Out of the Dark

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Have you ever wondered –

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Where do the homeless go? How do the hungry eat? Who helps the addicted recover? What do single mothers in crisis do when their family is falling apart?

When the dark place inside begins to take over, that dark stemming from the hopelessness and despair of situations that put a person out of control in their own life, there is an open door in Pittsburgh at the Light of Life Rescue Mission to bring light back to their lives.

The Light of Life Rescue Mission has a holistic approach. They help people to get the education and skills they need to recover from addictions, become stronger, better parents, and overcome poverty, among other issues. They work to “empower men, women and children to overcome extreme adversities and gain essential tools for lifelong achievement.” They provide services for creative learning, treatment referrals for mental health, activities for developing social skills, Bible studies, after-care and mentoring.

Pittsburgh Gives Day of Giving is upon us – today, October 3, 2012. Light of Life needs your support to light the way for others in crisis.  Help them with an online donation and have your gift proportionally matched by The Pittsburgh Foundation’s $750,000 match pool!

“We radiate life by empathizing with the needs of the communities we serve, partnering in the healing process, as we share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and make spirit-filled disciples,” is a message of positivity found within the Light of Life website.

Jessi Marsh, Director of Development at Light of Life, says, “We serve people in crisis from all over the Pittsburgh area. People come to the mission through many places. They come in from the street and from rehab facilities. They will come to Light of Life for a meal and learn about the additional services offered. Some people come right after being released from incarceration and others are referred to Light of Life by other nonprofits.”

Wherever they come from, their lives have gotten to a really dark place. Many people may sit back and think, “that could never happen to me. I could never be homeless; never become addicted, never be so down and out that I need a rescue mission to provide a roof and meal for my survival.” But if you ask the people finding strength and services through Light of Life, many of them would tell you they thought the very same thing.

I like this video that highlights their walk event while giving us some statistics to think about.

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Light of Life also operates a Christian recovery program for single mothers and children in crisis. The Mission offers a  9–18 month program and assists women and their families with subsidized apartments, assistance with transportation, household and childcare needs, and 20 hours per week of counseling, education and training.

“Suffering the effects of abuse, addiction and poverty, most women enter the program incapable of functioning in a parental role. This need is addressed by teaching recovery and parenting skills and strengthening the family unit through outings and activities,” Marsh adds about the program.

The following is a story of hope and determination resulting from Light of Life’s help:

Debra’s struggle with drugs and alcohol began when she was 21 years old. Using alcohol and crystal meth to ease inner turmoil, she found herself in jail in 1987, charged with vehicular homicide and DUI.

After spending three years in jail, Debra was determined to lead a better life. Her faith was stronger and her self-esteem had improved. Debra remarried, had four children and attended college—graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and art.

However, her 21-year, second marriage was dangerously unhealthy—racked with emotional and physical abuse. Then, in 2007, Debra started using crack cocaine and immediately became addicted. Once again, her life spiraled downward.

The situation worsened. But in 2009, Debra mustered the courage to leave the situation. Settling her children in with a friend, she entered Light of Life’s recovery program for women and children.

“The program forever changed and saved my life. The counseling, parenting, and co-dependency classes were incredibly helpful; Bible studies were crucial to my recovery.”

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Light of Life continues to change lives and positively impact communities year after year. Support them on Day of Giving and mark your calendar for their upcoming event:

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More Than a Meal Gala,, October 25, 2012

Come join us at this year’s “More Than a Meal” Gala, being held October 25, 2012, at the beautiful LeMont Restaraunt in Pittsburgh!

The evening will feature delicious food, a silent auction, and inspirational testimonies of life transformation. This is a great opportunity to partner with Light of Life and to celebrate 60 years of providing services to poor and homeless men, women, and children.

You can register for the Gala at LightOfLife.org

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There are so many facets to the work at Light of Life that can’t possibly all be shared in one post. Please read more in their latest newsletter to see how others, like Pittsburgh-area native and former Pittsburgh Pirate, Sean Casey are pitching in to make a difference with the Light of Life’s mission. You can also check out and follow the Light of Life blog,

Simply Put – We can talk about the problems in the world. Or we can set out on a mission to fix them right here in our communities. Take part in being a solution and give to Light of Life on Day of Giving or find volunteer opportunities in their Mission.

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  1. October 3, 2012 at 7:59 PM

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