Residents often share about their lives before coming to the Rescue Mission and how at one, or several points, they had become sober and were living a somewhat stable life, only to relapse once again. This is devastating to someone fighting for recovery. But then these stories reach a turning point, where they explain what is so different about their sobriety this time – the hope of a Savior. The deep, abiding love and joy of Jesus Christ transforms hearts and souls, and consequently lives, in a way nothing else can. No home, job, or even family member can bring the sort of incredible life change that God can.
This was true for Yorel, who came from a chaotic childhood full of poverty and addiction. At one point he had a job and a family and thought he had everything together, only to relapse once again and lose everything. He needed something more to break the cycle of addiction. Read on for the story of transformation in Yorel’s life.
Raised in Tacoma welfare housing, Yorel was one of nine children in a very poor family. At age 10, he got his first taste of breaking the law when he stole alcohol from a store. Soon, his older friends taught him how to break into cars and houses for the money they needed. “I was raised in a lot of chaos and anger,” he remembers.
Also from a young age, Yorel began using drugs, and his addiction eventually sent him to jail. While in jail, he prayed to stay sober upon release. And at first, it seemed easy. He got a job and was able to take care of his family. “It became normal for me,” he says.
But in 2013, Yorel relapsed. He developed a daily meth habit and became homeless. “I was hating life and considering suicide – death would be better than this,” he thought. He cycled in and out of jail, unable to stay sober.
His last time in jail, he prayed that God would show him the right path and help him to stay on it. In June 2015, Yorel was released and referred to Orange County Rescue Mission. Fearing his record would keep him from entering the program, Yorel hesitated, but eventually realized the Rescue Mission was the answer to his prayer.
His case manager knew the Rescue Mission’s Double R Ranch program was what Yorel needed.
Double R Ranch provided Yorel a place to get away from distractions and temptations, an opportunity to work hard in the outdoors and with livestock, and learn how to be a man that honors God.
“The Lord was showing me that I had a lot of character defects I needed to deal with. I had a lot of pride and anger still built up within me,” Yorel says. The Double R Ranch made all the difference, because he has time in solitude to consider the mistakes he’s made, come to grips with his anger and attitude, and make changes. “I needed to sit and reflect and realize the changes I needed to make in myself. I’ve taken the chance I was given to get back to life, and do it with the right heart and attitude.”
Today, Yorel is employed full-time and has rebuilt relationships with his family. He has a contagious joy about him, completely opposite the hopeless man he was when he walked through our doors. We are so proud of Yorel and honored to have been a part of his journey to self-sufficiency!
Thank you for your support which gives men like Yorel the chance to make long-lasting changes that create lifelong transformation through God’s grace.
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