Growing up, Ray and Katie seemed as different as night and day.
Ray’s parents were divorced, and drug use was a way of life for them. “It was totally acceptable when I was young,” he remembers. “They believed using meth was a tool to getting things done.” By 12 years old, Ray was following in his family’s footsteps.
Katie, on the other hand, grew up in a Christian home, was a straight-A student, and was on her way to becoming a professional dancer at a young age. Then her mother and father divorced, and she got involved with the wrong crowd in high school and soon found herself caught in a downward spiral of drug and alcohol abuse.
A CHANCE MEETING
Years later, Ray and Katie’s paths crossed by accident, and the two of them discovered they were attracted to each other . . . but miserable in the lives they were leading.
Katie was especially despondent over the loss of her three children to child protective services.
“I thought the Lord had put me in this world to be a mom, and now I didn’t know if I’d ever get them back,” she remembers. “I actually made a video for my daughter and son telling them I was going to drive off a cliff. That’s how hopeless I felt.”
“WE’VE GOTTA DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT”
But Ray was determined not to let that happen. As their relationship grew, they decided, “We’ve gotta do something different.” They got married in November of 2019, then came to Orange County Rescue Mission three months later. That’s when the healing began.
“Once at the Mission, we took advantage of every resource the Mission offers,” Katie says, recalling parenting workshops, individual therapy, and substance abuse classes.
Eventually, they both surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ here. “This place changed my life and Ray’s life incredibly,” Katie says. “I now know the Lord saved me, and I am forgiven.”
GIVE OTHERS A REASON TO BE THANKFUL
As a result of their dramatic turnaround, Katie and Ray are now starting to get their kids back — and one day will be a family of 7. “There are challenges, of course,” Ray says, “But I’m not breaking my relationship with God.”
Above all, they realize none of this would be possible without God’s grace, Orange County Rescue Mission, and you.
Katie says, ” My life today would not be possible without this place.” Ray adds, ” I will forever be grateful to donors who keep this place running.”