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“As it turns out, God is confounding me by turning all my weaknesses into strengths after letting me turn my strengths into weaknesses.”
This quote from Jorge O. Sanchez, our Winter Graduation valedictorian and one of our Tustin Veterans Outpost graduates, struck me as the perfect summary statement of the Christian life!
In every Christian’s walk, there comes a point (often, more than once!) where we, having been fooled into thinking we’ve got it all together, have the rug pulled out from under us only to realize we don’t have it together at all! It is in these times that we are humbled and can look to God for strength and guidance. As His word tells us, in these moments His power is perfected in our weakness.
Jorge’s story is an amazing example of this truth. Jorge was a successful businessman, working in an industry he was passionate about – and he was great at what he did. Over time, he got caught up in the “success” of the world, all the while ignoring underlying pain and hurt from his childhood. Soon, his life choices spiraled out of control and he found himself homeless and living on the streets, a long ways from his previous life of luxury cars and expensive homes.
It was then that God moved in Jorge’s humbled heart, and He has been moving in mighty ways ever since! God led Jorge to find the Tustin Veterans Outpost, where he has been living since June of 2016. During that time, Jorge’s whole life has been transformed, down to even his perception of what “success” in this life looks like. He has learned to look to God to guide his life, and finds his worth in Jesus rather than in earthly wealth.
When Jorge was asked to be valedictorian, he was hesitant. He shared as much as he opened his speech, saying he is a new Christian and just learning in his faith. But as he continued, it was clear that he was the perfect person to represent and changed and restored life. His words were full of wisdom and truth that could only come from the Lord.
Allow me to share an excerpt with you here:
“No attempt to give thanks is complete without trying to serve others, so I pivot on this point from 2 Timothy 2:24:
“And the servant of the Lord must not strive: but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,” (KJV)
“Must not strive.” “Must not.” “Must.” That sounds dangerously like a decision to me…, and it is. So, I shift my attention to all you [newer residents] sitting and perhaps wondering. The answer is “Yes,” you, too, will be able to walk out of here with confidence, and the only thing you have to do is decide, one time, every day, to stay.
And, perhaps I was wrong about my faith because I at least had that belief. That, if I stayed, it would get better, and He was working on fixing things all along.
Today, I still have to make a few more amends, but I have my license back, and I am working as a contractor doing what I love again.
And if, with my early faith, God is willing and faithful to do what He has in my life, I provoke you to imagine what He will do in yours.”
Thank you Jorge, for sharing these encouraging words and the way that God has been moving in your heart and life! It is truly inspiring to see your transformation, and I have no doubt you will move on from here into great success, God’s way. From all of us here at the Rescue Mission, congratulations Jorge!
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