A Story of Jaco

Yesterday a taxi pulled up outside the gate of the Jaco Ministry Property where we work. I recognized the man who stepped out immediately. (I’m not sharing names in this post).

I recognized him because he came by before – over a month ago – and droped off a beautiful young girl. As he was leaving he whispered in my ear urgently, “Help Her!!” I didn’t have any information beyond that, and unfortunately it happened at a moment when things were really hectic. I managed to chat with her a little bit and asked her if there was anything she wanted to talk about. She said no and skated for a few minutes, then left.

Since then I’ve seen her frequently around town – riding her skateboard, sitting on a curb. We always wave and greet each other.

Well, yesterday he showed up again. Turns out he’s a taxi driver who sees the ins and outs of what happens in this town. He said he’s very concerned for this girl. She is 14,  has no family here, is living with another girl who was going to help her, but ended up not being much help. She is turning to prostitution to get money and spending most of her time on the streets.

“We have to do something,” he said. And he had a plan. “I’m going to tell her that she can come here and have free English classes.” We both agreed this was a good plan. Maybe if she comes here, gets to know us, gets some support, meets other positive people, things could turn around for her before she heads any further down this path.

As he drove away I walked back towards the rancho and tears streamed down my face. It’s hard to imagine a 14 year old girl walking the streets of this town at night alone. Selling herself.

I just began praying for her and for others like her. I began praying for this property. Somehow the community knows that this is a place of hope and light. There’s so much more we could be doing.

We need to be able to live there to be more available. I’m praying for a way for us to move in quickly.

Thank you for joining with your prayers.

~Leslie

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