I was born in a refugee camp in Nairobi, Kenya. My father, mother, two older sisters, and I were given the opportunity to come to the land of the free. Unless you’ve walked this path, you truly wouldn’t understand. Now, as an adult, I can say my parents did the best they knew how; they were lost and broken themselves. My first memories of America were not great. The dysfunction in my home with physical abuse and   alcoholism made me live in fear. But, something good my parents did was go to Church every Sunday and Wednesday. The Church planted a seed that I’m very thankful for. I loved learning about Jesus and feeling like I had a separate family. The Church was also helpful in stepping in when they found out about the abuse going on.

In middle school and high school, I became the caregiver for my younger siblings and my niece. I was angry on the inside and isolated when I could. I felt hopeless and didn’t believe I was loved, heard, or seen by anyone. My heart was broken. Being a high school student, I thought nothing worse than this could happen, but at 15 years old, I found out in the worst way possible that my father had been deported back to Africa. That phone call forever changed my life. I began to rebel. High school parties, drinking, smoking, you name it. Something I thought would take the edge off became a lifestyle. One night at one of these parties, I was sexually assaulted. After high school, I hadn’t dealt with the pain from home, so it followed me to college. I struggled to focus in classes and decided to party instead. There was a group at the college campus called InterVarsity Fellowship for young believers. This group invited me on a week-long mission trip. What I thought was a vacation turned out to be the beginning of the rest of my new life, and I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Walking as a believer was not easy for me; I still struggled with addiction, shame, and strongholds in my life that I could not seem to shake. I was back in a spiral of addiction and in a relationship with a man I had no business being with. I had a full-time job, but I was a full-blown functional addict.

I found out about Mercy Multiplied shortly after graduating from Teen Challenge. A girl from the Church I was attending spoke about how Mercy changed her life. I needed a faith-based program that did not leave Jesus out, but I also needed counseling. When I did my research and found out Mercy had all of the things I was looking for, and it was free-of-charge, it seemed too good to be true. After several months of the application process and a few ups and downs, I was accepted and given an entry date. I walked into the doors of Mercy engulfed in shame, with anger in my veins. I believed I was a lost cause. I did not want to forgive anyone, especially myself. I did not like anyone, including myself. I almost believed not even God could change me. Although I had a lot of doubt, Jesus never stopped believing in me.

At Mercy, I was shown unconditional love. God gave me the strength to finish well and get all of the healing I could receive at Mercy. He has revealed to me that I’m breaking generational patterns. I am forgiven so I can forgive others and forgive myself. I can walk boldly in confidence, knowing that it comes from the Lord. I don’t need to dwell in the past because the enemy wants me there. God already holds my future in His hands, and I need to stay in the present and enjoy it. I’ve learned to love myself again, dream again, and hope again. I’m excited about my future and what God has in store for me. God has walked me out in freedom, and I’m following His lead.

Not being able to see family and friends every day was hard, so the donors and supporters of Mercy made me feel so loved and known. Without Mercy donors, I wouldn’t have been this blessed.