Hannah House has made a huge impact on many young women. Here you can read some of their stories.
My name is Sally Moreno, I'm 23 years old, and I came to the Hannah House on February 1, 2013 from Los Angeles, California. Making the cross-country move to Fort Smith has been one of the best decisions I ever made for myself. People often think that I did this to run away from my problems, but that isn't the case at all. I was actually running to find my hope, which for me, could only be found in God.
I grew up in a fairly typical Mexican home with a sister and three brothers. My mother did the very best she knew how to with us; she herself grew up in an extremely abusive home devoid of love and understanding. The man, who I thought was my real father, raised us until he left when I was 4 years old. I didn't find out until age 9 that I actually had a different father; I met my biological dad for the first time that year. I was exposed to violence, alcohol, and harsh criticism in my childhood that shaped my thinking towards others and made me insecure about myself. I stayed very confused and always felt as if something was missing. Due to all of this, and many other circumstances, I began to become reckless and seek the approval of others around me, and also became rebellious towards authority figures that disagreed with me. I took drugs and drank alcohol to avoid the obvious confusion and pain that I held onto, and in a desperate attempt to fit in.
For 3 long years, I was addicted to weed and partying. I sought attention from men who, in the end, made me feel empty and did not respect me. This lifestyle ended me up in the hospital twice. I didn't care if I was going to die. I was tired of not having a relationship with my family, and I felt as if no one cared about me. It's when I woke up in the hospital the second time, after almost losing my life, that I could honestly feel God start working in my heart. I could hear my sister and Mother asking why I was doing this to them. It all began to make sense, and I soon realized that God had a bigger plan for me.
When I was 17 years old, I became a Christian, and am the first person in my family, thus far, to do so. Since the day I was saved from the condemnation of my sin, God has helped to restore the respect I never had for myself. He has revealed to me my self-worth, and put hope in my heart by showing me that anything is attainable through Him. For years though, even with all of this power in my faith, I continued to struggle with my relationship with God—I still couldn't see him exactly the way he saw me. I desperately sought hope and a supportive, and God-centered environment, to grow in and be set free from the fears of my past. I was thinking, "God I need something. I can't keep doing this. I'm tired, I'm drained". Searching on the Internet one night, I was led to Hannah House: the answer to my prayers. Without regret, I packed my things, caught a bus and then a plane to arrive to my destiny.
There is hope here at Hannah House every day. We learn, we pray, and we grow together. I thank Hannah House for the tremendous difference they have made in life, and for the spiritual family, support, and friendships I have gained through this ministry. I am also thankful for those involved who sacrifice their own daily lives to better help us. My dream is to become a social worker to guide those who are lost like I once was. I have a passion to watch others grow and to see the best in them. I want to be the one that believes in them when they have no one else. I can honestly say that my life is fuller than it was a year and a half ago. Hannah House revolves around God and his plan for us, and that is my hope fulfilled.
Hi, my name is Kelly and I came to Hannah House because I was totally alone in my life-homeless, hopeless, and filled with guilt and emptiness. When I was 17 my mom passed away suddenly. Coming from a single parent home, her death completely turned my world upside down. I moved in with family members, but I felt so alone, so empty, and I wanted to run as fast as I could from God. I even found myself running from my family. After I finished high school, I worked for a while, then eventually I ended up going to college an hour away from my family. I had my life back, or so I thought, but I was still empty. I joined a group of people who said they worshiped God but the Bible was not the infallible Word of God to them, and the void I had was getting bigger, so I left to search for something to fill me.
The next place I landed was in a Christian program where I stayed for six months. This helped me see things from a different perspective, but after leaving the program I found myself drifting back into the person I was, a person with a huge void in their life, and making very bad decisions. I left searching again, but this time I ended up homeless, and all alone living in a shelter. At this place of desperation, I cried out to God and through His grace I found Hannah House.
When I initially called Hannah House they told me they had a process for new residents. I was to fill out an application and they would interview me, to see if this was the right place for me, and the process could take as long as two weeks. I walked from the shelter, to doorstep of Hannah House, hoping something good would come out of my showing up to meet them face to face. I filled out the application, talked with staff and they accepted me that day! But the surprising thing was, from the moment I arrived I felt loved, I felt accepted by people for the first time since my mom died.
The day I arrived was Wednesday and Hannah House goes to church on Wednesdays. When we arrived at ET, Pastor Don gave a message that touched the deep void in my heart. I went to the cross, accepted Jesus as my Savior. Women in the church prayed for me and God did a mighty work in me, that first night, and I have never been the same since! Hannah House is now my family. The staff show us how much Jesus loves us, and trains us how to see ourselves through His eyes.
Without this place called Hannah House I know I would not be alive. But I am, and I have a future! I have dreams of how God can use me to help others who are hurting, who are lost and are trying to fill that void in their lives. For all those who support Hannah House I want to say THANK YOU! Because of you I have been made new. Because of you I have a hope and a future! Because of you I am alive and will live to help others! Your seed into this ministry will multiply and grow through me to others! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!