Doris, a 42-year-old mother living in Joy House, looks back at her childhood and knows she started out on a good Christian foundation — most of her family were ministers and missionaries. “I had very strong beliefs as a young child,” she recalls. “But I started to rebel when I was 18.”
By the age of 21, she was a single mom with three daughters. In her late 20s, she tried to get her life back on track. She got married — but the marriage tragically turned abusive, leaving deep emotional scars that she buried instead of facing.
After divorcing her husband, she entered into a relationship with another man. They eventually agreed to adopt a child together, but afterwards, their relationship did not work out.
“I really thought I could raise my child on my own and make it,” she says. “But I couldn’t.” She soon lost her job and her home, and she ended up homeless, living in a car with her 2-year-old son. She kept telling herself it wasn’t that bad — until a police officer discovered them one night and challenged her to get help. She came to Joy House the next day. With firm determination and resolve, she knew it was time to get “down to business.”
“Besides the safety and shelter they offered me and my son, I appreciated the fact that the people here really cared about us,” Doris says. “They listened to me, mentored me and brought Christ into everything. I opened myself up to God and gave Him all the emotional wounds I tried to bury for so long. And God healed me.”
Today, Doris says God has used her experience to help prepare her for future ministry with orphans and battered women like herself.
“Thanks to Joy House, I am truly a healthier and happier person in my walk with Christ,” she says.