Three days before Christmas in 2018, without warning, I was let go from my job. My wife had lost her job just two weeks earlier. This was Christmas! The most expensive time of the year! Who lets people go at Christmas?! We were going along just fine, then BAM! BAM!! Presents were bought. The fridge was full. But bills would come due in just a week. We were already struggling with the thought of one income… I mean, who hires in December?
Saying we were scared is an understatement.
Most all churches and agencies were closed the week between Christmas and New Years. But, that first week after the holidays, my rent already late, I began to make calls looking for help. January is no time to be homeless.
One kind lady at one of the churches I spoke to asked if I had heard of Papa’s Pantry. Honestly, I was more worried about housing than I was about food. Our refrigerator wasn’t bare… yet. She explained that there were some programs in place to help people like me who were struggling to make ends meet. I immediately called.
I made an appointment and met with an advocate who patiently listened to my story. I felt safe, and reassured that I would not have to face this alone. She explained how their partner program worked. They would help me navigate in my job search, every step. I was encouraged to come in at least once per week to meet with my trainer and coach so my job search didn’t get stale or unproductive. Bonus, I could also get groceries from their pantry every week through the process. I would not have to go to other pantries to keep food on the table. Who wouldn’t want to participate in this?
I entered their partnership program and met Faith, the training director. Through her classes, light bulbs went off in my mind! The first thing she taught our class was about Employer Psychology; how hiring managers think and make decisions. I realized then, that my job search would have been a very long one had I not decided to give this program a try.
I called Faith every time I had a lead. I was trying to go back into a previous field that I loved, but it had been earlier in my life when I wasn’t making the greatest decisions. She continued to coach me through the entire process. I made it past the resume acceptance and the interview process. I was given an offer based on a background check and testing. Unbelievable. What a hope-for, yet, unexpected home run!
As it turned out, I was given 3 offers within a week or so. I wound up taking the best one, of course. I am happy to say I love my job! It was wonderful having choices and options.
All through the process, Faith kept my spirits up. I never felt like I was alone. I thank God everyday that He brought her, The Master’s Training Center, and such a great group of people into my life. I learned more than just how to get a job. This is truly a ministry that ministers to mind, body, and spirit. I am forever grateful. I have gained new friends in my life’s journey.