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Just a few weeks ago, the Rescue Mission congratulated its most recent group of graduates as one chapter of their journey comes to a close, and another begins. At each graduation, I have the privilege of introducing the Valedictorian, who shares a few words with their peers, friends, family, and guests. This Summer Graduation’s valedictorian is Marci Lorance, a single mother who has lived at the Village of Hope for two years with her youngest son, Isaac.
Her words were powerful. They told the story of a woman who had lost everything in the chaos of brokenness and addiction, a woman who tried desperately to stabilize her life based on her own merits but continued to lose hope each time she failed. She was a woman running from God.
Marci was no stranger to the Rescue Mission. Her father, Bud, was a Rescue Mission student at the Double R Ranch program years ago, where he was able to overcome his own addictions, and found hope and restoration for a new life. While with us, he and I met often to pray for his daughter, Marci, that she too would find healing and restoration. Bud, and his father, continued to encourage Marci to get help from the Rescue Mission, to end the homelessness, addiction and chaos. Many prayers were lifted on behalf of Marci in hopes the Lord would soften her heart and lead her to the Rescue Mission’s gates.
Two years ago, on June 18th, 2015, those prayers were answered. Humbled, Marci decided it was time to seek help from the Rescue Mission and time to make a lasting change in her life, for herself and her sons.
“Pray to God knowing He can move mountains, but don’t be surprised if he hands you a shovel!” Marci laughed during her speech. In her case, it was literal – her first volunteer work assignment at the Rescue Mission was with our landscaping department. The long days and hard work proved to be just what she needed to focus on her recovery. Throughout her time at the Mission, she moved her way up, eventually becoming a lead in the accounting department. “I felt valued and successful,” she shares about her experience working in accounting.
Today Marci works full-time as an Office Assistant at Builder’s Surplus, and is successfully providing a healthy and stable life for herself and her sons. “Everything provided by OCRM made this all possible. I am so grateful.” She says. “The Double R Ranch changed my dad’s life and the Village of Hope changed mine.”
As Marci closed her speech, her voice rang out through the chapel with a confidence she had not had when she arrived at our gates two years ago. With a confidence and peace only from the Lord, Marci quoted Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Congratulations Marci! It has been a blessing and an honor to be part of your journey.
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