Last Saturday, Eddie Mejia completed the journey he began over a year and a half ago. As he crossed the stage and accepted his diploma as a symbol of his graduation from the Rescue Mission program, he reflected on the long road that had led him to this moment. A rough and difficult journey, but one that has now culminated in this moment of joyous celebration…
Eddie’s daughter, his flower, is his inspiration. “She is my flower. She brings beauty to my life.” These touching words are from a father about his daughter.
She has inspired him to change, to overcome and be restored back to what God intended for his life because, “My daughter needs a dad, a good father.”
Despite the bad choices and substance abuse Eddie experienced as a teen, he settled into adulthood. He worked full time, made a commitment to the woman he loved and they had a daughter that they were raising together.
But addictions started to take over. Eddie could no longer manage them. Cracks of distrust between him and his wife became chasms they could no longer overcome. So, Eddie’s wife had to choose to take care of herself and their daughter, and they left.
Caught in the vicious cycle of shame, despair and addiction, there seemed no way out to Eddie other than the streets and isolation from his family. There was nothing left.
But when Eddie hit his rock bottom, an Orange County Rescue Mission outreach worker was there to meet him at his most low point out in the pit of homelessness. This outreach worker spoke words of God’s love and hope. And, he backed up his words with acts of compassion.
The care of another person was enough to help Eddie to understand that God had not given up on him. And, to see that there was another option to sleeping on the streets or in emergency shelters, and trying to get by with just enough to eat. Eddie began to see that at Orange County Rescue Mission’s Village of Hope, he could start over again, and once again be the daddy he wanted to be for his little girl. Hope was renewed.
There is so much to rejoice for in Eddie’s life! It is amazing what a person can accomplish, empowered by a healing relationship with God, and supported by the many staff, donors and volunteers of Orange County Rescue Mission. Eddie has been free of addiction for 21 months, has been successfully employed for six months and has the healthy living skills to support this lifestyle. Before long, he will be moving out of Village of Hope and will be living self-sufficient. Most important to Eddie are his relationships: with God, with his daughter that he takes care of every weekend and his family.
And Eddie is a man that gives to others the compassion he receives. Every night for dinner after a long, hard day at work, Eddie is there to help his friend, who is a single father of 3 daughters, giving his friend support and help to also continue being the great dad his daughters need.
When God’s love, truth, hope, compassion, guidance and resources are released through people, and it is received when we need it most, miracles happen!
Congratulations Eddie and the rest of the 2017 Summer Graduates!
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