A Reason to Hope: Lemoris’s Story
Lemoris’s life unwound rapidly and relentlessly, but despite his circumstance, hope and gratitude never left his side.
It began when Lemoris’s son, Camden, failed to return after a weekend away with Camden’s mother. Six months of frantic searching passed before Lemoris found six-year-old Camden, and the Department of Children & Families granted him emergency custody. Even though he knew a potential court case awaited, Lemoris felt pure relief as he wrapped his arms around his son.
His relief was short-lived. An unexpected move followed by a car accident and subsequent surgery drained Lemoris’s savings. A few months after their reunion, Lemoris and Camden became homeless. “We went from hotel to hotel to hotel to hotel to hotel,” Camden recalls. Despite their circumstances, Lemoris remembers the positive. He recalls the kind gestures of strangers, providing food to eat and money for shelter, asserting, “God has always shown us favor in every situation.” That favor persisted when God, through the advice of a stranger, led them to the Mission.
Lemoris says life at the Mission has strengthened his belief in himself. “I always knew I had a lot of gifts, but [the Mission] just brought it out.” One of Lemoris’s gifts is cooking. After completing the Mission’s Discipleship program where Lemoris worked as a chef in the kitchen, he secured a job at Ghost Kitchen Orlando, a job he thoroughly enjoys. Lemoris possesses an even more powerful gift: hope. When asked why he remains positive amid so much turmoil, Lemoris quotes Romans 8:31, a verse that stood out to him in the Mission’s Victorious Life class, “If God is for you, who can be against you?”
Camden has grown from his time at the Mission, too. “When I got him back, he was so angry,” Lemoris recalls. “He would yell and scream every day.” He was also six months behind in school. Through prayer and conversations, Lemoris says Camden’s attitude has changed. With the Mission’s assistance, Lemoris secured a scholarship to a private Christian school where Camden received help catching up with his peers. Camden also receives tutoring in the Mission’s Youth Learning Center and claims he’s made “a gazillion friends here” at the Mission.
“It’s been a rollercoaster…but God is faithful,” Lemoris reflects. He hopes supporters of the Mission know they were God’s vessels, providing relief when he needed it the most, “Thank you so much for everything you’ve done and for allowing us to get back on our feet. Without you and this Mission, I don’t know where we’d be. I thank [you] from the bottom of my heart.” Court cases, strained relationships, and life difficulties don’t disappear overnight. Lemoris awakens to their realities each day as he tries to reorder his unraveled life. Lemoris, however, awakens to another constant as well – God is with him. And with God as a faithful companion, there is no reason to fear the challenges that lie ahead. Instead, there is a reason to hope.