Before coming to FaithWorks I was lost on what my purpose was for life. I had only been living in Abilene for a month. I did not know anybody or anything about Abilene. I had just moved from Minnesota where I lived for 15 years and was working at a casino. The casino was the only job experience that I knew. I was so empty inside that I knew I needed a change in my life. So one day I quit my job and came to Abilene where I was living with my mother’s friend, and she helped me get a job. Well, the job was working at another casino. As I was working there I was thinking, ‘This is not what I wanted for my life. I left one casino job to work at another one.’ I was confused and did not know where my life was going. I thought that I had made a mistake leaving Minnesota. Little did I know the Lord had everything worked out for me.
I would pray every night for the Lord to help show me the direction that He wanted me to go . Every night at work I would read the newspaper so that I was able to get to know Abilene a little better. On September 14, 2005 I was reading an article about FaithWorks. I thought, ‘This is it! This is what I want to do: try this program.’
So I quit the casino job and started attending the 12 week program which began on September 19, 2005. This program helped me build up my confidence. I was depressed, lost, and empty inside. I had low self-esteem and I had built up walls all around me from everything I had gone through in my life. I did not know how God was going to use me with all the baggage I had built up inside of me. FaithWorks helped me learn and see that I am perfect in Him and it gave me a chance of hope . Also, FaithWorks helped me find the skills that God had given me and showed me how to use them for my future. I did not know what I wanted for my life. It helped me discover what my interest was and led me in the right direction. That direction was leading me back to school.
At first I thought, ‘I cannot go back to school.’ I had quit school in the 9th grade. My educational level was very low. I had difficulty reading and understanding what I read. After a lot of prayer, I decided to go back to school. FaithWorks helped me fill out a FASFA and gave me the confidence and support that I needed to go back. If it wasn’t for the help of this FaithWorks program, I would not have returned to school, and I would not have known the potential that I have within me to succeed and the accomplishments that I have done since I completed this program. After FaithWorks I attended Cisco College. I graduated on August 30,2012 with an Associate’s Degree in Applied Science in Respiratory Therapy. – Linda Balencia