Posted on by Bonnie Rodriguez

We met Rose a year and a half ago when she was 14 at the detention center. Rose faced some severe charges, including the possibility of being tried as an adult. Each week, we visited her and allowed for some time to pray and develop a meaningful relationship.

Rose comes from a very traumatic environment. Her mother is an addict, her father is deceased, and she has been stealing food to get by since she was 10 years old. We took advantage of every moment spent with her and used it to pour into her life. We reminded her that although she was detained, she could have freedom in Christ.

After a few months of detainment, the court reached a verdict on her behalf: she would not be tried as an adult, but would be sent to a maximum-security residential facility. As daunting as that might read, THIS WAS AN ANSWERED PRAYER. That facility is not located in Miami-Dade County, but we were able to keep in touch with her by writing to her and obtained consent to receive calls from her.

Fast-forward to today, and Rose is currently home, looking to start a new life by getting a job and completing her schooling. I will never forget the words she wrote in one of her letters: "Happy Thanksgiving. I love you! I'm grateful for you, for being alive, for you guys showing me how love should really feel, for God showing me that I really am worth of love & happiness & that my past doesn't define me." No matter what happens to Rose, we know that she is convinced of her worth in God’s eyes and believe that is the start to a changed life.

Amy Villatoro
JJM Girls Mentor Program Manager

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