3587 Rick (Depression, Loneliness, Same-Sex Attraction, Familial Rejection) Rick battled a lifetime of isolation, doubt and loneliness, leading to cycles of depression and the thought of ending his life. At the same time, he carried the heavy secret that he experienced same-sex attraction. He feared revealing that secret to anyone and kept it to himself for decades. In turning to the Bible coupled with a constant string of prayers appealing for God to rescue him from the pain he was experiencing, Rick gave his life to Christ and dedicated himself to living for Jesus. Afterwards, he was filled with joy and sought to explain his new-found faith in Jesus to his family but was unsuccessful. Even though there was a backlash of leaving his familys church and traditions and seeking another fellowship of believers to provide spiritual sustenance and growth, Rick has experienced joy and a deep peace that passed beyond his understanding. As the Psalmist says: Those who sow in tears, shall reap in joy.
(Addiction, Mafia Divorce) When Barbara ends up married to a Mafia leader, she is wrapped up in a dark world of greed and secrecy and void of true intimacy. The fear this instills in her follows her into her next relationship where she wrestles with whether or not to tell the FBI the truth about her ex-husband's misdeeds. When Barbara loses her dad after her third failed marriage, she hits a rock bottom of grief, despair and addiction. But God sends her a promise of heaven and when she chooses to keep moving forward, she meets the true love of her life, Joe. A well-timed visit to a familiar sacred space leads her to accept Jesus as her Lord and Savior and begin a path towards healing and sobriety.
(Abuse, Addiction, Alcoholism) Barbara's childhood was marked by abuse and addiction. When she was as young as 7, she was molested by a neighbor and she fell prey to more abusers as she grew older. Her dad's alcoholism made her home unsafe and it wasn't until a few kids invited her to join them at Vacation Bible School that Barbara discovered she was loved by God. In high school, when Barbara's parents found out she was in a relationship with one of her dad's friends, she was sent away to live with extended family. She nearly ended her life at 18, but God found her again. She rushed into two quick marriages as a young adult. Little did she know; her second husband was wrapped up in the dark world of the Mafia. Would God be with her through this part of her story too?
(Bank Robber, Capital Punishment, Electric Chair) John Hauff grew up in with an alcoholic father. Troubled, he looked to make his own way from an early age. His way led him to a life of bank robberies. In time, he has a family and tries to go straight, but one last string of jobs are designed to set him up financially to where he can leave crime behind. The bank robbery goes awry and 4 people are killed. He gets sentenced to death at the age of 33 but becomes born again in prison. In his final months, he reconciles all his broken relationships, all the while glorifying Jesus, even up until his electrocution in a state of Illinois electric chair. His heart-wrenching story is ultimately victorious.
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