From Tears to Triumph, My Journey to The House of Hope

I started blogging about my journey in writing, editing, polishing and publishing my book, From Tears to Triumph. Now that the book is published, I will blog about aspects of the book: finding hope, making sound life choices, The Children of God, Costa Rica, sex-trade, redemption.

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Retirement - Is it time?

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After twenty-six years as a vocational rehabilitation counselor and five years as a forensic expert on work-place disability, I figured I’d paid my dues and “retirement” would be my next step in life. Then, the opportunity to start writing my memoir, From Tears to Triumph presented itself, so instead of retiring and perfecting my ever elusive golf swing, and working tirelessly on intricate West Coast Swing and Line Dance moves, I spent three years writing the memoir and then thought it was time to retire.

However, writing and publishing a book, I discovered, is like giving birth and there’s much to be done once the book pops into the world. So…for the last thirteen months I have been on the book promotion/marketing/speaking turnpike. From Tears to Triumph, My Journey to The House of Hope is selling, lives are being touched and the message of God’s grace and mercy is being shared around the world: Ireland, Australia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Brazil, Mexico, Canada and throughout the United States. So…now is it time to retire I asked myself?

“No, not yet,” I answered. I felt led to hire a translator and translate the book into Spanish: De Lagrimas a Triunfo. As of this week, that goal has been accomplished as I hold the Spanish book in my hands. So, NOW is it time to take it easy? Not quite yet.

Over the last six months, I have felt internal “promptings” telling me my work for the Lord has come full circle. Those many years ago, God led me to work with underage prostitutes and street girls in Costa Rica. Suddenly I began hearing and reading news stories about sex-trafficking of minors right here in my backyard, Sacramento--and the more I looked into this, the more the urgings came to “get involved!” And…as Spirit would have it, just as the English book was being published last year, I found out about another safe-haven for sex-trafficked girls in Costa Rica (the first to open since the House of Hope closed). Coincidence?

What now Lord? Is all I can think to ask.

In just a few weeks I’ll be completing a certification program to work with Courage House, the safe-haven and rehabilitation center for sex-trafficked minors here locally; and in October, Lord willing, I’ll be back in Costa Rica, volunteering at Saving Hearts, the safe-haven for minors there.

My golf clubs still beckon me, and the dance shoes are waiting to be strapped on, but I don’t know if I’ll ever get to that point in my life when I feel, “I’m done.” So, stay tuned as I fly and flit around the country and the world, reaching out to help others. If YOU feel those same urgings, be part of the solution and volunteer for Courage Worldwide; and/or donate to Saving Hearts.

You WILL be blessed. I promise. Jesus says, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35.

Courage Worldwide:

Saving Hearts:






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Award-winning author, Linda Bello-Ruiz, was born and raised in Redwood Valley, a small grape growing community in Northern California. Linda co-founded and directed the House of Hope—the first safe-haven for street girls, runaways, and sex-trafficked minors in Costa Rica. She was a twenty-three-year-old college dropout when she took on the project, and relied on her faith and determination which was much bigger than her curriculum vitae.

After her return to the United States in 1976, she went back to college and earned her Master’s Degree in Psychology from Sonoma State University. Ms. Bello-Ruiz worked in the vocational rehabilitation field as a bilingual counselor for twenty-six-years, and as a vocational forensic expert on disability for five of those years.

Linda is president of The Authors Resource Group and Faith Writers of SCLH, a member of Inspire Christian Writers and Destiny Church, and is an active member of the Northern California Publishers and Authors group and the United for Barra Association in Mexico, and an Ambassador for Courage Worldwide.

Ms. Bello-Ruiz speaks to clubs and organizations on her experiences in moving beyond despair into hope—advocating for groups whose mission is to combat sex trafficking and provide a safe haven for girls rescued from the sex trade.

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