I was out and about here at Linden Court when I ran into a young woman whom I had written a column about several years ago.
Staci Ponte and her daughter Alexa were here to visit JoJo Bizzell, who was here for a short stay. Coincidentally, I wrote a story about JoJo, too.
I couldn’t believe that God had orchestrated this reunion. It was time to gather information and give you an update on their lives.
Staci was more than willing to share her story and tell of the wonderful people who helped her to change her life.
“I’ve been using drugs and alcohol off and on for 30 years. I went to jail a few different times over the years. Every week, I remember JoJo and her daughter, Mary, bringing church into the jail. They are amazing, beautiful women of God.
“In 2013, I was sentenced to prison for distribution of meth. I was in North Platte jail for six months. I looked forward to seeing JoJo and Mary every week.
“I prayed and prayed while I was in jail for God to give me the strength to get me through each second of my sentence. I prayed for God to guide me where He wanted me to go after prison.
“I was hoping and praying for a Christian-based half-way house. I got out of prison New Year’s Eve 2014 and was accepted into a Christian house for women. I went to church the night I got out of prison and went back every week.
“I’ve had a lot of people influence me over the years. Jojo and her daughter, Mary, showed me the love of God. That made a huge impact on my life.
“They would come to the jail every week to share their love for God and to pray with us girls. I wanted what they had, the love for God and everyone else around them. They were both always so happy and full of joy.
“Another positive influence was Shelley. She had taken me to Harvest Christian Fellowship for the first time and spent a lot of time with me talking about God. She is amazing, full of joy and loves God so much.
“Harvest Christian Fellowship is where I met Mary Hepburn, she is an amazing woman of God. I remember going to church membership class years ago at her house. She always welcomed me, I loved how much she loved God and everyone around her. Her columns in the North Platte paper are awesome.
“I met Pastor Jeremy and Pastor Ron at Harvest Christian Fellowship. They are both amazing pastors and have influenced me over the years.
“Pastor Jeremy’s sermons have helped me so much.
“I had given up on life and was literally dying inside when God showed up at the right time and saved my life.”
Staci’s story is living proof how God can change a life. He used many people who love and serve Him to accomplish Staci’s miracle.
What often may seem like a coincidence is God’s gentle directing of His servants to be in the right place at the right time.
Next week, I will update on JoJo’s story.