On February 4, 1994, my daughter, two grandchildren and myself started the morning out by going to the different agencies to help with our utilities. Since February 1993, I had been unemployed due to a layoff at my previous job. For a year, I searched and searched for a job (anything), but nothing was available. My daughter, grandchildren, my son and myself managed to keep a roof over our heads with the $440 I collected from unemployment.
The first week of December 1993, my unemployment was finished and I began to get worried. There was still no jobs available and Christmas was on the way. About a week before Christmas, I thought I was coming down with the flu, by the day before Christmas Eve it was pneumonia. I had been spitting up blood for three days and was at the point where I could not even get off the bed. My daughter finally called members of my family and they took me immediately to the hospital. Once at the hospital, they took x-rays and determined it was pneumonia,, wrote me a prescription for medication and sent me home “Merry Christmas”. It was only by the Grace of God, a few family members and friends that we got through the month of December. In January, my landlord was very understanding and let me hold off on my rent. I still continued to look for a job and also for some type of assistance, but there were no funds available anywhere. Around the second week of January 1994, I decided to go to the Community Health Clinic since I still wasn’t feeling well. Once there, the doctor informed me that I was to go immediately to the hospital because I still had pneumonia and my right lung was full of liquid, which could result in a very serious situation. After going through surgery and spending two weeks in the hospital, I finally got to go home. I was now two months behind on my rent, my light bill was due and I had no money coming in, no job and no prospects for getting either in the near future. I began wondering if my family and myself would soon be homeless and on the street.
It was on Thursday morning, February 3, 1994, when my daughter, grandchildren and myself left to go about looking help once again. We went to several places, but there was nothing, then I remembered a little organization I had gone to several years ago for some assistance. I remembered I not only received some help, but my daughter received Jesus her heart through the help of a very special lady. The organization that I am speaking of is Live Now Ministries and the special lady is none other than Mrs. Cicely Ratcliff.
Much to my surprise, after speaking with Mrs. Ratcliff, she informed me she was looking for a bookkeeper with computer knowledge and you will never guess what my job skills involved. I honestly believe that my Lord, Jesus Christ, sent me to Live Now. Within two days, I had the job and since then my life had been changing for the better. I got my rent caught up, (the place where we were living at was really bad) and because of Live Now, we were able to move into a real nice home. I love my work at Live Now and since being there and working with the people, I not only have a better perspective of myself, I know now what my priorities are. A very important one to me is being associated with Live Now and helping other people less fortunate than myself.
Unfortunately, due to lack of funds, Live Now is having to close its doors. This will be a very sad day not only for me, but for the youth, who just recently started their new program, “The Youth Light Center” and also our community as well. I feel that something could be done to stop this injustice. I have seen so many hurting people helped through this organization, there’s at least 75 to 100 people walking through Live Now doors on a daily basis—I know, I take care of the books. We are and have not been funded by anyone, even our city refuses to fund us and this is what makes me very angry. (It has been said that Live Now is not structured, I challenge anyone to come and look at our records and then make that statement). Even without funding, since I’ve been there and even before that, (I’m referring to past records),I know we have changed hundreds if not thousands of lives. I know through God’s grace, the closing of our doors will only be temporary, but I also know, it should never have to happen.
Live Now has brought not only honor to our city but love and compassion as well. Live Now welcomes everyone with open arms and a warm heart, it is just a shame that Live Now does not receive the same.
P.S. When Live Now closes its doors, I honestly can say, that I don’t know what will happen to my family and myself. My daughter, now three small grandchildren, my son and myself just moved into a nice home and I feel without my job, we will have to give that up and then I don’t know what will happen. Live Now does not only provide my family and myself with monetary help, but with spiritual help as well.