Garden City, GA
The first person I met when I pulled in to Four Winds Drive-Thru Prayer was a man named Reggie. I told him about the project and he said I had to meet Alma. He told me a little bit about how they had both been homeless and, while living out of a car, helped others find a place to stay. Reggie invited us inside to meet Alma.
BW: I was hoping you could tell me a story.
Alma: Well… can I pray about it first?
BW: Sure, do you want to [pray] right now?
Alma: I don’t know if he’ll respond that quick
BW: [Laughing] Well it sounds like you do a lot of good here to help people and I’d like to tell your story. Nobody opens up a place like this unless they’ve got a story. How did you become homeless?
Alma: Well, I was working at Home Depot through a temp agency and work slowed down. We were working like one day a week. Everything went downhill.
BW: Did you try to look for another job?
Alma: No. God told me to pursue my career in writing, singing, puppeteering and caring and praying for the broken and lost.
BW: It feels like your whole life is lead by God, to the point of us not being able to talk because you didn’t pray about it. How did that happen? Have you always been that spiritual?
Alma: No. Not always.
BW: How did that transformation happen?
Alma: Well, once I surrendered to him, I asked him to lead me on a daily basis. I try to listen.
BW: How long did you live in the car?
Alma: A year maybe.
BW: During that period you were raising money for other people who were homeless?
BW: How did you raise money?
Alma: I preformed my original plays and sold tickets. I sold dinners and candy. Some people just donated. I would get the money and put a family or individual up in a motel.
BW: What do you hope to accomplish here [at Four Winds]?
Alma: To win many souls so that they can be saved and restored, for those who have lost their homes, abused… The most important part is being able to forgive. Because I’ve been molested as a child and beaten as a child. So, I know how it feels to be abused.
BW: Do you have any sense of what that did to you?
Alma: Yes. Well, it was my dad and he would come home drinking almost every night and he would come and line us up and just beat us for nothing and he also molested us. We went through being hungry every day. He had a good job but he took it and spent [his money] on other women. We used to eat peanuts for breakfast, lunch and dinner. So, finally my mom left him when I was eight.
BW: Is your dad still alive?
Alma: No, he died back in 2009
BW: Do you think you forgive him?
Alma: Yeah, I have. I was the only one crying at the funeral.
BW: I’ve never been hurt that bad by someone that close and I can’t imagine the capacity to forgive somebody who did it over and over and over and was supposed to be there as somebody you trust. He was supposed to raise you. How did you forgive him?
Alma: How? I prayed about it for years and it was still there. I still hated him but finally God placed that compassion there for my father and for others that do things to people.
Alma contacted me recently and said that they had to close down Four Winds. She was such an awesome lady that I’d like to do something special for her. I’m selling her print today. You can pay what you like and all profits from the sale will go directly to her.