Almond Street Mission continues the story that began with JD Neilson and Joella Crawford in For All Eternity. Glorilyn Neilson was seventeen at the time and has grown up now to be a young woman who’s dedicated her life to teaching children. But she gets sidetracked when tragedy strikes the Neilson family.
Tannon, the youngest of the Neilson kids has gone missing, and Glorilyn and JD are heartbroken. They don’t know where he is or how to get in contact. They’re sure he’s on the streets with no resources. Feeling helpless, Glorilyn does the only thing she possibly can—volunteers at one of the local shelters.
She has no idea of how her life will change when she meets one of the men at the facility. He offers to pray with her when Glorilyn mentions her brother is missing. After he fills in for the regular worship leader at Sunday morning chapel, she’s sure he’s a believer, too. She’s shocked when she realizes she’s attracted to the guy.
So, all this to explain an interesting piece of the research I did for the book. A person at our church mentioned a Christian homeless ministry in the nearby city of Birmingham, Alabama, the Jimmie Hale Mission. I called and asked if I could take a tour. One of the chaplains set up a time for my husband and I to visit and said he’d personally conduct our tour.
We visited the dining facility, exercise room, chapel, clothing bank, computer rooms, classrooms, and much more. We learned that when the men leave this facility, they are fully grounded in the Lord and on their way to a new life. Some are employed there at the mission like the food service director who used to be an alcoholic and now a Christian.
The chaplain generously gave me his office number and offered to answer any further questions. As I penned Almond Street Mission, a mental picture of the Jimmie Hale Mission allowed me to better describe my fictional facility.
An award-winning author, June Foster is a retired teacher with a BA in education and MA in counseling. Her characters find themselves in tough situations but overcome through God’s power and the Word. She writes edgy topics wrapped in a good story. To date, she’s seen twelve contemporary romances published. Find June online at junefoster.com. Click here to read the prologue and first 3 chapters.
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