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Javi’s Story. The Baptists

For the first time I see the beauty of Texas.

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Texas sunset on the road to shelter for immigrant children. Photo: Tony Carnes/A Journey through NYC religions

Texas sunset on the road to Baptist shelter for immigrant children. Photo: Tony Carnes/A Journey through NYC religions

THE BAPTISTS

Wednesday, December 4, 2012

At 8:00 pm I learn that I may be moved from La Hielera! A policewoman calls names from a list in her hands.

“Francisco Reyes!” she says.

“I am here! “I am here!”

“Get ready you will be moved to another place.”

I go to get into a van at McAllen, Texas, which then starts moving. The van is different from the ones that I have ridden before. This one has big unobstructed windows. For the first time I see the beauty of Texas.

Baptists sponsored this Child and Family Services Dormitory in Texas. Photo: BCSF

Baptists sponsored this Child and Family Services Dormitory in Texas. Photo: BCSF

 

We arrive at a place where there were three big buildings with a sign, “Baptist Church Family Service – Shelters.” The people from the Baptist Church greet us with food and clothes. They also offer me the opportunity to speak with my mom on the phone.

I have not spoken with her for almost 40 days. When I hear her voice and she hears mine, we both start to cry. My mom had thought that I was dead.

The people give me only ten minutes to talk with her, so I just tell her, “Do not worry, Mom. I am in place where I have food and clothes and a bed. I am okay, and everything will work out. I love you! Tell Isamari that I am okay!”

It is 9:00 pm now and I have to sleep because there are rules in this place. But I am so happy! God, only you can make all the things new. Thanks for never leaving me alone.

Texas Baptists pray in McAllen outside immigrant processing center. Photo: Leah Allen/Texas Baptist Communications

Texas Baptists pray in McAllen outside immigrant processing center. Photo: Leah Allen/Texas Baptist Communications

Thursday, December 17, 2012

This place is wonderful. I just want to say that God is amazing! He never leaves his sons alone!

Of course, every day I do the same thing -- sleep, eat, take a shower, and watch TV. I am eating three times a day! They also have a small nursing room where they are healing my wounds.

Every minor here is given the opportunity to get a lawyer to ask the court to allow him or her to stay here in the United States. You can only do this if you have someone who can legally take care of you. Since I came here, I have a lawyer taking all the information that my uncles and mom are sending. When the lawyer gets all the information that she needs, I will go to the court and see if the judge will allow me to stay with my uncle in New York City.

In the meantime, I am going to school—not a public school, but a private school only for the teenagers here at the shelter. The most important and wonderful thing is that people from Christian and Catholic churches come to this place so we have the option to choose a church and hear about God. No more cold, no more hunger, no more thirst. I also have the opportunity to speak with my mother two times a week, God bless these people.

It is nice here, but I do not want to stay here for Christmas and New Year! I just want to be with my family in New York.

Sister Pimental runs a rescue center for immigrants at Santa Rosa Catholic Church in Mcallen, Texas. Here she and co-workers listen to streaming video of Pope Francis across the border in Reynosa, Mexico earlier this year. Photo: A Journey through NYC religions

Sister Pimental runs a rescue center for immigrants at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in McAllen, Texas. Here she and co-workers listen to streaming video of Pope Francis across the border in Reynosa, Mexico earlier this year. Photo: A Journey through NYC religions

Next: what does Javi do for Christmas and New Year’s?

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