Hope for Milagro?
A warm bed, dry clothes and the security of friends and family are the challenges I am encountering here in Tijuana. It is not my discomfort or safety that I am referring to, although this week has been harder than usual. For us to stay warm in fifty degree temperatures, cool rain, and cold concrete floors and walls has been a challenge
No, I am talking about the end of the caravan. What life is like for Hondurans, Guatemalans, El Salvadorans, and a Nicaraguan who move through a foreign land, and then through a dangerous border in Chiapas, Mexico? What is it like to move slowly through a country of people that historically don't like them, especially when they are uninvited guests?
All politics aside, consider what it is like for a young 15 year old named Milagro who left El Salvador with her sister of 13 years and her father. The goal was to come to Mexico to start a new life far from the danger of the gangs which flanked her high school. The promise? It was to travel from that present danger. It was to go with her estranged father whom she had recently reunited. He had reentered her life and gave her a renewed hope.
The girls left their mother behind in the hopes of a new life ahead. The plan: leave El Salvador, travel through Guatemala and settle in Mexico. Success! They made it! However, once in Mexico their father told his daughters that he was going to the US whether they came or not. The girls wanted to stay with the group. But he was determined so he left them to survive on their own. Milagro turned to a man for solace, a man in Chiapas. She thought she would stay in southern Mexico and live with him. But that relationship failed. Abandonment and loneliness has been a theme all of her life.
Milagro and her sister left Chiapas and continued north. I saw her today in her final destination, Tijuana. She came to me to affirm her question, "am I healthy"? She is now 22 weeks pregnant. Fortunately, God's grace is moving around her and Agapé Church is providing the opportunity for obstetrical care for the rest of her pregnancy.
Milagro is a wanderer-a young woman without a home and without a family. She is wandering in a land of hostility. Disappointment, betrayal and abandonment follow her and color her decisions.
Will she ever be able to trust again, and who will she trust if she does?