Monday, October 20, 2008

Issac before Me

So I am going to paste in a section of a letter that Issac wrote while we were still petitioning U.S. government officials for assistance in our immigration case for the States. This is how Issac got to be in St. Louis in the first place.

I was 19, and dating a girl from St. Louis who I met at the church I used to go to in Mexico. She visited my church while on a mission’s trip and we got to know each other during that time. When she returned to St. Louis, she asked me if I wanted to go to her prom, meet her family and spend a few days there. I agreed. I then planned to go to Houston, where I would stay to work with my family. My thoughts at the time were, “if I can’t get across the border, I will just go back home.” I was a 19-year-old kid. I was na├»ve and never even considered the consequences that doing something like this could bring into my life.

To be honest, most of the people that knew of my trip were skeptical about it since I didn’t have a plan or a “coyote”. I didn’t pay anyone to bring me across, nor did I have to spend a ridiculous amount of money. I can’t say that I a proud of my actions; this whole thing has caused me more problems than I ever could have imagined.

I got my one-way bus ticket to the border. When I got to the border it was around 4 or 5 o’clock. I headed for the bridge. There was a group of college students who had apparently visited Mexico for the day and were going back to Brownsville. I joined their group, walking next to them. There were a lot of people at the border crossing that day and it was rather chaotic. The officer appeared to be overwhelmed by the amount of people that needed to cross and just waived everyone through without checking paperwork from anybody, thus I entered the United States with absolutely no issue.

I went to an exchange house and got some US currency. I remember that I had about $70 all together. I then went to the local bus station and headed to Houston. I was tired and all I had with me were the clothes on my back. Once I arrived to Houston, I called my uncle, who couldn’t believe that I was really there. They were at work, so I had to wait for them to pick me up. Around 6 o’clock they picked me up, they couldn’t believe that I was really there.

I felt like I was daydreaming. I hugged my family and wept for a while. We then headed to my uncle’s house where I ate dinner then called my mother and Aunt Betty in Mexico to let them know that I made it to Houston safely. I visited some other relatives, and then that same night, got on a bus at 1:00 am to head to St. Louis. My cousin lent me some clothes to take. It took until 10 p.m. to finally arrive. Once in St. Louis, I called my former girlfriend and she came to pick me up. I stayed at her father’s house that night. We went to the prom together and toured St. Louis.

A couple of days later, one of Lauren’s friends invited us over for dinner. She happened to be an exchange student from Mexico. We ate dinner with the host family and while we were there, they asked me what my plans were. I told them that I was heading back to Houston to live there. Then the Host father asked me very seriously if I wanted to stay with them and work for them.

I never expected something like this from someone that didn’t even know me. They told me that they had a partially finished basement. I took the offer immediately. I called my mother to tell her and called my uncle to inform him that I would not be returning to Houston. I started working for my new host parents.

The first Sunday I was there, I went to an Assembly of God church, where I met Tim and Kristy Cobillas. (Former youth pastors of that church). We talked after the service and I found out that Sunday was their last Sunday to serve at that church. They felt called to start a mission focused on young adults.

I spent the summer in St. Louis and then moved to Houston since Lauren (my former girlfriend) was heading to Florida to go to college. I lived with my cousins and worked with them doing construction. I attended a Hispanic church and for the following year, this was pretty much my life routine.

After a while, I missed St. Louis and wanted to go back. I ended up talking to my host parents who were happy for me to come back. Lauren also moved back to St. Louis and decided that she would go to college there as well.

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