For nearly 50 years combined, Romie and Stephanie Hunter struggled with a progression of drugs that tore their lives apart.
It wasn’t supposed to be that way. Romie was a good student – an avid reader, always with a book in his hand. Stephanie is the daughter of a preacher. But each fell in with the wrong crowd and got hooked on the street life, progressing first from drinking to weed to cocaine to crack. It took a mother, a heart attack, a pastor, and God to steer the two back on track.
Their drug rollercoaster ended with the love, guidance, and intervention of God and Pastor Ervin Williams at Restoration Urban Ministries.
Through Restoration Urban Ministries, the former bookworm is now a giving husband and ordained minister. And the preacher’s daughter is now a doting grandmother to 18 grandchildren who lives for coordinating “girls night”, “boys night”, and dinners for her flock.
Both Stephanie and Romie entered the programs Restoration offers, both on life skills and spiritual development. They lived in the housing the organization offered, and were fed regular meals. They were given guidance, support, and sometimes tough love.
“I came to Restoration with nothing but a garbage bag of belongings. Through the hand of God and the love of those at Restoration, I left the richest man alive,” beams Romie from under the brim of his “Full Believer In Christ” ballcap.
The results are remarkable: today Stephanie and Romie are married, have a savings account, pay their bills on time, and are model tenants. Romie is even an ordained minister at the local Morning Star Baptist Church.
“Restoration gave me the tools to get my life back in order,” says the diminutive Stephanie, who doesn’t look old enough to be a grandmother to 18. “Restoration gave me a chance and allowed me to learn from my mistakes. I have found comfort through the Word.”
Restoration Urban Ministries has transformed Romie’s and Stephanie’s lives.
“Before Restoration, I had no relationship with my family and kids,” says Romie. “Now our home is filled with the laughter of 18 grandchildren, playing games, telling stories, and loving life. My heart is filled with joy.”
Today, Romie and Stephanie stand ready to give back to Restoration.
“For what Restoration has done for us, we owe them a deep debt of gratitude. They gave us our lives back and you just can’t beat that,” says Romie.