Johnny and Steph's Story
Johnny and StephThanks to your support, Johnny and Steph are celebrating new lives this Christmas.
The Christmas that Steph and Johnny spent on the streets is forever etched into their memories. “It was terrible,” Steph remembers. “You could feel the cold right down to your bones.”
“We had our own little ice cave,” says Johnny, who was her boyfriend at the time. “We would walk into the tent, and, literally, it was like walking into a freezer.” But the bitter cold was nothing compared to the pain bottled up in their hearts.
Steph’s world fell apart when she was raped by her uncle at age 14. By the time she was 16, Steph was using drugs to numb the pain. “I knew I was going to die like this if I didn’t stop,” she admits.
“I had no place to go. I didn’t know how to get off drugs. I didn’t know how to ask for help,” she says. Then, with winter tightening its grip, a new worry surfaced. After barely surviving Christmas, Steph discovered she was pregnant.
Johnny’s story is also laced with tragedy. He grew up in church. His dad was a pastor. He should have had a good life, and did, until he was nine. But when his parents split up, that life abruptly ended. Johnny too began a downward spiral.
“I’ve been in gangs. I’ve been in addiction. I’ve been in prison three different times,” Johnny confesses. But that icy cold winter on the streets of Seattle was his lowest moment. That’s when Johnny knew that he had to change his life.
Because of you, Johnny and Steph’s lives were restored and transformed, and they now walk in freedom. Your gift to the Mission today will help change more lives this Christmas!
You gave a reason to hope
“We just happened onto the Mission,” Steph says. She was hoping for a safe place to have her baby. But she received much more than that. “There were Bible verses on the walls,” she explains. “One of them was Jeremiah 29:11 — ‘I know the plans that I have for you.’ That was when my hope really began to grow,” she says. God was working on Johnny too. A few months later, he began the Men’s Recovery Program.
You enabled real change
Today, six Christmases later, both Johnny and Steph are graduates of the Mission, and their lives are completely different. Both have good jobs, are overcoming addiction, and are back on their feet in every respect. Their story just keeps getting better. Last year, in a joyous celebration attended by many of their friends from the Mission, Johnny and Steph were married. Together, they’re building a happy, healthy, God honoring family, and enjoying every minute of it.
You're still transforming lives
“I truly believe the Mission gave me my life back,” Johnny says. “I promise you, the life that I lived before was not even a life. Going to the Mission enabled me to become a man.” Steph is grateful too. She says, “I am able to look back now and see where God had His hand on me. He had a plan for me — even before I came to Him.” Thank you for helping make their new lives possible.
You make new lives possible — at Christmas, and all year long
Will you help change more lives? Thousands of broken individuals will come to the Mission this year. And like Johnny and Steph, many will be on the brink, ready to throw in the towel, unless they can find something to live for.