Johnie was raised Catholic and was married in her teens. He was not a Christian and unfortunately, the marriage didn’t last. Johnie was told by the church she was no longer able to receive the sacraments. She left the church depressed and convinced that her life was over. She had no hope.
Johnie turned to alcohol. She had a couple of failed marriages and had two abortions. Eventually, Johnie moved to Las Vegas where she became a dealer; drugs came shortly after.
Johnie worked in casinos for over 30 years. It wasn’t until the Saturday before Easter Sunday 2014, that Johnie quit. She said, “I was compelled to give my two weeks’ notice.” She didn’t have any job lined up, but she was counting on God to provide.
It wasn’t until Christmas 2016 that she felt like she had to go to church. She went to a midnight mass, but when she came home, she started looking for a church that taught the Bible. Johnie found a sermon by Pastor Luis Acosta at Pines Baptist Church. She decided to attend the 10:30 am service. She also joined a bible study. Johnie had the opportunity to share her story with Pastor Acosta. She felt better but the weight of guilt was wearing on Johnie.
It was then that Pastor Acosta told Johnie that some women from Hope Women’s Centers were coming to speak. He told me not to miss it.
Johnie made the service when the women from Hope came.
“That was the start of my rebirth,” Johnie told us. “I was sitting in the second row as Debie and Chaina went on stage with two other brave women. They began interviewing them on their abortions. I thought my heart was going to break. They were telling my story! I started crying and sobbing. I couldn’t stop! They shared about being forgiven by God and how to finally let go of their guilt. I wanted this more than anything… was there really hope for me?”
After they were finished, Johnie went to talk to them. That is where she learned about the bible study, “Forgiven and Set Free.”
“Chaina gave me hope and love as she held my hands.”
“Those two things [hope and love] are what I desperately needed. Since that day, I have completed the 12-week abortion recovery study (Forgive and Set Free). And, I am currently training to be a volunteer Client Advocate. I believe that I am called to give back to other women who have lost their hope. I thank Jesus, my Savior, and Hope Women’s Centers for giving me my life back.”
Hear Johnie tell her story firsthand: