Judy Richichi grew up in a family with eight children and an abusive father.

Eventually, constant marital fights and the father’s aggressiveness led to divorce, leaving the children to figure out how to survive on their own, with only a mother suffering from schizophrenia left to look out for them. 

Judy says they were unable to pay for the medication needed to keep her mother well, and with the trauma her mother had experienced, she snapped.

"We didn't know what was going on. We just knew that when we would come home, it would be either Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde," says Richichi.

Shortly after her dad left, Richichi who was eight years old at the time, found her mother crying and she asked if everything was okay. 

"She looked at me and said, 'don't worry honey. Everything is going to be okay. God has a plan. Everyone is going to be fine. God has a plan for each one of you children. Everything will be okay,'" Richichi explains.

Just after that, Richichi says she was put into her first foster home. She says her mother's words kept her strong as the years went on.   

By the grace of God, and through the help of ordinary people along the way, they not only survived but developed a relationship with Christ. He transformed their lives and helped them achieve above and beyond anything they could have imagined.

Today on Connections, Judy shares her family's unbelievable faith journey out of poverty.