For every Rescue Mission graduation, we honor the tradition of a valedictorian. I want to share with you the words of valedictorian, Geoff Jennings, who graduated in June.
Geoff’s journey with Orange County Rescue Mission started at our Double R Ranch program. Jobs being exported to Mexico led to Geoff’s layoff, and the downward spiral that bottomed out with walking the streets of Orange County; he was homeless. And in his words, a law abiding citizen turned criminal due to vagrancy laws and what it takes to survive the streets. But Geoff found hope, and the will to change, and became valedictorian of a Rescue Mission program. The significance of this accomplishment might seem small, but life change is always an amazing accomplishment.
Geoff boils down his journey to life change to some key points. First, he now has a relationship with God, through Jesus Christ. In receiving God’s love, grace, care and forgiveness, Geoff is able to give the same to others. Now, when he is faced with challenges, he has learned to trust God in all things, both big and small.
When Geoff decided he needed to get a GED to have better employment, instead he was able to earn a high school diploma. Geoff trusted God for a job that could pay his bills, and instead he has a job to pay the bills and is employed by a Christian man that treats him well. Geoff asked God to find a room to rent, and instead he was given a one bedroom apartment to rent.
Geoff closed his speech by admonishing us to put our faith in God for all things, for He knows our needs. Look to God for help, he said, before you look to anyone else. Most would not measure Geoff’s accomplishment as significant. But I hope you see the value of changed life, and every journey that brings a homeless person to become self-sufficient and God dependent.
Watch Geoff’s story and the other amazing journeys of recent graduates, Click here