International Ministries

Update from Becky Hall, Volunteer in Mexico

May 13, 2011 Journal
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Queridos Hermanos en Cristo,

Many things have happened here in Deborah's House since the last time that I wrote to you.  But first of all, let me tell you about the albergadas themselves.  We have three families here at the moment.  Two of them are families I met while working here in the fall.  One of the women arrived a little over a year ago, with a seven-year-old, a two-month year old baby, and a face that was black and blue.  Since she arrived, she has been working, trying to avoid her ex-husband, and trying to figure out where she and her two sons should go when they leave us.  A few days ago she decided that it will be best for them to go back to the village in the south of Mexico where she grew up.  They can stay with her family there while she studies for her high school degree, so that wherever she goes, she will have access to more opportunities for herself and her family.

The other albergada whom I already knew, arrived in November with a two-year old son and a bulging belly.  Her quiet little boy clung to her so badly that it was as if he too wanted to return to the comfort and safety of her womb, rather than the harsh world that he was accustomed to.  How things have changed.  Now this small son not only walks, he runs.  He not only talks, he laughs.  He is finally comfortable enough with the world around him to explore, to ask questions, to get into trouble.  And as for the belly, it is now quite a bit smaller.  Her little girl, who she named after one of the missionaries who works at the shelter, is one month old.  Last Sunday she presented them at the local church, where the pastor prayed for both their futures.

And finally we come to the third family.  It is hard to know where to start.  She was kidnapped at sixteen years old by the man she called her husband.  He made her pretend to her family that she had gone with him willingly, and threatened her that if she ever told the truth to anyone, he would kill them all.  Imelda describes herself as peleonera - someone who always picks fights, but around her husband she became a shell of her former self.  Despite this, he beat her severely, once leaving her paralyzed for two days.  He also beat her four children.  If you ask her sons what they want to be when they grow up, they will tell you that they want to be narcos, so that they can kill their father.  And the cycle of violence continues.

These are the families that we are working with right now, and these are the situations that they come from.  It is hard to imagine how these women can have the strength and courage to overcome their pasts, and all that has been said and done to them, especially, in some cases, without the support of family or friends.  There are times when they feel discouraged and all alone, and it is all that we can do to try and show them that they are not.  Please pray for these three beautiful women, that they can survive in a world that, at best, seems stacked against them.

Becky