Tonight, at the shelter, I met a 15 year old girl. This 15 year old was arrested when her youth leader was pulled over (without breaking any traffic laws) while driving her and other students home from youth group. When asked to show ID, the undocumented youth leader could not so the officer preceded to check the IDs of all in the car. Those without proper documentation were apprehended, including this 15 year old. The youth leader was deported and this 15 year old sent to the shelter. She actually praises God that she is in the shelter because she feels she is there for a reason. This 15 year old feels a calling on her life to love those who do not feel loved. She has found joy in the ugliest of situations and is trying to share that joy with the other girls. She is sharing that joy with her new friend, a 14 year old who also lives at the shelter.
This 14 year old is a mom to an almost 2 year old with special needs. She was repeatedly raped and became pregnant at the age of 11. This 14 year old has come to the realization that she is not capable of parenting her son at this time and so has agreed to let him go live with a foster family while she continues to work on her issues and prepare herself to be the mom she wants to be. She has made an extremely difficult and selfless decision. Fortunately, she has found support, purpose, and friendship in a little 7 year old.
Self proclaimed "best friend" of the 14 year old, this 7 year old has managed to create family amongst a bunch of broken, lonely teenage girls. She can make anyone smile and although she misses her parents very much, this 7 year old is very concerned with how the other girls are doing. She sits through our Friday night Bible studies aimed towards teenagers, I think, because she wants to ask for prayer at the end. She wants prayer for all the girls and their cases. She doesn't have much of anything, but she had a purple bead and she told me that she really wanted me to have it.
Three incredible girls that are no doubt changing my life. I believe we need these girls to teach us about Jesus' unending joy and peace, boldness in Christ, selflessness, grace, community, and the power of prayer.
I pray we do not deport them.