Four and a half years ago my wife Stella and I concluded that our only way out of our hopeless homeless situation was to commit suicide. We agreed that we were going to sit on highway 65 outside of Mount Vernon, Illinois until we were struck by a vehicle and killed.
We had lost everything. Our children, our self-respect, and everything we owned. As we sat and waited for that tractor trailer or any vehicle speeding down the interstate to deliver us from our misery God sent an angel to us in the form of an Illinois State trooper. He took us to the Mount Vernon hospital.
After staying there for a week, we were sent to a hospital in Granite City. After another week passed the hospital gave Stella and I metro tickets to go to St. Louis.
Upon arriving in St. Louis, we met another homeless couple. They immediately noticed we had no shoes and insufficient clothing for the cold winter day. It was then that they invited us to join them at New Life Evangelistic Center bus ticket, food and clothing give-away that NLEC had every Friday morning.
Stella and I met Rev. Larry Rice and Pastor Ray Redlich. Not only did they help us meet our immediate emergency needs but they invited us to become a part of the New Life residential training program.
When Stella and I quickly decided to take advantage of this opportunity for a new life we were told that we would be going to Marshfield, Missouri to live with Chris and Martha Rice.
Chris and Martha were excellent mentors who invited us to live with them in their home. During the time we were with Chris and Martha we learned how to operate the Free Store, the radio station, care for the sheep and goats and renewable energy. We have grown in our faith in God and have joined a wonderful church.”
With God in their lives and the stability He provides Stella and Levi’s 12-year-old daughter Jaci has come to live with them. “I am so glad I am back with my parents!” Jaci says.
In a recent interview Stella declared, “God truly blessed us with NLEC. We have come a long way in our relationship with God. It has been a blessing living here with Chris and Martha. Even though we are now moving into our own apartment, we will always be close friends with them and will be visiting them frequently.”
Levi summed up his life changing experience of the last two and a half years in the NLEC Community by saying, “Being here has changed our lives a lot. Stella, Jaci, and I are all closer to each other. The blessing of being at New Life Evangelistic Center has helped us physically, mentally and spiritually. Stella and I have been able to get the medical help during the past year that we were not able to get in the past. We now have a purpose in life and are able to share God’s love with others. What a great Savior we have who has blessed us with a new life, a new family, a new apartment and much more. To God be the glory for the truly great things He has done!