2,000 Miles to Redemption
Angel just needed a reason to believe
Angel Arroyo had no plans to return to Vallejo, after getting off its rough streets and piecing his life back together in an Atlanta, Georgia suburb. “I was up in a tree cutting down some limbs, listening to American Family Radio,” Angel recalls.
“Then I heard this man Ron Marlette talking about a Bridge to Life Center that was opening in Fairfield, California. It was like God had come down and touched me.”
Angel had been running from an outstanding warrant in Vallejo, stemming from years of tough living. Not only does he have a bullet lodged in his right thigh from a local highway shooting, he also bears a scar on his left temple from a different shooting incident. Upon hearing about this “program in Fairfield – so close to where I needed to go to take care of one last thing from my past” his heart raced and his head ached with the thought “I really do have to go back, don’t I God?”
Not more than a month later, Angel was on a bus with a bag of clothes and his chainsaw – the tool of his tree-trimming trade, a marketable skill he had learned from an Air Force friend in Georgia. His last stop on that 2,000-mile bus ride? Mission SOLANO’s Community Outreach Center where he was welcomed and signed in to the Nomadic Sheltering Program.
“I spent thirty days going from church to church – those were the best thirty days of my life. I met people at each church who talked with me, helped me and encouraged me. One of the churches helped me with a place to live and my counselors at Mission SOLANO helped me find work.”
On Angel’s last day in our program, he showed up for the appointment he had traveled 2,000 miles in faith to attend – in front of the District Attorney in a Vallejo courthouse. With words of encouragement and affirmation of his transformed life, the District Attorney tossed out all the charges against him. Angel returned to Fairfield with a redemption story he was ready to share with the world. “I’m a free man. Thank God for Mission SOLANO. Thank God for every church, every meal and every night of shelter. And most of all, for all the people that helped me get here.”
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