Meet Monica

“I was tired of being out on the streets stealing cars, stealing from stores. Just tired of everything, I didn’t have anywhere to go. I knew I needed help, just didn’t know what I needed. My family was no longer around, they didn’t trust me anymore. I was in jail for grand theft auto, shoplifting, possession of meth and sales. I was in jail for 6 months and my aunt found me this program [House of Hope] and I signed up for it.

Since I’ve been here I’ve found God. He has been great; He’s brought my family back together, my sister talks to me now, my mom and I have a relationship again. My family is amazed at how I am now and they need the change in me and they really like it."

Q: What’s the thing you’ve learned about God that’s changed you the most?
A: "That with Him I can do anything. Just pray about it and He helps me. He’s there and I can always depend on Him."

Q: If you said this things to your “8 month ago” self, how do you think you’d respond? Would you believe yourself?
A: "I wouldn’t know what to say. I wouldn’t believe myself. My family tried to tell me what I needed, but I wouldn’t listen to them. I was hard headed. I would run away from them and go hide. They’d invite me to church and I’d never show up."

Ryan Stillwater

Ryan is a longtime Visalian — a graduate of Redwood High School and Fresno Pacific University with a bachelors degree in Christian Ministries. Intrigued by the partnership between the Visalia Rescue Mission and the City of Visalia, Ryan began putting his vision on paper as VRM's Oval Venue Coordinator in August 2013, and has sparked the interest of many throughout the community. Ryan and his wife Amy (a Mt. Whitney High School graduate) have been married for seven years and have three amazing kids — ages 6, 4, and 4.