Monica never had a safe place to really call home. As an infant she entered the Foster Care system. At the age of five she was adopted and that was the beginning of sexual and emotional abuse by her adopted father and his sons. At the age of twelve Monica found enough courage to run away. That horrific childhood experience also created a new pattern of running from her problems.
Monica was placed back into the Foster Care system where she was in and out of other people’s homes and different schools. At 18 she aged out of the system, and gladly ran off without any guidance, direction, or purpose in life.
With no family, friends, or support system Monica fell into the traps of drugs, partying, and homelessness. She had her first son at the age of 18 but had to endure mental and physical abuse from the child’s father. With absolutely no family to turn to and not knowing of any social services available to her she just accepted the abuse. As Monica put it, “I couldn’t find a way out.”
She soon had a second child, a daughter, from the same father but the abuse continued. Finally, not knowing what to do or where to go she decided to run away with her two children and hide out in a motel.
Through a set of circumstances God mercifully led her to the OC Rescue Mission in Corona. Upon entering the recovery program with her two children, Monica didn’t know what to expect. To her it was just another group home with strangers and strange rules. However, she was determined to change her life course so she stuck it out with an attitude to accept the help she so desperately needed.
January 2019 her long struggle with homelessness took a dramatic turn and her sobriety began. Monica stated, “At the OCRM I was able to cope and deal with a lot of the trauma I endured as a child. I was able to openly speak with case managers and Therapists about my childhood experience. This allowed me to trust and open up and accept the help I needed. I couldn’t expect to raise my children and give them the best life if mommy wasn’t at her best.”
Monica jumped all in to address her recovery. Participating in woman’s groups, Bible studies, financial literacy classes and the many other opportunities the mission offered, her life patterns were being transformed. Her efforts and diligence gave her new confidence and skills to move forward, to gain and sustain a job. Monica shared, “For the first time, I was beginning to feel as though I belonged in society.”
The Orange County Rescue Mission is a Christ-Centered program. Monica attributes this faith-based approach to what enabled her to find her worth and purpose as a person and to find meaning in her life. Monica said, “I was able to find the love and acceptance I always longed for but never experienced. My life had always been the same sick cycle, I was tired, I longed for someone to bring me under their wing and assure me that everything would be okay. I didn’t find this love until I got to the mission and found the love of God.”
“I might not be perfect and life moving forward won’t be either, but I can say that I broke the cycle for my children. I used to say I want my children to have everything I didn’t. Before that meant toys, trips, money, “earthly” items, but now I know this means, a safe home and most of all… the love of God!”
God has transformed Monica’s mind(set) which has led to a transformed lifestyle. Now she is transitioning out of the mission facilities into her own place. As Monica puts it, “Homelessness ended January of 2019 and now I have my first stable place for my children December, 2021.”
Deed and Truth, with the partnership of Pacific Coast Church in San Clemente turned Monica’s empty house into a home January 15th, 2022. The team was so encouraged to see this beautiful family return to see that transformation. Monica’s courage and God’s grace helped us experience more of God’s limitless compassion for all of us, especially those who have been abused and abandoned. Monica is an inspiration to us all.
We are always so thankful to all of you who donate furniture, furnishings, and finances used to turn Monica’s house into a home… and a special shout out to our volunteers from Pacific Coast Church… you guys rocked it (as you can tell by the pictures below).
Here’s Monica’s text she sent last night:
“Betty!!! Thank you guys so much!!!! You guys really go above and beyond!!! Everything in the cupboards in the kitchen… The pantry and the fridge… The kids bedrooms & bathroom! Your team even put my soup away for me! I’m so amazed. We are truly blessed to have had you guys truly turn our house into a home!!! Thank you so much!!!”Monica
Please pray for Monica, Noah, and Noelli as they transition to this independent living space… but pray that she will continue to be inter-dependent upon others who love Jesus and desire her well-being and development. Monica also asked for prayer to become an awesome mother to her children.