Wednesday, January 28, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Mission Solano lauds Rays of Hope graduates

mission solano grad 1

Khristina Wood, left, hugs her friend Schteka Hall, right, a graduate of Mission Solano’s Rays of Hope program, Thursday at a graduation ceremony for the program. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)

By
From page A1 | March 14, 2014 |

FAIRFIELD — Locusts had eaten into their lives for years – but now they’ve approached the mountaintop and are standing with the Lord, said the senior pastor at St. Matthew Baptist Church in Vacaville of the 13 men and women who graduated Thursday from Mission Solano’s Rays of Hope program.

The Rev. Vic A. Russell said it was a time to celebrate – and the more than 100 people packed into the chapel at Mission Solano’s Community Outreach Center on Travis Boulevard did that with shouts, standing ovations and hugs.

People stood to applaud when Clarence Trotter, 44, finished reading his poem that began by noting how death, dishonesty and despair had been Trotter’s allies. His poem went on to say, “if I knew you, I robbed you.”

Trotter acknowledged the graduates who completed the six- to nine-month Helping Other People Escape program that includes the physical, psychological, spiritual and social behavioral – and he spoke about his own arrival at Mission Solano.

“I was broken financially and spiritually,” he said. “I was worse than wounded.”

Program graduate Amorette Florez, 26, of Vacaville, said after receiving her diploma, “I will put God first and just keep pushing forward.”

Raymond Courtemanche, chief operations officer at Mission Solano, spoke near the start of the event and told those gathered, “We believe in a creator who does not create junk.”

Maybe the world has tainted us, he said, but like St. Paul’s transformation on the road to Damascus, people have been brought to Mission Solano, where they recover.

“It’s all about purpose for us,” Courtemanche said.

Graduates embrace the healthy and wholesome, he said.

Gene Ahu, program manager for the Community Outreach Center, proclaimed, “this program does work.”

“We try to stay away from the ‘want,’ ” he said. “We try to do what people need.”

Ahu said: “We can still learn – so touched by the things people can bring to us when we think we know it all.”

He said if he’d had only once chance in life he wouldn’t be at the ceremony Thursday.

“God works in mysterious ways – and I’m one of them,” Ahu said.

Ernie Schnaible, who manages Mission Solano’s car lot program, is a 2010 graduate of Rays of Hope and said without it he, too, wouldn’t be at the event. He said of efforts to assist people: “If you don’t show me you want the help, I ain’t got time for you.”

A hundred other people out there want what Mission Solano provides, Schnaible said.

Francis Cunanan, 35, of Suisun City, who leads the men’s celebrate recovery group, spoke about graduating last year from the Rays of Hope program that he said changed his life. Cunanan said he felt like an outcast when he came to Mission Solano, but the Bible tells of Jesus touching the lives of others and that still happens, Cunanan said.

“I’m living my life as a testimony,” he said, to “God’s grace, God’s goodness.”

Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or rmccarthy@dailyrepublic.net.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 4 comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Really?March 14, 2014 - 6:24 am

    Well it sounds like the end result of graduating from the Mission Solano program is finding Jesus in your life. Although certainly important, I am more interested in the graduate's ability to provide for themselves, and to be contributing members of society. How many of said graduates are now working in jobs that pay a living wage (not at Mission Solano) and how many are in their own housing (not the Bridge to Life?) With the millions of community dollars donated to this program each year, the community deserves nothing less. Then, and only then, would we really have something to celebrate.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Chrome AppleMarch 14, 2014 - 9:33 am

    Until you know the facts of each graduates life you can not judge their situation. Many have focused on completed case plans and counseling to better their life and the lives of their children, therefore will go to work at a real paying job As you call it when that focus is safely is ready to be changed. We are not to be judges out here and let me tell you, this program has some of our nations veterans as residents and there is no more respectable job. So ask yourself if you are the one uncomfortable with donating to this place for a personal reason? If so then don't. My daughter was a college graduate when she got there she will not be any less by having been there. With or without your money or approval on her spiritual path.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • JenMarch 14, 2014 - 9:40 am

    Wow. These people have been to hell and back to get to where they are. I had the honor of attending this graduation ceremony. I didn't know any of the graduates personally, but I can tell you, I was proud of each and every one of them. Listening to the testimonies of these individuals who have finally pieced their lives back together, their families, their self-respect, their HOPE... Their belief that they can, in fact, do better than they have. Why is that not enough to support this amazing program? Where would these people be without it? Would it be better to say, then, that you believe this program isn't worth it? "With the millions of community dollars donated to this program each year, the community deserves nothing less." There's a reason people donate these "millions of dollars" each year. Because the community deserves nothing less than what Mission Solano has been providing. A chance to make something more out of someone most people have given up on. And not just one person, but many. And I say that this is something to really celebrate.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • JenMarch 14, 2014 - 10:06 am

    Congratulations to all the graduates! What an awesome testimony. God bless each of the workers and volunteers at Mission Solano.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

 
Youngster battles brain cancer a 2nd time

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
2 Solano road projects get green light

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1

 
Rush Ranch seeks docents

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A2

Health officials report 1st Solano flu death

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A3, 5 Comments | Gallery

 
Kroc Health Fair offers free screenings

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Fairfield police to offer parenting class

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4

Frazier schedules coffee in Suisun City

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

 
Vacaville police to offer law enforcement academy

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4

Vanden to host science fair

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A4

 
Woman with Solano ties caught up in tax fraud case

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A4

Coalition members review tobacco control report card

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

 
 
 
 
American Legion Post schedules head-shaving fundraiser

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A6

Vacaville Toastmasters welcome guests

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6

 
Chipotle fundraiser to benefit Armijo newspaper

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6, 3 Comments

 
Dramas, thrillers lead week’s box office openings

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B8

 
Fairfield police log: Jan. 25, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: Jan. 24, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Jan. 26, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Jan. 25, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Jan. 24, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: Jan. 26, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

 
.

US / World

Gold nuggets stolen in smash and grab

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
CSU chancellor looks to increase graduation rates

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

Officials lose track of billions in funding

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8, 2 Comments

 
Bill would treat e-cigs the same as regular cigarettes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

 
Secret talks in Jordan try to win release of hostages

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

‘Wicked storm': Blizzard drops 2 feet of snow on New England

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
NTSB: Systemic flaws in safety oversight of gas pipelines

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Catholic church in San Francisco to phase out altar girls

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Military has wide discretion on Bergdahl charges

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

 
Gunmen storm Libya hotel, killing American, 9 others

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Famed civil rights protesters to have arrest records erased

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
.

Opinion

 
 
.

Living

Today in History: Jan. 28, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: Jan. 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscope Jan. 28, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B6

 
We live close to my nephew but he chooses to remain distant

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B6

 
10 Things: 10 fresh takes on Super Bowl guacamole

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

 
.

Entertainment

Christina Aguilera to perform ahead of NBA All-Star Game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
Common, John Legend to perform ‘Glory’ at Academy Awards

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

Katie Holmes to guest on ‘Ray Donovan’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
.

Sports

 
 
Falcon boys drop 69-61 SCAC loss to Bethel

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Local Report: Armijo boys roll past Napa 69-41

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1, 1 Comment

 
Nadal loses; Sharapova to play all-Russian semi in Australia

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Belichick and The Beast talk but don’t say much at Media Day

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Deflated topic: air pressure in footballs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1, 1 Comment

Rose’s shot lifts Bulls over Warriors 113-111 in overtime

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Jury convicts 2 ex-Vanderbilt players of raping woman

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Rio official says there’s ‘no plan B’ for Olympic sailing

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Golfer Allenby stands by story, says truth will come out

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tony Stewart returns with a swagger not seen in 2 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Shooters find not every basketball is same in college game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Patrick heads into 2015 in final season with team, sponsor

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Manfred hopeful of A’s getting new ballpark in Oakland

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Christina Aguilera to perform ahead of NBA All-Star Game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Super Bowl, Tiger make Phoenix center of sports universe

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Long after Twitter feud, Revis, Sherman pledge respect

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

The distinctive international flavor of Super Bowl Media Day

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Serena Williams advances, Venus out of Australian Open

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Getting fired from New England led to Carroll’s reinvention

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Sharks in ‘dogfight’ to secure playoff berth

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
This date in sports history for Jan. 28, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Business

US home price gains slow in November on weaker sales

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
FTC clears Albertsons’ purchase of Safeway

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

.

Obituaries

Clarence E. Morgan

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Julia P. Tan

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Don Johnson

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 11 Comments

 
Woodrow Allen Oakley

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Donald Wesley Johnson

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6