Recent Graduates

Kayla, Recent Graduate, smiling

Kayla, 9 months

Meet Kayla

Before entering the Women’ Refuge, my life was spiraling out of control. I was suicidal, quickly becoming an alcoholic and desperate to be deeply secure in an intimate relationship. My pastor and leaders begged me to join the program but I was resistant. I was a strong-willed, perishing woman drowning in her own consequences and sorrows. My life was nothing but one big search party for deep intimacy and unconditional acceptance in a world full of disappointment. It wasn’t until I saw yet another heartbreak coming my way that I let my defenses down and cried out to the Lord. In such a dark time in my life, the Lord spoke to me and guided me to the Refuge. Upon arriving, I quickly realized that I didn’t know how to read the Bible and the Lord used this to bring me to my knees out of yet again devastation and desperation crying out to Him to teach me.
The Refuge has been a safe place for me to get alone with God, cry out to Him and to hear His answers and meet me where I am. I had been a “Christian” for years and within a few weeks of studying, I learned my identity is in Christ. I’ve never had such confidence and contentment in a relationship. He used the Refuge as a place to lay my foundation in Christ, a foundation that I am sure of that cannot be shaken because He upholds it. I am totally dependent on the blood of Jesus Christ to save me from myself. As 2 Corinthians 12 states, ‘I would rather boast in my weaknesses’ and expose my desperate need for my King to save me. I will never be perfect and I’ve learned that I don’t have to be. My desire is that the faults and cracks in me will show how much I need a Savior to come and fill me up. I am free in Christ, to be exactly who He has created me to be.

Watch Kayla's Testimony

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Video Transcript

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Hi My name is Kayla, I'm 25 years old, I'm from Miami Florida. My life before the refuge I felt very alone, and I was very depressed, and I sought out every form of love that I could possibly find and accept and I never found it, and after a hard breakup with a guy in Miami I was devastated and I had nowhere to go. I was just very alone. About a year after that I just suffered a lot and I tried to fill my needs and my voids through so many things, drugs, sex, and a lot of alcohol. I never found that need that I needed. I never found that fulfillment. And my friend Natalie was graduating from the program. I came to her graduation, she invited me, and after that a few months later the Lord put on my heart to come here. Upon arriving, this has been the most difficult experience of my life. It was very painful. This isn't for the faint of heart, I think the Lord gives you the strength to be able to persevere. It's a matter of ripping off your flesh and coping mechanisms and putting on Christ, and finding that confidence in Jesus Christ has changed my life. He has shown me that He accepts me for exactly who I am, I don't have to wear a mask and try to be someone that I'm not. I can be vulnerable and not to have to worry about being trampled on because He loves me and accepts me, and I definitely recommend this program for any woman who is really seeking serious help, who really need to find their fulfillment and their love in Christ. I recommend all my friends to come, my friend joined the program and it's been the biggest blessing for her and me to see the changes she's going through, so if the Lord opens the opportunity for you to come here, and you feel like He wants you to come I definitely recommend it.

Victoria, Recent Graduate, smiling, wearing blue

Victoria, 9 months

Meet Victoria

I am grateful to the Lord for giving me this opportunity, for choosing me to come to the Refuge and find Him here to receive the healing I so desperately needed. Before coming to the Refuge I was just enduring life. Today I have HOPE and joy. As many women who come to the Refuge my story involves painful moments, things I wanted to forget, but the consequences of those moments left me bitter and depressed. Shelter From The Storm (a class to help people who have been sexually abused) changed my life forever. I was able to talk about the darkness in my life in a group setting, I was not alone, I felt normal and accepted for the first time. One by one, the lies where replaced by the Truth! During this process the LORD restored my marriage and brought my husband for counseling all the way from Argentina.
We celebrated our 10 year anniversary in May and when my husband walked trough the doors of the Refuge, I knew I was seeing a miracle and I was given GRACE. I am looking forward to the rest of my life and I know that GOD is there with me all the way. I know that finishing the 9 month program is a wonderful accomplishment but I also know He is not done with me yet so I rest in Psalm 138:8: “The LORD will accomplish what concerns me; Your lovingkindness, O LORD, is everlasting; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.

Jennifer, Recent Graduate, smiling

Jennifer, 9 Months

Meet Jennifer

God has made a way for me to believe again. I was at a point where I just wanted to die. My journey is far from over. Two years and four months has been since I began walking with the Lord. At times, I still feel I have a hard time, but now I know I have the most important person in the world on my side - The Lord Jesus Christ. He Loves me and wants to help me. I love Him and I want to please Him.

Recent Graduate, Artesia, Smiling

Artesia, 3 months

Meet Artesia

God has done wonders for me in my life since I’ve been at the Refuge. I’ve learned so much and get to spend each day with a pretty amazing group of people. I am no longer in bondage to the girl I used to be. I’m grateful for the opportunity I have here to work through my issues, instead of running away from them. I finally have hope again… I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me my future."
Ecclesiastes 3: 14-15 And I know that whatever God does is final. Nothing can be added to it or taken away from it. God’s purpose is that people should fear him. What is happening now has happened before, and what will happen in the future has happened before, because God makes the same things happen over and over again.

Recent Graduate, Gabriella, smiling

Gabriella, 3 months

Meet Gabriella

I have been at the Refuge for three months. It has been a difficult, yet fruitful process. Prior to arriving, I had been living in Los Angeles for the past 6 years. There, I had everything I thought I ever wanted: fast cars, material success, I was pursuing a bachelor’s degree at a great university, and I had traveled the world extensively. Yet none of these earthly gains could hide the pain that began to emerge 2 years ago due to the sexual abuse I experienced as a child from my dad. Consequently, I spent my life searching desperately for fatherly love, but I didn’t know how to attain it. I sought love by way of compulsive, promiscuous and seductive behavior. In my search I even married a man 25 years older than me, with whom I am now going through a divorce." ~ Gabriella
After a series of traumatic events, I was blessed enough to fall to my knees and accept Christ as my Savior in December of 2014. I finally found my Dad, and that’s God. At the Refuge we are encouraged to take a good, hard look at ourselves, and I tell you, it’s not always pretty. I have faced many painful truths about myself. In feeling my pain, instead of running from it, I am able to feel true joy, too.
The Refuge has provided me with deep healing. Here, God is showering me with the love I always needed. The staff is caring, yet firm. They call me out on my weaknesses and faults. I have been prompted by God, and by the staff to grow up. I have recently discovered I am no longer a broken, little girl. I am blossoming into a woman, with much to offer. I plan to stay 6 more months, so that I can experience the full extent of God’s work and healing in me. I am learning to see myself for who I really am; the way God sees me, the way God made me. I’m starting to accept myself, and after 28 years of life, I finally like what I see. I’m filled with gratitude for the blessings bestowed upon me by God through His ministry of the Women’s Refuge.