Monday, October 25, 2010

NGM Update 188 Small Town USA

Our new friend & sister ... Pam
Pam's shirt says it all for her!
Where Pam is the church ... her apartment.
Pam & her son
Pam and her one and only grandchild
Finding Freedom
October 25, 2010

The preparation for our introduction to Pam, by our hosts, was pretty sketchy.  "She has an amazing story," we were told, "and she is coming over after work to tell you about it."  We were also told she "is pretty loud, but you are going to love her story."  See ... I told you the details were sketchy!  But, people love to show off new babies, and Pam is a pretty new baby although in her fifties.

Those first five decades were anything but happy.  Her childhood was typical for a dysfunctional family ... full of pain, confusion, abuse, lies, and the foundation for destructive choices in life.  And build she did on that foundation.  Her life had all the symptoms of a life headed for an eternity without Christ.  She gave birth to two children, but had no husbands.  She was introduced to prostitution by her mother, which she practiced for 7 long years.  She did every drug she came into contact and if they were not available she could always get drunk.  Her last man, the father of her son, was sent to prison.

Pam moved to Fairview, a small town in northwestern Oklahoma.  Her motivation for this move was to be in the same town as her son's grandfather.  God had a different reason. Pam continued her destructive lifestyle until the grandfather confronted her.  She was told by him that he knew that she was using and that he would take his grandson away from her if she didn't stop.  Pam has always loved her children and this was the threat that started her quest for help.

The manager of her low income housing unit was born again and kept telling Pam that she needed Jesus and asked Pam to come to a church service with her.  A elderly customer at the restaurant where Pam waited tables keep telling Pam that she needed Jesus and should become part of a church too.  She had heard plenty of talk about Jesus and the Gospel and she wanted nothing to do with it now, but decided one day that she would attend the service of a church called Fresh Start at the suggestion of this elderly gentleman.  She went and has never stopped.  She cried during every service, but it wasn't until she went outside her apartment and cried out to God that Jesus answered and entered her life.  That was about 9 months ago and Pam's life has never been the same.  She is clean.  She is sober.  She is passionate about Jesus and shares Him with anyone who will listen.  I know this first hand.  I saw her at the grocery store, the Homecoming Football Game and I saw her at her place of employment.  I witnessed this in her apartment as visitors dropped by.  Some, in her low income housing development called Red Carpet, have come to ask her what got in to her and some want what she has.  Recently, one young girl, new to the community, whispered to her one morning, "Have you got anything?" ... meaning drugs and Pam whispered back, "Yeah .... do you want HIM?"  with a huge smile on her face.

Freedom.  This is what I see on the face and life of this woman.  Freedom.  And she wants others to enjoy freedom too.  Pam has only seen her mother one time in the last 24 years.  That was 14 years ago and it was not pretty.   She just spent the weekend with  her mother and alcoholic brother in Ohio, accompanied by her friend from Fairview.  I can't wait to hear the results of that visit.  Pam is free, full of life and now is a life giver.  Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except by Me."  Pam is a huge billboard pointing the way to Jesus.

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