Read her story and learn how you can double your impact with our year-end matching gift campaign.
Christina’s early years were scarred by unspeakable abuse that led her into the world of prostitution at the tender age of eleven. Seeking solace from her traumatic past, she was given drugs, unwittingly embarking on a tumultuous path of substance abuse that persisted throughout her life.
At 14, a courageous decision to confide in a relative prompted intervention from authorities, leading her to a foster home. However, the home lacked the nurturing and guidance she desperately needed. Her adolescence was a haze of drug use and revelry among peers in the foster system, steering her into independence at 17 devoid of support or direction.
Her early marriage and the birth of three children was overshadowed by drug dependency, culminating in a divorce that prompted her to move to Florida in pursuit of a new beginning. Yet, the allure of drugs persisted, and her life spiraled further out of control. In her darkest moments, she questioned the presence of God amid her suffering.
A turn of events in 2017, with a diagnosis of throat cancer and the tragic loss of her brother to fentanyl-induced suicide in 2021, exacerbated her addiction to the point where daily methamphetamine use became her norm as she lived in tent.
A pivotal moment arrived in 2023 when Christina overdosed, prompting a revelation that her life was in jeopardy. She made a bold decision to leave Florida, boarding a bus back to Ohio with scant resources and uncertain prospects.
Little did Christina anticipate the profound encounter awaiting her—a transformative experience with Jesus. Through an agency in Youngstown, she discovered the Rescue Mission of Mahoning Valley. Despite her initial skepticism and inner turmoil, meeting Pastor Terry, the mission’s compassionate Biblical counselor, altered something within her. The revelation of Jesus’s redemptive love started to fill the void Christina had carried for so long.
Attending Mission Chapels and Bible studies, immersing herself in the Scriptures, Christina found solace and strength. She relinquished drugs, realizing their futility in healing her pain.
Today, a newfound radiance emanates from her; she testifies that the Rescue Mission breathed new life into her existence. Her journey to sobriety, a long-standing challenge, has endured since August, all credited to the grace of God.
Now, having moved on from the Mission her story serves as a testament to God’s unyielding love, demonstrating how faith and compassion can spark transformative change.
For the Rescue Mission, sustaining our impactful work relies on the generosity of individuals, as we do not receive government funding. Christina’s story underscores the significance of extending a helping hand to the homeless, embodying the love and compassion of Jesus in tangible ways.
With our year-end matching gift offer, your gift will be doubled when you give before midnight on December 31st thanks to a group of generous donors who have offered the $20,000 matching offer. Please consider supporting the Mission now and into the New Year! Thank you!
Story captured by Tao Jones, Development Coordinator at Rescue Mission of Mahoning Valley
Photo by Rubenstein Rebello: https://www.pexels.com/photo/anonymous-woman-hiding-in-thick-smoke-4381308