Archive for November, 2013
This holiday issue of Milestones is filled with stories of lives transformed.
The Hernandez family heard about our need for turkeys on KEYT News and came to our rescue! Diana brought her son and goddaughter to the Mission to donate a turkey for our Thanksgiving Feast. We are so grateful for thoughtful and generous community members like these who care for the men, women and children we serve.
Nick Reich was born in Chicago, Illinois, to George and Helen Reich on February 3, 1949. He passed away on October 26, 2013, after a two-year battle with cancer of the esophagus. Nick grew up in the San Francisco Bay area. He graduated from Tennyson High School in 1967 and served in the US Army during the Vietnam War as a medical corpsman, delivering babies and tending the wounded.
In 2002, Nick moved to Santa Barbara to enter the men’s residential recovery program at the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission. Nick credits this program with saving his life, and through it he renewed his faith in Jesus as his Lord and Savior. Nick celebrated over 11 years of sobriety from his alcohol addiction. After graduating from the program, Nick worked at the Rescue Mission for a number of years as the night security guard. The Rescue Mission was his home and his family for almost ten years.
Ashley was born in Los Alamitos, California, in 1992. Both of her parents struggled with addiction, and she followed in their footsteps. She began using drugs in the sixth grade. This eliminated the pain from the loss of her father, the lack of acceptance from her mother, and the sexual abuse suffered at the hand of her grandfather. Ultimately, her drug of choice became methamphetamines. “They ruined who I was and created a monster who thought she was invincible,” she remembers.
Ashley spent most of her adult life in the county jail and was facing an eight year prison sentence. The court granted her the opportunity to come to Bethel House as an alternative to sentencing. She was able to work through the anger and hatred that consumed her. Now she no longer sees herself as a victim and will not allow herself to be victimized. “I used to hate my grandfather; now I pray for him. God has forgiven me so I can forgive him,” she stated. Ashley shared her powerful testimony at her graduation this month and is determined to maintain her recovery.
Please listen to the recent graduates express their gratitude for what they gained in our 12-month residential recovery program.