Fleeing a stressful home with a mother battling with mental illness, Lisa’s life was marked with addiction, crime and violence. Locked in a revolving circle of incarceration she found herself homeless, hauling a king size mattress on a grocery cart when she finally hit rock bottom in 2019.
“I couldn’t do it anymore. I really did not have it in me again. So I said (to God) please take this, I didn’t know what that meant. There’s no other explanation about how I got out of a lot of the situations other than God saved me. It wasn’t even a question in my head (that God was there), I knew I just wasn’t paying attention to Him.”
After being released from jail, Lisa entered a domestic violence shelter for 45 days. She moved to Raymar house, a program in Santa Ana where NorthEast was hosting Bible studies. Being drawn to our ministry and hungry to hear more of God’s Word, she wanted others to hear it as well. Lisa was at the Arco gas station on Bay Drive when she saw our NorthEast offices and logo out front. This led her to call our office to ask if we could bring Bible study to the Newport Beach program she was working at. Her invitation and advocacy for us has allowed us to be in that program every week for over 6 months. Lisa just celebrated 2 years of sobriety on August 22, 2021. The outcast has become the witness.
A line from her favorite worship song, Graves Into Gardens by Elevation worship, says:
“You turn mourning to dancing, you give beauty to ashes,
You turn shame into glory, You’re the only one who can.”