When missionaries to Mexico, Jason and Nicole Fitzpatrick, first met 13-year-old Maria a few months ago, they learned that she had been living on the streets of Mexico City for three weeks. She had run away from home, because her drug-addicted mother was renting her to other drug addicts for sex for the equivalent of $4 per day. With that money, Maria’s mother financed her own drug habit.
Maria had found temporary refuge in the home of a compassionate Mexican pastor and his wife, Estevan and Rebecca, but when Maria’s mother and boyfriend discovered where she was hiding, they retrieved her under the protection of Mexican custody law. Jason and Nicole knew that permanently rescuing Maria would require the help of a qualified attorney, and they asked for our help. We were happy to provide $750 from our Human Trafficking Fund to meet that need.
Armed with an attorney and the law on their side, Jason and Nicole returned to Maria’s mother’s house to retrieve her. Upon their arrival, however, they learned that Maria had run away again, and her mother had no idea where she was. Maria’s mother did, however, reluctantly sign the papers they had brought, releasing custody of her daughter.
Jason and Nicole requested our prayers as they searched for Maria using every contact and resource they had available. Two days later, she was found, sleeping behind a pile of used clothing in a market.
Maria had not run away again, as her mother had told Jason and Nicole. Rather, her mother had rented her to a middle-aged drug addict who had repeatedly raped her. Seizing an opportunity to escape when he was strung out, Maria sought refuge at the home of a family “friend” who also attempted to rape her. Thirteen-year-old Maria ran back to the streets of Mexico City to find refuge.
Maria is now in the legal custody of Pastor Estevan and Rebecca who had opened their doors to her previously. She has a long road ahead of her as she heals from the abuse of her past and learns to trust her new family. But for the first time in her life, she is experiencing the love of a mother and father as well as the love of Jesus. Thank you for helping us to “rescue the perishing” (Prov. 24:11).