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The Orchard Blog
December 10th, 2018
She was on the plane headed home to Maryland. She had been in Florida where she was taking care of her ailing sister. Twenty minutes from the Atlanta airport, she had a stroke on the plane. Once checked into the hospital in Atlanta, the doctor there determined that my grandma would be totally paralyzed on the left side of her body once the medicine wore off. To confine my grandmother – THE Doris Leppo – to a wheelchair is a prognosis worth than death. You’re talking about a woman whose video of her gym workout went viral last summer. Immediately the church began to pray. When she came off the medicine, the paralysis began. Contrary to the doctor’s prognosis though, the paralysis stopped and quickly began to reverse itself. Instead of spending weeks in a hospital a thousand miles from home – undergoing intense PT and learning how to live with paralysis, my grandma left for home just a few days after check-in. The last video I received from my family was of Grandma shuffling cards during Rummy night. Her doctor was obviously confused by the outcome, but we’re not. My grandma has been faithful to Him over the years and there’s nothing too impossible for him. – Cameron LeppoRead More
January 11th, 2019
My life’s trajectory didn’t point toward tragedy and rock bottom movements. I grew up in an upper middle class family with only opportunity and possibilities calling for me. Or so I thought. Despite those opportunities and seemingly endless possibilities, I found myself locked in the world of addiction. Addiction that didn’t make sense – “What did I have to escape from? I’m not one of those people.
Apparently those people look and live a lot like you and me.
My husband decided to leave me. It was right after my third DUI; I attempted to kill myself in front of my children. That did him in. Suicide was the only thing that made sense though. I was trapped. My body was broken. My family didn’t understand me. I was a college dropout. Leaving my children was doing them a favor. Thank God for rock bottoms. Without hitting the bottom, I would have never tried to reach for the top.
Part of my recovery was committing to living in a halfway home for recovering addicts. I did not enjoy the experience. A few weeks in, we were invited to go to a Bible Study at a local Pastor’s home. I went because I thought it would be only slightly better than the other class we were mandated to attend. I went because it was the lesser of two evils.
I went, and in a way, I never came back.
Rachel and Vito brought us into their home that night and not only shared the Word of God with us, but shared their home and their family. As Pastor Vito began to explain the power and importance of Baptism in Jesus Name, my heart leapt within me and I loudly exclaimed, “Me! I want that!” That bible study changed not just my life, but my family tree.
Through a God-orchestrated moment, my husband decided to stay with me. I grew in my knowledge of Jesus Christ and become an evangelist – urging addicts to find hope in Jesus. I went back to school and completed my nursing degree finishing the top of my class. My kids are beautiful, healthy, smart as a whip, and love Jesus.
It would be easy for outsiders to look in my lovely home and think “luck” or “privilege” but I think “mercy,” “grace,” and “transformation”. Where would I be without the relentless love of God? Thankfully, I’ll never have to know. – Kim
(If you or somebody you know suffers from addiction and needs hope, please send us a message (firstname.lastname@example.org). We would love to partner with them as they discover Jesus.)Read More