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Woman’s journey of ‘being lost and found’

WARREN — Pittsburgh resident Joyce Hondru said since she was a child she has always had the problem of getting lost or losing things, but even when she was lost she was able to find Jesus Christ to lead her.

Hondru, an author of several Bible study books and retired financial planner, was the keynote speaker at the June gathering of the Warren Women’s Connection held at DiLucia’s Banquet Center. The group has not met since February because of the coronavirus pandemic. The next meeting is 10 a.m. July 13.

Hondru said she always got lost in life starting when she was driving to play rehearsal practice in high school to when she was heading the wrong direction on the highway.

“It became apparent to me the summer between my eighth and ninth grade years when I attended a Christian crusade event with many speakers and about 200 people. It made me aware that although I was a good person, I, like everyone, had sinned in my life and that separated me from God. I realized I would be truly lost without God. I wanted to be reconnected with God. I needed to confess my sins,” Hondru said.

“One of the speakers asked if there was anyone who wanted to go from being lost to being found? I wanted to be. I learned that Jesus will come into our lives and be there forever and help us and encourage us along the way. Jesus came into my heart because I had been lost. I really was excited about this in my life,” she said.

Joyce Faiver, a member of the Warren Women’s Connection, which is sponsored by Stonecroft Ministries, said it is important to remember the women in our lives like our mothers who provide care, love and encouragement.

“Our mothers have done so much for all of us. They exemplify the friendship that women experience,” Faiver said.

Hondru said for many people they are lost without Jesus in their lives and all they need to do is welcome Jesus into their hearts.

She said she became active with Bible study and also led a youth group in the evenings called “Challenge.”

“It was a great blessing to be a youth leader,” she said.

Hondru said she remembers when a teen ran away from his home and she was asked to help find him.

“I learned that the young man was involved with drugs. What should I say to him? God spoke to my heart and I let the teen stay with my family while I talked to his parents. He was lost like many of us but was found by Jesus,” Hondru said.

She said for people to change their lives, they need to not wallow in the past.

“Change is the law of life. Who would have imagined we would all be confined to our homes and have to wear masks. You can look to the past but not wallow in it. If you wallow in the past you will miss the future,” Hondru said.

She said no matter what people do nothing can separate them from the love of Jesus.

“We need Jesus to let go of the past. Trust in him. He wants us to move forward. It is important that we have a relationship with Jesus,” she said.

Also speaking was Marge Haley, manager of the Warren SCOPE Center, who said the non-profit organization has grown in the past 10 years.

She said because of COVID-19 all the SCOPE centers have been closed with plans to have them open in July. Services have been provided online.

Haley said everything from belly dancing, Zumba and ukulele classes are offered at the centers. She said the organization has a traveling food pantry that provides more than 400 meals a month. Since COVID-19 started, SCOPE has provided 4,000 bags of supplies such as cleaning supplies.

SCOPE started in 1962 and was taken over by Family and Community Services. Haley said plans are to have a branch in Ravenna.

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