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Student Gets Opportunity To Serve Same Organization That Helped Turn Life Around

For senior Katie DaCosta, co-leading an ORU trip to Mercy Ministries in Sacramento this spring break is more than an opportunity to expand her comfort zone; it’s a chance to give back to the organization that helped change her life.

Three years ago, Katie DaCosta was a resident at Mercy Ministries, St. Louis; a faith-based residential program for women age 13-28, dealing with life-controlling issues.

“I had come to the point where I was tired of trying to solve things on my own and knew help was necessary,” said DaCosta.

It was there at Mercy Ministries where Katie grew through community and therapy, and also met several ORU students when they came to serve dinner on Valentine’s Day.  “I remember how they gave me so much hope for the future,” explained DaCosta.  “I saw a light and joy in them that I wanted to be a part of and their love and respect inspired me to make the decision to come to ORU.”

During their time at Mercy, the women had the opportunity to share their testimonies. The next day, a girl came up to them and told her that she was planining on celebrating her birthday that same Friday and then comitting suicide the next day. "She felt hopeless and that there was no longer any point to being there," said Salome Pinto, the team leader.

"She wrote a poem and shared it with us the next day of how the joy that we brought spoke so much to her about the love of God and helped her decide not to harm herself."

Reflecting on her trip, DaCosta

“Mercy definitely taught me that growth is a process, and it’s not about quick or simple fixes, but submitting yourself to the journey and recognizing that there IS hope and that faith in God is a huge component of our healing,” said DaCosta.