Friday, August 6, 2010


I spent the day with a bunch of boys from our Garnet Teen Center...always an adventure, to say the least. As we were driving home from a day at the beach, one of the boys read the sign as we got on the 405 south...towards San Diego. He said, "I'm not aloud to go there!" I reassured him that we were, in fact, going home and that he had nothing to worry about. Although I chuckled a little when he said that, it also struck me as kind of sad. See this young teen does not have papers...he is "illegal." He recognizes his lack of freedom.

I spent a long time talking to a friend of mine tonight. He is also undocumented and is in the middle of a messy court case trying to legalize his status. He has been in immigration detention for the last 2 years where he had to basically do whatever people told him to do. Now that he is out of custody, he has no idea what to do or how to make choices for himself. He is just waiting for time to pass, is how he explained it to me. He doesn't trust people around him and even more, he does not trust in himself. He has no control over what his future holds, as he is at the mercy of a pretty harsh immigration judge. He knows that even though he is out of custody for the time being, he could be apprehended and deported at any time. He recognizes his lack of freedom.

I have spent the last 4 years working along side a young man from my neighborhood. He came here as a young child but now is 19 and trying to sort out his life. He has some college credits and is planning on continuing, but is struggling to pay for the classes he needs. The words, "What's the point" too often come from his lips as he expresses his frustration with his life. Even if he can find a way to pay for his classes and graduate from college, he can not legally work. He could go back to Mexico but his whole life is here: his family, his community, his girlfriend, his ministry. His memories of Mexico are few and far between. So he stays...hoping for a miracle. In the meantime, he daily recognizes his lack of freedom.

Galations 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Tonight as I go to bed, my heart is heavy, as it often is after blogging. But tonight, I hold on to Christ's promise and I pray His truth over my beloved friends, with the hope that they can one day recognize the freedom He offers.