“I used to think I would never read. I never read well in school and was never stable in school. From the age of 6, I traveled back and forth with my family between Mexico and California. My mom, my 4 brothers and sisters, and myself were all born in the US, but my dad was deported several times after he lost his temporary immigration status, so we stayed together. The last time we crossed over to California I was 16 and felt friendless. To fit in, I followed the kids in my neighborhood who were using drugs and gang banging. My mistakes were many. Having been stabbed four times, I am fortunate to still be alive.
My last stay in jail brought me to a moment with Jesus. My cell mate was reading Scripture to me. I heard, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7 The words touched my heart. Today, the words fly off the page and I can read them myself. They make sense to me, which was never the case before. Coming to the Mission has changed my life. I have reunited with my family and my own children. I no longer have cravings for drugs. I no longer want the life I was living when I ran the streets. Even the church I attended as a child welcomed me back 15 years later. The same people are still there and the worship time with my family is special. I am so thankful that Jesus is watching over me, and for the love of other believers. I feel like I finally have a chance at freedom.” ~ Christopher
“I once dreamt of being a chef. Cooking is my passion and food comforts my soul. The thing is... when your heart isn’t in it the food you make tastes nasty. When I was sick in my addiction, people could tell how I felt inside and how I felt nothing for them just from the flavors I put on their plate.
The food we eat at Rescue the Children tastes like we’re loved.” ~ Quiana
“When I think of myself, I still envision a caring man with a purpose. When I look in the mirror, I see what the world sees; a bum. I don’t want to see that. I used to be a professional musician with a family and a home. I worked in nightclubs for years and never drank. Occasionally I smoked, but I was still a responsible citizen.
Seven years ago my marriage ended. I started drinking heavily. In 2015 I was driving while intoxicated and destroyed my car. I lost my license, spent 5 days in jail, paid a $2000 fine, and continued to spiral out of control. Today, at age 65, I’m a patient through the County of Behavioral Health and have been homeless for nearly 2 years. At my age, I just didn’t believe I could survive another winter on the streets. It’s a harsh, dangerous life. I feel very blessed and grateful to have found the Mission. Everyone here treats people with dignity and respect. They see in me what I used to see.” ~ Dwight
If there is one thing I have learned from my time at Rescue the Children, it is that I am worth so much more than what I was choosing for myself while I was lost in my addiction. It was a time of hopelessness. I was tired, sobbing, crying out to God in the shower. I was frightened and wanted so much more for myself and my children. The Lord answered my cry for help and guided me to the Mission.
Today, I feel free! I quote one particular Scripture over and over, claiming the words as if I wrote them myself:
You, Lord, are my lamp;
the Lord turns my darkness into light.
2 Samuel 22:29
I am filled with hope because of the light of Christ - and I am also so grateful. I am learning to be joyful in His peace, discovering the blessings of being a great mother to my beautiful children.
All I can say is THANK YOU!” ~ Angelina