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At just 19 years old, Sarah’s life was forever changed. Her fiancé had been in the next room over with a “friend” when she heard the gunshot. Before she could comprehend what was happening, she found herself holding her fiancé as he gasped his last breaths in her arms.

The love of her life was gone.

That horrific memory would haunt her for years, and as a result she built a wall around her heart. The pain she carried around did not leave much room for anything else.

Although she promised herself she would never marry, she did have four beautiful children. But the father of her children had a tendency to swing at her with her fists. She was a broken and battered woman, inside and out. Sarah felt like she was falling down a black hole.

And she desperately needed a way out.

The only way out was to pick up everything and leave. So Sarah and the kids left and didn’t look back. But they had nowhere to go.

“It was really hard and traumatic for them,” Sarah says about her kids at this time. “There were some really chaotic times like not knowing where we were going to sleep. There were times when we would sleep in my van.”

Sarah heard about a “Christian shelter” from a friend, but she didn’t think such a place existed. Sarah called Orange County Rescue Mission. They were accepted into the Mission right away.

“All four of my children are with me,” Sarah says. “They love this place. My kids are getting the stability they need. We have a place to stay that’s safe.”

At the Mission, Sarah finally confronted her past and the horrible pain she had carried with her for all these years. She knew only the redemptive power of Jesus Christ could free her from such extreme hurt.

“God is the ultimate healer. God has helped me through all of this,” she says. “I don’t have depression or anxiety or worry because I have God. It’s all through God’s healing.”

And now, Sarah is training to become a medical assistant. She is taking every opportunity she can get to become self-sufficient.

Sarah is extremely thankful for the kindness and generosity of our donors — people she’s never even met. Your compassion helps bring healing to so many who have suffered through a painful past. Sarah will have the ability to care for her family as she and her children start a new life filled with hope and faith in God’s blessings.

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