Ray & Maria Cooper
My wife and I were addicted to meth and homeless, living in our car for a few years. Sometimes we would go for days without eating. We felt isolated and scared most of the time. Once when we were sleeping in our car near the railroad tracks, a group of thugs pulled us out of our car and beat us both up, saying that we were worthless and deserved to die. After my wife was treated at the hospital (her jaw was broken and had to be wired), someone told us about The Hope Center, so we went there to see if they could help us. I wasn’t too sure about it, but my wife went in and right away, the people who worked there (Larry and Stephanie) loved on her. They gave us food and clothes, and they always welcomed us in to receive help and a safe place to hang out during the day when we needed it. But what really made a difference for me was the way they loved on us. They told my wife that God cared about us, and he wanted to help us, make our lives better. They said we had value because God said we did. It took me a while to feel like I could trust them, but after a few months of my wife going to the Hope Center, I decided to go in and check them out too. They were so nice and caring to me and my wife, and it made a big difference for both of us.
Around Christmastime that year, my wife and I got picked up for possession. It’s funny because she had just prayed for God to take away the meth, even if he had to put us in jail. And that’s where we ended up. After getting released, my wife went right into a recovery program and I started counseling with Pastor Larry. We haven’t touched drugs since that day.
We worked really hard to make our lives better. Before we came to the Hope Center, we didn’t believe that anyone loved us, that anyone cared what happened to us. But God showed us through the Hope Center and Steph & Larry that God loved us and we were worth saving. We became workers at the Hope Center because we started wanting to help people find a better life too. God really changed us through our experience at the Hope Center. Now, 6 years later, I still work for the Hope Center. I see God do awesome things in other people’s lives every day. It always reminds me to be grateful for what God has done in my own life.
The Operation Hope team feeds a Hot Meal Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 10am to 11:30am. On Friday, Oroville Faith Center provides sack lunches from 10 am to 11:30 am. On Saturday mornings the Christian Faith Center Team feeds a Hot Meal from 9:30 am to 11 am. On Sunday the Fathers House provides Sunday Supper Service from 4 pm to 5:30 pm. Everyone is welcome. Meals are served at The Hope Center, 1950 Kitrick Ave.