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Lives changed for good: Esteban

Esteban was in a dark place when he first experienced Jesus Christ. Struggling with anxiety and depression, Esteban was in the hospital. “I was having these intense panic attacks, like really, really bad,” he said. “The pastor at New Life Church, he met me there. And he laid his hand on me and prayed. And…

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Lives changed for good: Gary

After suddenly losing his wife, and struggling with his twin boys—both with special needs—Gary turned to drinking. “I took to drinking pretty quickly,” Gary said. “As my boys became more difficult when they were approaching puberty, I started drinking more and more and more. I got myself into a place way over my head.” Gary…

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Lighthouse client’s son shares testimony at mom’s graduation

Hello everyone, my name is JJ. I was born on September 23rd to my mom Alexia and my dad Noe who separated when I was fairly young. I remember the confusion of living with my aunt and uncle and only being able to see my mom a few hours a week. But as Paul tells…

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Marshall seeks 'peace of mind' at Mission

Marshall moved around a lot as a child—his mom worked for the airlines and his dad was in the military. They divorced when he was just 2, and both of his parents remarried and had more children with their new spouses. “I was an only child for a while—until I was 13 or 14. I…

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Joanna feels like she’s ‘getting a second chance at my life’

After Joanna graduated from a local high school she started her college classes, but soon got distracted. “I didn’t stay in school,” she said. “I started partying too much. I got distracted from my actual goals. I was working as an administrative assistant, and I decided I’d rather work, and I’d rather party, than go…

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Roger values peace he now has in his mind, heart

Roger’s father was an alcoholic. He wasn’t very functional, and while his parents didn’t divorce until he was 11, Roger doesn’t remember him around much even before that. Roger’s siblings struggled with alcohol and drug addiction, and when Roger hit his late teens, he too started following in the family footsteps. “I didn’t start drinking…

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Shalina revels in becoming a 'present' mother to her young daughter

Shalina grew up with both of her parents and two older brothers in Oxnard. “I had a great childhood,” she said. “We traveled, and I never heard my parents argue.” She graduated from Oxnard High School and went off to Jobs Corps and received her certificate in medical administrative assistance. But when she returned from…

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Cierra seeks help after losing custody of her baby daughter

The domestic violence Cierra witnessed in her parents’ relationship had an effect on her from a young age. The middle child of three recalls the negative attitude and general distrust that stemmed from her home life. “I was very angry growing up because of what I saw,” she said. Cierra’s parents divorced and her mom…

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Dalton: ‘It’s time to sit still and trust God’

Dalton remembers always feeling like the black sheep of his family. “I was a sensitive child,” Dalton said. “My older sister got straight As. My older brother was a happy-go-lucky kid. I was always crying about every little thing that didn’t go my way. From a young age, I felt like I was a burden…

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Will is grateful for the Mission’s ‘open arms’

Will calls the Los Angeles home he grew up in broken. His parents were both drug addicts and they divorced when he was 12. He has a brother and sister. “I come from a family of drug addicts. I got into a lot of trouble when I was younger, just missing school, going to juvenile…

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Victoria sees God moving mountains in her life

Victoria, 34, was raised by her grandparents in Oxnard. She was one of five children born into a well-known family in the community. “I wanted to get away from here as soon as I could,” she said. “I always just wanted to be with the bad crowd.” A year after she graduated high school, in…

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Conrad leaves behind life of ‘lies and deceit’

Conrad’s father was a Los Angeles police officer for 30 years. “My dad was always at work, and my mom was always home. The abuse started early, physically and mentally. It led to worse rebellion by me and worse punishment by her. I’d tell my dad, ‘You leave and go out save the world with…

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