Part 3

…continued from Wednesday

“Joyce is the first student at Village of Hope to have to earn all 190 credits to complete high school. She started with 0 credits, and in 15 months has now earned her high school diploma,” shared the Orange County Rescue Mission’s Success Center Manager, Joey Gonzalez.
That moment after waking up from a two month coma, when Joyce had decided she had enough – enough of homelessness, addiction, prison and despair, she began to live with determination. Joyce received God’s love and forgiveness through putting her trust in Jesus Christ. Rather than running from court ordered time in rehab, she submitted and learned to humble herself to break free from addiction.
And Joyce began to build a foundation for her new life by reading and learning about God. She met a friend and mentor during that season of life, who walked with Joyce, showing her how to read her Bible and how to apply God’s truth in her life. This mentor is amazed at how much Joyce has changed.
And so are her friends and family. Because of the testimony of how much God has done to bring wholeness and freedom to Joyce, literally bringing her from death to life, younger women that knew Joyce before are choosing to follow in her footsteps, and have come to Village of Hope at Orange County Rescue Mission.
Joyce’s probation officer knew that one year in rehab was not enough to continue this new start in life. She referred Joyce to Village of Hope, to learn how to become self-sufficient, and not slip back to old ways.
Having the determination to earn her diploma, living free of addiction, following the rules, helping other women, leading Bible study, working full time and going to college to become a counselor are some of the outward evidences of the change in Joyce. But what is especially remarkable is who she is, the character she has, the fact that she is a new creation in Christ, and she knows it.
You may have heard me say that at Orange County Rescue Mission, we give a hand up, not a hand out. Joyce is just one of thousands of examples of women and men who have taken the hand up by receiving a meal and shelter, by receiving from God restoration and new life, and becoming empowered to live a new life that is self-sufficient and God dependent. These thousands of people are now giving back to their families and their communities, and becoming part of the legacy of the transformational power of hope founded in God.
Read more stories like Joyce’s. Visit Orange County Rescue Mission’s Website.