This past Sunday evening (November 5) was powerful. Unfortunately, due to the weather, a lot of people were unable to attend and yet, we still had well over 50 people show up to hear 9 DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients share their story with us at Emerson Avenue Baptist Church. The recipients were from various South American countries, all were 9 or younger when they came to the US (One was just two years old) and currently had jobs and/or were in College. Here are some of the jobs they had or were working toward: a welder, a doctor, a dental assistant, real estate agent and a pastor. One was 18 years old and the rest were in their mid to late 20’s. A few were on the Dean’s list, all paid taxes, all lived in daily fear that DACA could end without any notice and they could be deported, all simply wanted a good life, all considered USA their home, and all were trusting that the Lord would guide them and protect them. There were lots of tears and “Aha!” moments for those who listened. At the end of our time together we gathered around these nine brave young people to lay hands on them as Pastor Ben, from Lynhurst Baptist Church, prayed over them. It was powerful and it was holy.
Below are some random comments made in the 90-minute time frame:
- I have worked hard to get good grades and was in pre-med until I was told I cannot get in to a medical school because I am not a citizen.
- My memories, my identity, and all my friends are here. I have lived here for over 20 years, this is my home.
- I have often been bullied, made fun of, and have been physically attacked three different times because of the color of my skin. But I do not break the law, I am a good student, and I am a hard worker.
- I could get married and solve the issue but I consider marriage to be sacred and I don’t want to dishonor it, God or another person to protect myself.
- I didn’t choose where I was born any more than any of you. I didn’t even choose to come here. But I was sent here because of the extreme poverty and gang violence in the country I was born. Nothing has changed there and I don’t want to go back. Who would?
- God has blessed me richly. I love to work and I always wanted to dress in a suit, work in an office and drive a nice car. And I even paid for a house for my parents. I am a good citizen, but I am not a citizen.
- God has the last word and I trust him. If I am deported, I will be taken away from my two children who were born here. But just as God has watched over me, he will watch over them, too…but I will miss them so much. I love them.