A new year brings changes, and that’s true for ADRN as well. ADRN will be opening its second thrift store in North Austin later this month. Like our East Austin location, this store will change lives in Greater Austin. When disaster survivors come to ADRN for help, they get free clothing, shoes, and goods to get them back on their feet. Our stores are lifelines for those who are hurting, but we recently found out just how important our thrift stores are to folks even closer to us.
Misty Wooten works as a cashier at the store. She also shelves the books and videos that come in for resale. When she first arrived in Austin, she spent her days and nights living in a parking lot. Things are better now. She’s in a women’s center, but getting from the streets to the shelter wasn’t easy. She calls her journey supernatural. Here’s her story.
In 2020, Misty was living in Atlanta, Georgia when she says God asked her to move to Austin.
“I told Him if He provided a way, I’d go,” she said.
And He did. This past July, Misty had just landed in Tulsa for a funeral, and God asked her to change her return ticket from Atlanta to Austin.
That was an instruction she couldn’t ignore, but before boarding her Texas-bound plane, Misty sent her aunt a text explaining why she had changed her plans.
“My life is not my own,” she wrote, “God has strategically placed me everywhere I have landed, and this time, God told me to go to Austin. I have to obey even if it costs me everything. I would rather jump out of the boat and doggy paddle until God rescues me than not jump out of the boat and miss walking on water.”
So, with a little cash and only the belongings she had brought, she boarded a flight to Austin, a city she had never visited.
“When I landed, I was hoping there would be a chauffeur holding a sign with my name on it or something. I was expecting something big, but I heard God tell me, ‘This is not going to go the way you think it is,’” she said.
“He didn’t disappoint there,” she laughed. There was no greeting party excited about her arrival. Misty sat at the airport after her flight landed and asked God what to do next. She heard no instructions, just the words, Hope Prayer Center, a place she’d never heard of before.
Misty called a cab and landed on the Prayer Center’s doorstep.
“At this point, I’m hoping somebody there will know why I’m here,” Misty recalled.
“They didn’t,” she laughed. “They listened to my story. They prayed with me. They even gave me a list of resources where I could get some help,” she said.
For the next two nights, Misty slept at a local hotel, thanking God for a bed and a hot shower. But when her cash ran out, she had nowhere to go. By day, she’d spend her time riding the bus to stay off the streets, and at night, she’d land on a vacant church parking lot.
“God picked my spot, and here’s the beautiful thing. Because I trusted Him, not one person bothered me while I was there. God had me in a literal secret place,” she said.
And she made more than a few trips back to the Prayer Center and ADRN.
“I sensed God asking me to pick up my cross and follow Him, so I donated everything except some necessities to ADRN’s Hope Family Thrift Store,” she said.
On one of those visits, she met the manager of the Thrift Store, who later hired her. And now, Misty’s found a temporary home at Faith Home Restoration, a women’s shelter.
“I’m not going to pretend any of this was easy, but now, I’m surrounded by people who know God and love God. When things get too hard for me, I have people who will catch me,” she said.
With the new year, Misty’s expecting even more blessings, like an apartment and a permanent address.
“I believe God’s bringing me to my promised land where I can tell people that anything is possible with Him.”