Melissa has been Gisselle’s mentor for two years. We were so touched and encouraged to hear the story of their ongoing journey, that Melissa graciously shared with us:
“From July to October, I have been taking Gisselle to the Jail To Jobs program twice a week. In addition to that, I meet with her individually. During our time together, Gisselle filled me in on various issues in her life that, in her eyes, seemed insurmountable.These issues resulted in Gisselle not even being able to know with certainty if she would have a safe place to come home to each day. After finding out that she often slept in a car at night, I immediately called her probation officer and asked if Gisselle could stay with my husband and I temporarily. Her probation officer gave us permission. He even assisted us in setting up a date in court where we could ensure that everyone, including Gisselle’s mother, was on board with this arrangement.
In the meantime, we took full advantage of our time with Gisselle by allowing her the opportunity to experience a multitude of new things: Formula 1 and Bruno Mars at Circuit of the Americas probably topped the list, but even just the simple things such as watching movies and favorite TV shows, and cooking together, have brought such joy to all of us! We were able to get her re-enrolled in school, and she has been sober for almost 3 months now. She goes to church with us, carves pumpkins with us, and now has stability in her life. We consider Gisselle a part of our family and treat her as such. She has many responsibilities and chores that she did not have before, and she is thriving in her new life. Our goals for Gisselle are simple: Just be a kid! Continue to attend school. Make positive peer relationships. Most importantly, we want her to know with certainty that each day, she has a place to sleep and that she is unconditionally loved.”
So there you go. The story of Melissa and Gisselle defines what we do here at Nineveh. We do not possess any sort of secret formula to guarantee that a kid succeeds. We simply provide a place of support, love and understanding. It’s amazing to watch someone blossom and become all that God intended for them to be, when their core needs are consistently being met.
Thank you Melissa for living out our mission! Way to go Gisselle for never giving up and fighting through the struggle to see brighter days. W