On the eve of my wedding, I look back over my life. At age five my two sisters, brother and I were taken to the orphanage. We had been victims of the drug culture and abused. We slept outside of our parent’s hovel and ate from the trash; we never knew love from my parents. When we arrived at the orphanage I felt like we were in paradise. They bathed me, gave me my own clothes and my own bed. It was beyond imagination. I was loved by my houseparents and so I learned the love of God, my Father.

I was given the opportunity to attend school, but had difficulty learning to read. I never thought I would finish elementary school, but was given hours of tutoring, and thanks to God I passed. I am thankful for the outreach team which rescued my mother from addiction. She received Jesus Christ as her Savior. My brother passed away at age 15 and there were people who gave us the strength we needed.

Thank you for teaching me the importance of family and the love of God. I will leave this place with thankfulness and gratefulness for all the blessings I have received in my life. You have planted love and a smile where there was only grief and sadness. Charla, you will always be my Abuelita (Little Grandma).

Editor’s note: Gloria married into a very good Christian family.

Creative Church Co.

Matt is the CoFounder & Managing Director of the Creative Church Company.