From Devastation to Transformation

From Devastation to Transformation 2

Donyah S. West is a testimony of beauty from ashes. Like many others, the pandemic impacted every area of Donyah’s life and future. She personally experienced severe health complications- two hospitalizations with COVID-19 resulting in pneumonia, a pulmonary embolism, and a host of other residual side effects. “I was so ill that I just wanted God to take me out of my misery,” Donyah recalled.

In the midst of these intense medical hardships, Donyah was also in the process of leaving a physically and emotionally abusive marriage. Like many women who find themselves in abusive situations, every area of Donyah’s life was impacted. “He caused me financial devastation,” Donyah noted, “I had to move in with my mother across states to recover from being so ill, stressed and financially broke.”  Donyah’s mother was also elderly and needed help of her own. However, Donyah needed respite and hoped that moving from Georgia to Louisiana would provide some opportunity for relief and recovery from the difficulties and pain she had endured.

God met her in her hope.

Donyah was visiting church with her sister and brother-in-law In October 2021 when she learned about the work-life program. “I signed up for the work life course and received financial assistance for 10 weeks, employment assistance, and job skills that afforded me with the resources I needed to be successful in the work world and the Kingdom. Work-Life taught me how to be a good steward, love like Jesus loved, 5 steps to smart speaking, how to use your EARS, and the Keys to Calling a Ceasefire. I graduated from the Work Life Program on December 6, 2021.”

When asked about her experience with the COC, Donyah said, “My experience with these services was great. I appreciated the COC paying my cell phone bill for 10 weeks, which helped me tremendously. I also appreciated the assignments- which helped me with my job development, social skills and speaking skills. I had to learn, recite, and present my “60 Second Commercial” at graduation. This helped me grow in my confidence level and increased my public speaking skills.”

Donyah’s transformation is evidence of the difference that a Biblical approach to poverty alleviation can make in a person’s life. “I now have a better understanding of God and what he wants for my life. I also feel confident in knowing that God is my source and strength. My faith level has increased, my confidence has been restored, my financial situation is better. Plus, I have a network of friends and a support system that I did not have before.”

“In the future I hope to publish my 2nd book, become a life coach, and to work for a Christian-based organization. The COC changed me in the ways that they encouraged me to aim higher for my goals and gave me confidence in knowing that there were people cheering me on and able to assist me in accomplishing my aspirations.”

In the face of pain, suffering and unexpected obstacles there is still hope for a successful future. Donyah’s story is just one of many individuals who find themselves working hard for a better future after undeserved devastation. The faithful investment of our community in providing for the physical, emotional, spiritual, and practical needs of others produces this result – lasting life change.

Donyah was given grace to get on her feet, opportunities to learn, skills to create a sustainable future, a community that supports her, and hope that God is at work in her life.

This kind of hope is possible for others too. Explore our services and our heart toward serving clients experiencing homelessness and poverty at