The Women of Gilgal

Inner city partnership helps transform lives at homeless recovery center.

By Cru Inner City   |  16 October 2013
The Women of Gilgal (main photo)
Photos courtesy Cru Inner City Atlanta.
The Women of Gilgal (sidebar photo)

Michelle Melchor, Atlanta Cru Inner City staff member, volunteers each week at The Women of Gilgal, a residential recovery center for homeless women trying to overcome addiction.

Gilgal's goal is not just to break their residents' destructive cycle of drug and alcohol abuse, but also to equip them for their transition back into the working world. Most important, Gilgal seeks to connect the empty hands of struggling women with the reaching hand of Jesus Christ.

When Michelle met Val Cater, founder of Gilgal, 4 years ago, she immediately wanted to be involved.

Since then, every week, Michelle and her fellow volunteers have led a Bible study at Gilgal. Michelle explains, "We help them to know how to know Jesus Christ. We give them an opportunity to share what they're learning and take prayer requests. Anything that says we care about them and consider them to be special makes a difference."

And it does make a difference. Michelle has seen women transformed by their time at Gilgal, women like Deborah. Deborah was deep in the recovery program when Michelle began volunteering four years ago. Today, Deborah has become a follower of Christ and now serves as the resident manager for the Women of Gilgal. Deborah, along with many other women at Gilgal, has even expressed a desire to be baptized.

Deborah isn't alone in her new life. During a recent study on our identity in Christ, the women we asked to answer the question, "Who am I?" One of Michelle's students admitted in her journal, "I don't know who I am." Just a couple of weeks later, this same young woman wrote, "I am a child of God, I am His. He is my father. He will always have my back. I do know who I am. Today I am His child."