Shepherd’s Door Graduation: Michelle & Bernie

Shepherd’s Door, one of Portland Rescue Mission’s New Life Ministry facilities, provides a safe home for a community of single women and women with children as they participate in a 12-month recovery and restoration program. In this time, they learn relational, personal and vocational life skills while healing from past pain and struggle.

Graduation from the 12-month program is always a time of celebration, and an acknowledgement of the strength these women have shown while they developed the tools to make a total life change.

Recently, we celebrated the graduation of Michelle and Bernie. They each took a moment to reflect on the life experiences that brought them to Shepherd’s Door, and the change they’ve experienced during their stay.

“Growing up, we all have dreams,” Michelle began, “Those dreams got crushed, and they got changed.” When Michelle was 16, she experienced a traumatic situation. “I found alcohol could kill the pain,” she continued, “And that’s opened a door to many tragic events in my adulthood. The fear, misery and anguish were eating me alive.”

Last year, Michelle entered the Shepherd’s Door program. “It was a breath of fresh air. I sincerely felt God calling me here,” Michelle said. “Shepherd’s Door has been a vehicle to start my life again, fresh and anew, with Jesus Christ at the center.”

“I no longer live in fear and regret.”

Bernie recalled the moments right before coming to Shepherd’s Door, “I was lost, broken and confused.” During her time here, that changed. “I felt the Lord led me to Shepherd’s Door. My first days at my new home were welcoming and comforting and I felt safe…I felt God’s love healing my heart in a way I never thought could happen.”

Both Michelle and Bernie are now looking to the future with hope.

Thank you for supporting the restoration of lives like Michelle and Bernie’s.