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Anne Simmons

Anne Simmons is the house manager at the
Union Gospel Mission Crisis Shelter for Women and Children in Spokane, WA. The Crisis Shelter for Women and Children exists to provide a safe, healthy, short-term refuge for women and children in a crisis. Anne spreads the work of peace through sharing God’s love with these women and children. She brings peace into the lives of these women who have never experienced the idea of unconditional love or peace. Her strong faith in God gives her a sense of peace and she feels through sharing this with the women at the crisis center, they too can gain a peaceful heart.

Interview by Anisa Babar

May 2012

 Peace is a quiet heart and includes the ideas of trust and hope. There must be self- acceptance and an understanding of God’s unconditional love.

            I work at a crisis shelter for women and children. Typically, when ladies come in, they have no peace. They have hit bottom and for many different reasons. They have turned to every way they have been taught to escape. They have tried to find peace and security in drugs, alcohol, sex, and men, but in the end they have no peace. Many times they come from generations of family members that have battled the same way. They are at war and don’t know how to get out. They don’t even know that peaceful hearts exist.

I believe in real relationships with God more than peoples’ physical bodies attending a church service. People need to be in God’s word so that He can give them personal direction and talk to them one-on-one with the perfect “book” that He has given us. His word can and will touch anyone at exactly where they are. It is amazing to me the change I see when these ladies feel His love. I get to witness lives change every day. People need to know that they are not alone. God does not promise a perfect path. He says that there will be many trials in life but He promises that He will always walk with us. He loves us unconditionally and we should love others in the same way. But that’s hard for many.

The best way to promote peace is to be obedient to God’s perfect plan. Forgive. Seek to understand yourself and others. Communicate and love others for who they are. Get rid of self-pride and think of people who aren’t as lucky as you. Give of yourself where you can.

            Peace studies students should spend time in different classes of people and different cultures. Have the opportunity to watch a heart experience God’s peace for the very first time ever in their lives. It will bring you to your knees in appreciation of how great our God is. I get to see this every day and I feel like I’m the luckiest lady in the world to be with these ladies 40 hours out of my week.

            There are so many people who have no peace. You can’t tell by looking at them because we are all so good at covering it up. They have been hurt and not forgiven. They are lonely but will not admit it. They don’t know how to love but to only hate. They have suffered and have no hope. They keep turning to drugs and/or alcohol to numb them selves. That’s the only way they know how to find inner peace.

With peace playing a role in conflict, there will always be conflict in the world because there will always be sin. There will always be pride and lies in the world. Satan is real. Our own personal peace needs to be between God and ourselves. We need to stay in prayer. We need to profess that Jesus is God’s son and that his teaching while here on earth shows us the direction we need to strive for. He spent his time changing the hearts of people that had no peace. We need to be more like him.