Gertrude's Story

Hello Wonderful World! I am Gertrude Frith, and this year, I will be 71 years old. I am so very grateful, and amazed, that I am alive today.

I have always clung to the verse, "For such a time as this." In 1994, God’s plan for my life, for such a time as this, was to meet a true FRIEND—someone who would do her very best to see me as Jesus was seeing me, despite my failures. At that time, in the mid-90’s, my life was rebounding from many episodes of homelessness and hopelessness, anger, and even insanity. Yet, it appeared to me that Debra saw none of that. I felt immediate acceptance from her. If she saw brokenness, she did not show it, nor did she ever ask me, "What in the world happened to you?" Instead, she smiled and hugged me, and that was the beginning of a 23-year friendship.

Debra continued to stay in touch with me over the years, even though we eventually lived far away from each other. Over the phone, she would listen to my pain, my memories of being sexually molested at a very early age. I went through drinking and drugging bouts and was promiscuous, angry, and depressed for many, many years. But the miles, and my life, did not separate us.

God gave me a friend who was able to recognize, when I couldn't, that all that drinking and drugs, the crying and promiscuous behavior, were covering up a lifetime of pain. That pain was unbearable, and I used so many destructive things to try to find temporary relief. I never felt that I could change. But God knew.

Here is the plan that God made just for me: he brought me to the point where I was willing to acknowledge His voice, trust His love, and seek His will. Within a year, I noticed that my life was becoming better. Then, in September 2017, in the midst of that transformation, my old friend Debra called me, again. Mind you, Debra and I had not seen each other face-to-face for almost 15 years. I lived in Birmingham, Alabama, and she was calling to ask me to move to Syracuse, New York and join her in ministry. I said, “Hey, Deb, what do I have to offer? What can I possibly do?" She said, “Gert, you can do this. Pray about it and call me back." I prayed about it, and I called her back—and the rest is history.

I arrived in Syracuse on October 1, 2017. Debra has given me the privilege of becoming part of the lives of the women at Exodus House by living and working there as House Manager. I share my experiences, my strengths and my hope, as I grow right along with these ladies. I am finally at a place in my life where I am able to love myself and others as the Lord loves us. There is so much more to say about my new life, and so much more to come. To God be the glory, for the things He hath done!