Mom A highlight for Faith Farm in Boynton Beach, Florida, is always the graduation cere- mony from its 10-month residential drug and alcohol program. Executive Director Dean Webb remembers, “A woman was trying to use her phone to video a young man’s graduation speech. She had dragged a chair up the center aisle of the church to place it in front of the podium to get a great view to record. As he spoke, tears began streaming down both sides of her face. He told of feeling abandoned by his mother during her 20 years of addiction. “She cried overtly as he described his living with his grandparents when his mother abandoned him and then stealing from his grandparents to get drugs. He looked down at his grandparents on the third row as he asked them for their forgiveness. This only brought more tears and weeping from the woman in the center of the aisle. She was sobbing now.” The woman, Dean learned, was the graduate’s mother, who had also grad- uated from Faith Farm and was now working as a cross-country trucker. “He had seen his mother’s life change after 20 years of drug use and prostitution, and decided that if she could change, so could he,” Dean says. “He applied to Faith Farm, and the family addictions and recovery had come full circle.” Terry F ay Ternan, executive director at the Lewis County Gospel Mission in Chehalis, West Virginia, fondly recalls an experience with a guest named Terry. “Terry is a big guy, dark hair, heavy features, and talked to himself a lot, sometimes argumentatively. He battled severe mental health issues and drug prob- lems, and ended up in jail or in treatment periodically,” she says. “He had been banned from multiple businesses and agencies, and even at times from the mission when he became unsafe to others. Let’s just say people gave way on the sidewalk when Terry walked past them.” Fay had only been volunteering for a few months and had no previ- ous experience with homeless people, so she was a bit uncertain about what to expect from them. One time she was closing the day shelter and was the only staff there. “Another volunteer had forgotten to lock the front door when he left, and Terry walked in to get some coffee,” she says. “I got him a cup and told him I had to lock up. He realized I was by myself and offered to stay until I was done. I assured him I was okay and he left.” As Fay locked up, she wondered if she had just dodged a risky situation. “When the cleanup was complete, I glanced out the window and saw Terry sitting on the concrete window box in front. When I stepped out of the building and locked the door, Terry stood up and said he’d see me the next day and walked away. Apparently, he’d been waiting to make sure I was safely to my car!” Fay says, “That act of concern 46 WWW.AGRM.ORG JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2018