Night had closed in.
Debi hunkered a bit deeper inside her sleeping bag, trying her best to get comfortable. The cold concrete beneath her did not make it easy to sleep. Or the fact that she was alone.
"Home" was a dock in the back alley behind a strip mall. At night, the darkness felt menacing.
In her early 50s, Debi never expected to be on the streets, but she had learned there were no guarantees in life. After 23 years, her relationship had ended. She was left with no money and no place live. The streets were her only choice.
Then her health took a turn for the worse.
"I ended up depressed and malnourished," Debi recalls. "My weight had dropped to 82 pounds and I could hardly walk. The doctors later told me they were surprised I hadn't had a heart attack."
Still homeless, Debi's health deteriorated further. She became so weak, she had to crawl to go to the bathroom. That's when she realized she had hit rock bottom.
In her despair, she cried out to God: If You're real, You have to help me out. I don't know where to go or what to do.
Soon after that night of desperation, Debi met Jesús, an outreach worker with Orange County Rescue Mission, who could see that Debi was in urgent need of help.
"I'll come back for you tomorrow," he promised.
"Are you sure?" Debi asked. She was hopeful, but wary of trusting a stranger.
"Yes," he said.
True to his word, Jesús returned for Debi the next day. He had to carry her to his car, but the first thing he did was take Debi to a hospital. After 15 days of treatment, he came for Debi again, and took her to Orange County Rescue Mission.
An Easter meal for $1.48 can help more people rise out of the ashes into a new life.DONATE NOW
This Easter, you can turn someone's story of pain into a glorious resurrection story, starting with your gift to provide meals for $1.48 during the Easter season.
Just one meal can be the beginning of hope...the beginning of transformation...the beginning of new life!
During the Easter season, we expect to serve 231,816 meals to feed hurting and homeless neighbors.
The Easter message of hope is often just what they need to hear to know that their lives matter. And, to accept that God never intended for them to be smothered by the ashes of their lives, but to live in the light of His greatness and glory.
You can be part of this amazing story!
Your gift by Easter, April 21, will provide meals and more to feed and care for hungry neighbors, so their life transformation can begin.
And your compassion will share the powerful, life-transforming message of God's love this Easter. That's the spirit and beauty of our work together...to be the very hand of God that reaches in and draws broken lives out of the ash.
For Debi, the regular, nutritious meals and safe shelter she received at the Mission improved her health dramatically. But the changes went far beyond her physical health. At the Mission, Debi found spiritual healing, too.
"My faith has changed," she says. "Now I do outreach and go to church. It makes a huge difference in my life. It brings me joy."
In fact, Debi goes on outreach with Jesús, who kept his promise and came back for her when she was running out of hope.
She tells everyone she meets her story. "I make sure they know I'm a student [at the Mission]. Whoever I meet, I want them to know this place is a godsend to me."
Please be as generous as you can today to provide Easter meals and more for $1.48. Your gift will make a difference for hurting people who need a second chance to make a new start this Easter. Thank you for giving!
“We're finally safe. Thank you for giving us a roof over our heads and food to eat. It's a blessing.”
“We get three meals a day. We're healthy. I am so thankful for this program.”
“People get a second chance at life. Without this place, I wouldn't be alive.”