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  • Pastor Dan Anderson

A WILD AND WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE


Betty has been serving as Program Director at Hope Gardens Family Center and has put in long, long days serving the Lord and the community. She has literally done incarnational ministry having lived on-campus in Sylmar during the work-week. It’s time for her to come home.

Betty’s tenure at Hope Garden has produced many, many significant advancements in ministry. She has worked diligently to develop a Grace-based Spiritual Culture. She has trained staff, created systems and procedures to advance transformational ministry for hundreds of single mothers and their children.

Betty has become “mom” to so many young women who are experiencing homelessness or fleeing from domestic violence who have never felt the care of a loving mother. Staff too have come to consider her their spiritual mother.

Betty will tell you that this has been the most difficult position she has ever had in her entire 40-year career. Every day of every week she encounters things that require every bit of education and ministry experience she has accumulated and still feels the overwhelming need to depend entirely on the Holy Spirit.

When asked about her experience at Hope Gardens Betty will say it’s the most rewarding job she has ever had. Her phrase is that HG is “Wild & Wonderful."

Here is what a several of Betty's colleagues had to say about her impact:

Karen Preston, Union Rescue Mission Board Member

“Betty Anderson images God’s uncompromising love for others and, while her leadership at Hope Gardens will be greatly missed, her legacy of compassionate, grace-laced love will carry on in the hearts and lives of those she has touched. I consider her one of my most precious people. I am really going to miss her at Hope Gardens, but I know that our friendship goes beyond those borders.”

Terri Serna, Hope Gardens Lead Program Assistant

"Betty’s consistent phrases to the staff were… (This is) 'Team Jesus' … 'boots on the ground' (and she always reminded us) 'The Lord leads and directs our steps.' She showed us all the true meaning of God’s grace and love."

Richard Newcomb, Union Rescue Mission VP of Development

"It’s been an honor to work alongside Betty the past two years! She is truly a classy woman, who has poured into the mind, body and spirit of our Hope Gardens moms, kids and ladies to help truly transform their lives. God bless! "

Rebecca Mayega, Hope Gardens Program Manager

"Betty has been a sister, mentor and spiritual mom to the entire Hope Gardens community. It was such a great honor for me to serve with her. She’s a woman of value and valor that we have all been looking up to. The ladies dearly loved her and knew that she would accept them no matter what. She walked such a perfect line of truth and grace at all times. One of her greatest lessons in my opinion is that, 'policies don’t change people but love does.' I have personally witnessed how God has been changing the lives of the ladies just by receiving the love of Jesus Christ and knowing that they are loved. I believe I am a better leader because I have been greatly impacted by her in so many ways.

Betty, thank you for your love and wise counsel. Praying that God continues to use you in your next chapter. I will never be the same again. You have left a great legacy of changing people’s lives."

Kim Dodd, Hope Gardens Chaplain

"When people think of ministry, their minds naturally drift to the Church: Pastor, Sunday School, Worship, and maintaining the building.

Yet, more ministry is done outside these walls in a plethora of ways. Ms. Betty (as she is affectionately called) is the living example of ministry on the outside of the Church walls. For the past two years, she has been breathing, eating, and sleeping (well, maybe not too much sleeping as her famous 1am emails can attest) Hope Garden. Coming alongside the Moms, their kids, and staff has been her 'Quest for the Holy Grail,' so to speak. So much so that the ministry at Hope Garden is truly transformational. Ms Betty has become a Spiritual Mom, sister, mentor, Pastor and friend. She has fought for these women and loved them with the unconditional love of God. I am not talking fairy tales but what God can do through a person who has truly surrendered their life to Christ.

Thank you Ms Betty! Thank you for being so focused on Jesus and so filled with Him that it overflows and nourishes His (Hope) Garden."

Rev. Andy Bales, Union Rescue Mission CEO

"Betty is a lifesaver, not only for our moms and children, but even for me.

I was going through a difficult challenge, our 4th floor family program was struggling, and I drafted the leader of Hope Gardens away to help us downtown.

Wonderful Pastor Dan Anderson, always willing to assist, filled in for a bit, but what we didn’t know was he had this dynamo of a wife and best friend, named Betty Anderson!!

She came aboard and made a huge impact at Hope Gardens, and with her came help from every direction!! She made the place shine!

She had committed for 1 year only. Back to my tough time. As I was going through it, Betty and Pastor Dan met with me to let me know her 1 year was up. I pleaded with her, for my sake and on behalf of our families to save me by committing to one more year!! I reminded her it was my birthday, and asked her to stay 1 more year, please!!

Betty obliged, and committed one more year. This was no ordinary commitment. When Betty commits, she commits!! We receive all of Betty!! She worked at Hope Gardens, endless hours. She stayed at Hope Gardens, Betty and Dan met up once a week for a date night!!

Their collective commitment to Union Rescue Mission has been overwhelming.

Lives have been changed forever!!

Children who’ve experience homelessness will never experience this again and will live productive lives because their moms lives have been inspired and changed.

I am getting tears in my eyes as I write so I will need to stop.

Betty, I can’t thank you enough on behalf of our families, our children, our team, our board of directors, and least of all, me.

Much love and thanks. There is no greater love than one who lays down their life for a friend."

Please pray for the families and staff at the Garden as Betty transitions. Pray too for Betty as she moves into a bigger role with our non-profit, Deed & Truth, and in the lives of her family. This is a bittersweet time emotionally.

If you know Betty I’d encourage you to reach out and let her know how much her commitment to ministry has encouraged or inspired you. I personally have never met a more committed ministry partner than my life partner and wife, Betty Anderson.

Betty we love you… we salute you… we honor your efforts to build the Kingdom of God by serving one of the least serviced people groups around… those who have been traumatized by the abuse of others and devastated by the insecurities of homelessness.

–Pastor Dan


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