“They had no idea what was in store for them...”

Steven & Lesley

A few years ago we fostered a sweet little girl. Here is a story of her uncle's story in meeting his amazing bride after both of them were restored from a very broken and lost world of drugs. They were just married last weekend and we are so proud of them both!

Steven is on our advisory board for Hannah Grace and God could not have ordained a better wife for him. ❤

Their story begins as two lost souls, born and raised in two different cities, in two different states, and in two different decades. Their similar pasts of living in darkness and searching for identity in a fallen world eventually left them hopeless and broken. Neither of them knew Christ, although it was only a matter of time until they came to know their Savior.

In 2015 God led Steven to the doors of the Union Gospel Mission in Salem, Oregon where he joined the New Life Fellowship Program, hoping to find a new way of life. A few months later, Lesley joined the very same program, for the very same reason, just one city away in Keizer, Oregon.

They had no idea what was in store for them...

During the course of the program, they both accepted Jesus as their Savior and began their transformed lives as new creations in Christ.

And then.....they met.

It was the summer of 2016, and UGM was hosting a softball tournament where the New Life Fellowship Program participants from both Salem and Keizer missions got to come together to play. After just a brief introduction to Steven, Lesley knew he was someone special. She went home that evening and told her best friend, Jen, "I'm going to marry that boy. I just know it."

Time goes by, and on May 4, 2017 Steven graduates the 15 month program. Four months later, Lesley graduates.

After commencement they were both invited to co-host an event together for the UGM foundation. They happily agreed. During the months of preparation and planning for the event, Steven began to realize there was something special about this girl. He, too, had a gut feeling that God was up to something and he couldn't deny what was happening in his heart. On the night of the UGM event, they both got up on stage and gave their testimonies to a crowd of over 400 people.

"That's when I knew she was the one." Steven said.

They immediately began dating and seven months later, after asking her parents' permission to marry their daughter, Steven got down on one knee in the middle of their favorite coffee house in Salem and popped the question. With tears welling up in her eyes, Lesley responded with an emphatic "YES!" And now, they're getting married. And they can't wait to see you at the wedding!

So there you have it. One story of two broken people, made whole in Christ and brought together because of God's grace and perfect love. And they are beyond thrilled to give all the glory to the One who made all of this possible.

"God showed us mercy by giving us His free gift of salvation and a new way of life. We were already made complete in Christ, yet He loved us enough to bring us together" says Steven. Lesley adds, "And we want to live the rest of our lives for Christ as a married couple, because we recognize that it was God alone who did all of this for us."

Romans 8:28 "And we know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."