Stories of Faith: The love YOU share gives neighbors like Leticia hope for a better life…

“I learned to love myself and forgive myself.”

Leticia doesn’t recall much joy in her childhood. “We lived in poverty,” she says. “My father left us, which was hard on my mom and on me.”

When she was in high school, she turned to drugs and alcohol to numb the pain in her life. What started as an attempt to escape her sadness became a struggle that lasted over 40 years.

 “I’ve hit rock bottom more than once. When my mom passed away it got so bad that I lost my home.” Every time she relapsed she hit a new low.

“I had two cousins pass away from alcoholism and drug abuse. I realized that this lifestyle would kill me.” She had tried so many times to save herself and kept failing. “For the first time I said, ‘God help me,’ and He answered.”

“Spiritually I was bankrupt, I was near death.”

God’s healing began as soon as Leticia arrived at the Fresno Mission. “It was like coming home. I felt the presence of the Lord when I walked through the doors.”

She found a sanctuary and a place to heal from the deep, emotional wounds that were the root cause of her addictions. “I learned to love myself and forgive myself, like God loves and forgives me.”

Through our vocational training, she’s also had the chance to learn job skills as she works at the front desk, in our kitchen and on the janitorial team. “I’ve had the opportunity to care for my community and prepare for working when I graduate.”

Leticia now has strength for her future because of your heart of compassion for her and other neighbors in need. Because you chose to share God’s love, she has a path forward in life. “I can say now that I love myself and I love others. I don’t feel spiritually bankrupt anymore. God has given me joy in my heart. No matter how hard or heavy things get, He is the one that lifts me up.”

Leticia’s story appeared in the Summer 2024 edition of Lighthouse News.