Rebecca Krebs’ life has been filled with inconsistency and bad luck, but her luck turned around earlier this month when she was gifted a vehicle from a local auto ministry.
On Oct. 3, Krebs, a single mom, was given a new-to-her vehicle from God’s Garage, a ministry of Crossroads Community Church that repairs vehicles for the underprivileged and gifts vehicles that have been donated. The gift, Krebs said, was “unreal.”
“I honestly didn’t know what to think at first because it was so unreal, and it felt like just literally this massive weight had been lifted off of my chest because I make barely enough to get by every month. So it’s nearly impossible to come up with money to pay my bills, let alone get a new vehicle. It was very unreal, and it still is to be honest,” said Krebs, 24.
Krebs’ life hasn’t been easy. As a child and young adult, she was in the foster care system. Krebs estimated that she’s lived in between 23 and 33 homes around Indiana. At age 19, she didn’t want to be placed in another house, so she ran.
She was homeless for almost a year, breaking into and living in abandoned houses. Over that time, she began drinking and doing drugs, and some of the choices she made led her to be placed in Open Arms, a local women’s shelter.
But Krebs wasn’t ready to be “placed” anywhere else. She’d be placed in places all of her life, so she ran again.
“I was only there for a couple months, and then I ran because I was having issues mentally and emotionally. I was struggling really bad because I had no support really,” she said.
Once again homeless, Krebs met a woman who took her to Coordinated Assistance Ministries, another homeless shelter, and staff at that shelter placed her in the nonprofit’s Serena House, a shelter for homeless young women that since has closed.
The following morning that Krebs was at Serena House, she broke her ankle and fractured her leg in three places, something she later saw as a blessing as it kept her from running yet again. Now without the ability to get around on her own and complete simple tasks for herself, she was stuck. She was terrified, she said.
“It’s hard being placed in a shelter, knowing nobody at all, being absolutely terrified with nothing but a black bag of clothes and not being able to take care of yourself, not being able to go to the bathroom, not being able to shower, not being able to cook your own meals because you have a broken leg,” she said.
But it kept her in place for a year. Over that time, Krebs said she learned how to let people in and accept love.
“It taught me there are really good people out there that love you genuinely, and God’s there. He will take care of you no matter what,” she said.
Being at the shelter allowed Krebs to get back on her feet and get an apartment of her own in August 2017. It was the first time she’d had her own place, and she lived there for two years, the longest she had ever lived anywhere.
However, tragedy struck in 2019 when her grandmother, one of the only people she had in her life, suffered a brain bleed and died.
“I basically spiraled. I started drinking again and falling into old habits, and I wound up pregnant with my daughter. But I honestly believe God gave her to me because I was at a point where I had no one, and it was just me. I had nothing to live for,” she said.
Krebs lost her apartment, but after having her daughter, she “fought hard” to get them a home and a job, which she now has both. She had a van that her grandmother left for her, but it broke down. Krebs was able to purchase a van to ensure she still could get around and get to work, but within two months, the transmission went out.
Since August, Krebs had been walking from place to place with her daughter, Maelynn Grace, who will be 2 in December, in tow.
“The reason I needed a new vehicle is because I work, and having a vehicle is basically a lifeline for us to get from place to place and get to work and drop her off at daycare and be able to go to places like the grocery store. It’s hard to walk around town lugging a child and a bunch of groceries and going to appointments,” she said.
Without a car to get to work, Krebs missed several weeks of work and was getting behind financially.
She was on the worship team for Celebrate Recovery, a 12-step recovery program, and it was there where she met a woman who told her about God’s Garage and that she had been gifted a car from the auto ministry herself. She encouraged Krebs to fill out an application to see if she possibly could be gifted one as well.
Krebs thought it was a longshot, but she filled out the application. Not long after, she was contracted by Tom Smith, founder of God’s Garage who told her he had a vehicle for her, a 1998 Subaru Forester.
The vehicle, Krebs said, was life-changing.
“I love it. I prayed to God that the next vehicle, if I ever get a vehicle, it would be red, and it’s a red vehicle. So I truly believe this vehicle was meant for me and my daughter,” she said. “It’s made a very big impact on my life because I can finally go to work this week and not have the stress of if I can get my daughter to and from daycare to be able to go to work and get around and hopefully catch up on some bills.”
One of the reasons Smith started God’s Garage was to help people in situations just like Krebs’. Vehicles, he said, are lifelines for people to be able to get to work to make ends meet.
Now that Krebs has a vehicle, Smith said she has the opportunity to pull herself back up.
“It’s given her an opportunity to go back to work and also to take her little daughter around wherever she might need to go,” Smith said. “It’s mostly enabling her to get back to work and get her income going again.”
The Subaru was donated to God’s Garage by Teresa Arnett who hadn’t used it in years. It had been in her garage, and she was looking to get rid of it. It needed some repairs, and knowing that God’s Garage takes vehicles, fixes them up, and donates them to those in need, she decided to donate it to the ministry.
Arnett said she couldn’t have been happier that Krebs was the recipient.
“I was hoping a single mom would get it because I know how hard it is for them,” she said. “I wanted to help somebody and make their life better, give them a better life for their kids. Now, Rebecca will be able to see her little girl in the backseat, laughing and listening to the radio like my own girls used to when they were little.”
Arnett thanked God’s Garage for fixing up the Subaru for Krebs. It was outfitted with new wheels, and Smith’s team of volunteers fixed the vehicle’s brakes and transmission.
God’s Garage, which was founded in June 2018, has given away around 30 vehicles and repaired approximately 500 vehicles for single moms, the elderly, and widows.
Smith encouraged anyone who has a vehicle they want to get rid of to donate it to God’s Garage. The need, he said, far exceeds the number of vehicles donated. Monetary donations also are accepted. To donate, call Smith at 765-490-9587.