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Emily's Story

"I came to Youth Haven as a tired, used child acting as the adult in the family. My dad was an alcoholic, and my parents had divorced by the time I was 5 years old. When I was 7 my mom met a man and let him move in to our home. He was a mean drunk, drug abuser, and pedophile. They married the day before my 11th birthday. My mother suffered from major depression and had trouble getting out of bed. Because of this the majority of the household duties fell on my shoulders. By the age of 12, I was making dinner and caring for my younger siblings. I was the one who got up in the night to fix bottles for them. When they were sick, I stayed home with them.

From the moment I stepped on the Youth Haven property I felt something I had not felt in a long time in my short life - safe and loved. When the Program Director presented the gospel message I knew this was what I had been searching for. I accepted Jesus as my Savior right there along with several ranchers.

I took every opportunity to come to Youth Haven and was able to grow in my faith and also in my self esteem. It was the perfect break for me from my home life. I knew if I could just hold on till Friday at home I would be safe, loved, and cared for at Youth Haven over the weekend. At Youth Haven I was valued as a Child of God. I know without a doubt that I am the woman of God that I am today largely due to the influence Youth Haven Ranch has had on my life. Thank you for taking a broken child and showing her the love and mercy of God!"


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