Short Stay at the Mission Yields Long-Term Benefits
Rosa, originally from Ecuador, found herself in the United States looking for a fresh start after a divorce. Her marriage had ended after 28 years, leaving Rosa heartbroken. The journey, however, strengthened her faith tremendously, and it was that renewed faith that led Rosa to leave her management position at a hospital in Ecuador to pursue ministry in the United States.
“I simply felt the Lord calling me to serve Him in the U.S., so I went,” she said. She had visited many times since her four children went to college in New York and New Jersey
She arrived in 2002 on a tourist visa. Her plan was to convert her visa to a religious visa during her initial three-month trip. She found an immigration lawyer to help her navigate this country’s visa laws and regulations. After filling out the paperwork and paying for his services, all Rosa had to do was wait for the green light to stay. But a few weeks before her tourist visa expired, the lawyer was nowhere to be found. He had run off, leaving Rosa in the U.S. with an expired visa and no way to make money to try again, pay for her housing, or find a way home.
Rosa confided her struggles to the church she had come to serve. A few families allowed her to come clean their homes to earn some money and the pastor referred her to the Orlando Union Rescue Mission.
“I felt stuck here but finding the Mission was like finding paradise in the middle of the desert,” she said.
For three months, Rosa found a safe haven at the Mission. She continued to clean houses for families and did such a good job that she was able to grow her customer base. But even with her success, Rosa couldn’t help but feel discouraged.
“I had such a successful career back in Ecuador. I asked the Lord why all I got to do here was clean homes,” she said. “He answered me when I realized that I had the opportunity to pray for and love the families I served.”
Rosa saved enough money to correct her visa situation and find a place of her own in Kissimmee, where she lives to this day. She continues her prayer ministry as she cleans houses and works at a nursing home. In 2010, she met a man and they now serve their church’s prayer ministry as husband and wife.
Though Rosa’s time at the Mission was short, it stands out as the Lord’s grace in her life when she needed it most: “I didn’t have a way to get out of my situation except for the help I got from the case managers and staff. Thank you for thinking of every detail and caring for people like me!”
Rosa says finding the Mission was like “finding paradise in the middle of the desert.” Hers is just one of thousands of lives transformed here over the last 65 years. Your gift of $26.82 provides a day of life-changing care for a homeless man, woman or child in Central Florida.