MONROE, La.—Danielle Flintroy described her life as "a complete mess" before arriving at Christian Women's Job Corps.
"I had lost my job, my home and my car," Flintroy said. "But more importantly, I almost lost my faith in God. It was the scariest thing I've ever experienced. I had an 11-year-old son to provide for, and my life was falling apart."
Flintroy came to Christian Women's Job Corps of Monroe, La., because she wanted to make a step in the right direction, she said. Her favorite part of the program was the support and encouragement from her instructor and classmates.
"All the ladies bonded and became like a family," she said. "A loving family was exactly what I needed, because I felt my own family had turned their backs on me when I need them the most.
"Being in CWJC was like being welcomed into open, loving arms. It was peace in the middle of a raging storm. It was acceptance and guidance when I felt I didn't deserve it."
Woman's Missionary Union launched Christian Women's Job Corps more than 14 years ago to help women change their lives for the better by empowering them with biblical nourishment, a mentor for encouragement and accountability, and training opportunities to help them attain education, gainful employment and self-sufficiency.
Flintroy identifed Tonya Hancock, site coordinator for Monroe, as the most influential person for her in Christian Women's Job Corps.
"I already knew that with Christ all things are possible, but she made me believe it again," Flintroy said. "She made me know that God loves me in spite of myself and that he wants the best for me."
Her mentor, Tracey Bennett, said Flintroy has a kind and compassionate heart that draws her to help those in need or those less fortunate.
"Danielle seeks Jesus Christ in all she does," Bennett observed. "Her relationship with him spills over into all her other relationships. She knows and has experienced a tough and cruel world, but she uses the strength of the Lord to live her life."
In Christian Women's Job Corps, Flintroy learned first aid, CPR and computer skills. She prepared for a GED and learned interview etiquette and life management skills. But she said the most important thing she learned was Jeremiah 29:11—"'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"
"Because of CWJC, I have a much stronger faith and am ready to be a blessing for others in need," Flintroy said. "I give God all the glory for my blessings and triumphs. I can accept any challenges or obstacles with a smile in my heart because it's all in God's plan."
Flintroy is this year's recipient of the Sybil Bentley Dove Award, which is given annually to a current or former CWJC participant who advances herself through life skills, academic development, and faith in God. David George, president of the WMU Foundation, presented her with the award and a grant that accompanies it at the Louisiana Baptist Convention annual meeting at First Baptist Church in Covington.
Currently a resident and volunteer at the Louisiana Baptist Children's Home, Flintroy said her next steps are to find the job God wants her to have, secure housing for her and her son and get certified as a pharmacy technician.
"I am now able to use what I went through to let others know that no matter what you do or where you may end up, God will bring you out of the darkest hole and give you a purpose," she said. "You only have to seek him, and he will reveal his plan for you."