Addiction recovery story: How faith saved a Utah couple

Lester and Stephanie Herrera uncovered the Lord and sobriety by way of the Rescue Mission of Salt Lake’s New Existence Restoration Program. (Lee Benson, Deseret Information)

Believed go through time: 5-6 minutes

SALT LAKE City — It truly is the oldest recipe for good results in the guide. Quite actually.

Flip your lifestyle over to God and observe the route spelled out in the Bible.

You can expect to get no argument from Lester and Stephanie Herrera that it truly is a components that can change lives. Even people when viewed as lost causes — like, for example, theirs.

A few many years back the two were being using meth and heroin at a fee viewed as too much even by their minimal standards. They’d been drug people at any time considering the fact that they married in 2008 when they were being in their 20s, but recent deaths of family users and other elements experienced put them on a bender that was in essence 24/7.

Then on a chilly early February working day they acquired caught robbing a grocery retail outlet so they could acquire much more prescription drugs and each wound up in jail.

Turned out, it was the best matter that ever happened to them.

Pending a courtroom day, and many thanks to a considerably less considerable criminal historical past — she’d only been arrested all around 20 instances, as opposed to Les, who joined a gang when he was 13 and had been in and out of jail all his existence — Stephanie was introduced immediately after two weeks.

She had the outfits on her back and a ring. She pawned the ring for sufficient income to guide 4 nights at a funds hotel.

By yourself and out of selections, on the fourth night time she began contacting support strains to test and uncover a position to stay.

In the meantime, Les known as her from jail with a recommendation she’d never heard from him in their 15 a long time of marriage.

“Hey, Babe,” he mentioned, “You ought to ask God for assistance. I actually imagine you require to pray.”

“Of all people today in the entire world he is telling me to pray. He’d never ever accomplished that, ever,” Stephanie remembers imagining. “It’s possible I ought to pray.”

So she did.

The subsequent early morning she got a simply call from the Rescue Mission of Salt Lake telling her they had a place for her.

Consequently started a journey to sobriety and redemption the Herreras will testify to you is nothing at all less than a miracle.

At the Rescue Mission’s women’s shelter on Condition Road, Stephanie was launched to the “New Lifestyle Restoration Program,” a 13-thirty day period program created to assistance a individual transform their existence close to.

The initial thirty day period focuses on addressing daily life-defining troubles and recapturing a measure of steadiness. Which is adopted by six months of instruction, like dependancy restoration classes, a single-on-one counseling and Bible analyze. The remaining 6 months require locating employment and developing self-sufficiency abilities required to make it in the outside the house environment.

All the things is offered: a heat, risk-free place to stay, three foods a day, garments and other essentials, all totally free of cost.

The Rescue Mission is a private Christian-based nondenominational business that exists completely due to the fact of donations and aid from generous neighborhood donors. Its headquarters on 463 S. 400 West in downtown Salt Lake City is as nondescript as the patrons it solicits, distinctive only by the “Jesus Saves” indicator in the type of a cross on the entrance of the 120-year-outdated constructing.

“It can be not a glamorous facility,” understates executive director Chris Croswhite, who oversees a staff of 24, which includes pastors. When somebody knocks on the mission door, “Our baseline,” suggests Chris, “is that is a human in entrance of us, and they should have like and regard and an option to turn into the human being they are supposed to be the person God desires them to be.”

As Stephanie commenced assimilating into the new existence restoration program, she advised her nonetheless-incarcerated spouse could possibly take into account executing furthermore the moment he was unveiled.

Lester, even now affected by the promptings to pray in jail when he’d never ever prayed in his existence, was all ears. The only trouble was he feared he could be likely to jail for a long time.

Then, “God just took in excess of,” he claims, and immediately after four months he was produced from jail — on the condition he enter an addiction rehab plan.

He instantly checked into the Rescue Mission’s men’s facility and started off producing a comeback tale parallel to Stephanie’s.

Almost everything Stephanie was performing at the women’s shelter, Lester was undertaking at the men’s. They were divided, but on a trajectory that would not only get them back together, but with new power to flip to and new approaches to cope.

In the summer of 2021, somewhat extra than a year later, Lester and Stephanie were happy New Daily life Recovery graduates.

Following that, thanks to the mission’s support, they moved into an apartment in Murray, discovered continual jobs (he is an industrial mechanic for a brickmaker, she functions for a medical supply enterprise and is a element-time instructor) and a new lease on daily life that proceeds to this day.

The previous time possibly of them employed medications was the working day they went to jail. That’s nearly a few a long time now.

They are self-confident they would not go back again to their using methods. “What we arrived to comprehend is we were not drug addicts,” suggests Lester. “We were being working with drugs to deal with up scars that ran deep.”

“The motive folks drop back into that conduct is they don’t have an understanding of the reason guiding why they’re doing it,” states Stephanie. “I understood I failed to need to have to invest my existence being ashamed of the issues I would finished or the options I’d manufactured. I wore my previous shames all around my neck like an anchor. I realized that God had forgiveness for me. I uncovered how Jesus experienced given his life for the wrong issues I have completed.”

Provides Lester, “Here is the detail I uncovered about the Lord: he loves us and he is frequently wooing us. But we have to do our component just about every working day.”

The pair are avowed, unabashed ambassadors for the Rescue Mission that rescued them.

“I could go on for days telling you how a great deal I really like this spot,” mentioned Stephanie on a new Saturday early morning as she and Les stood underneath the Jesus Will save signal.

“Each individual opportunity we get to permit the public know about the mission, we do,” stated Lester.

“Jesus turned our lives about, but in this article is where by we were being in a position to expand in the Lord.

“If God could give us new needs, then I have hope for any person.”

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