My name is Sally Moreno, I'm 23 years old, and I came to the Hannah House on February 1, 2013 from Los Angeles, California. Making the cross-country move to Fort Smith has been one of the best decisions I ever made for myself. People often think that I did this to run away from my problems, but that isn't the case at all. I was actually running to find my hope, which for me, could only be found in God.
I grew up in a fairly typical Mexican home with a sister and three brothers. My mother did the very best she knew how to with us; she herself grew up in an extremely abusive home devoid of love and understanding. The man, who I thought was my real father, raised us until he left when I was 4 years old. I didn't find out until age 9 that I actually had a different father; I met my biological dad for the first time that year. I was exposed to violence, alcohol, and harsh criticism in my childhood that shaped my thinking towards others and made me insecure about myself. I stayed very confused and always felt as if something was missing. Due to all of this, and many other circumstances, I began to become reckless and seek the approval of others around me, and also became rebellious towards authority figures that disagreed with me. I took drugs and drank alcohol to avoid the obvious confusion and pain that I held onto, and in a desperate attempt to fit in.
For 3 long years, I was addicted to weed and partying. I sought attention from men who, in the end, made me feel empty and did not respect me. This lifestyle ended me up in the hospital twice. I didn't care if I was going to die. I was tired of not having a relationship with my family, and I felt as if no one cared about me. It's when I woke up in the hospital the second time, after almost losing my life, that I could honestly feel God start working in my heart. I could hear my sister and Mother asking why I was doing this to them. It all began to make sense, and I soon realized that God had a bigger plan for me.
When I was 17 years old, I became a Christian, and am the first person in my family, thus far, to do so. Since the day I was saved from the condemnation of my sin, God has helped to restore the respect I never had for myself. He has revealed to me my self-worth, and put hope in my heart by showing me that anything is attainable through Him. For years though, even with all of this power in my faith, I continued to struggle with my relationship with God—I still couldn't see him exactly the way he saw me. I desperately sought hope and a supportive, and God-centered environment, to grow in and be set free from the fears of my past. I was thinking, "God I need something. I can't keep doing this. I'm tired, I'm drained". Searching on the Internet one night, I was led to Hannah House: the answer to my prayers. Without regret, I packed my things, caught a bus and then a plane to arrive to my destiny.
There is hope here at Hannah House every day. We learn, we pray, and we grow together. I thank Hannah House for the tremendous difference they have made in life, and for the spiritual family, support, and friendships I have gained through this ministry. I am also thankful for those involved who sacrifice their own daily lives to better help us. My dream is to become a social worker to guide those who are lost like I once was. I have a passion to watch others grow and to see the best in them. I want to be the one that believes in them when they have no one else. I can honestly say that my life is fuller than it was a year and a half ago. Hannah House revolves around God and his plan for us, and that is my hope fulfilled.