Beginnings

“This is my first time staying in a shelter,” said Christine. “It’s required some adjustment, but it is unquestionably better than living in a neighborhood that is dangerous and scary. I know we are safe. I’ve found a wonderful daycare for my daughter. I’ve also met with social services to help get some things in place that will help us get back on our feet. I’ve been putting in job applications, and I’m hopeful about our future.”

Through your support, Christine had a safe place to turn to in her time of need. When all other doors were closed, your gifts made sure the doors to the Mission were open wide to her, her daughter, and to anyone else in need in the community. At the Mission, she found a supportive community and a place where she could connect with God.

 

Hope Restored

This Christmas, Christine won’t have to worry about gunshots going off outside her door. She won’t have to worry about where their next meal is going to come from. And she won’t have to worry about having presents under the tree for her daughter. Because of you, she doesn’t have to worry about those things.

But this holiday season, there will be many more women, mothers with children, and men trapped in violent neighborhoods, battling an addiction to drugs or alcohol, each searching for a safe place to stay, a nutritious meal to fill their empty stomachs, a hot shower, and some clean clothes. This is why your support is so crucial.


 

Christine is just one of many women who have found help and hope at Nashville Rescue Mission. Your gift today will help us serve even more.

With your help, these women can provide new beginnings for themselves and their children.