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Rose


Rose is now home with her mom and her family.


Two weeks ago, a sea of hundreds of men in yellow shorts and shirts sat in the intense sun, crammed into a very narrow, dusty prison yard.  All of these inmates were hoping that their legal file was sitting on our desk, waiting to be matched with a defense attorney.  Most of these remandees have never met with an attorney.


In front of the men, just about 10 feet from where we were working sat two rows of female inmates wearing yellow dresses. One even held her infant.  After they waited through the first day, we realized that none of the women had been called.  One of our team chatted with the guard to gather their names. We starting looking for their files.


We had only one file – Rose.


Rose was assigned to the next available attorney.  Lauryn was one of our team from the US. As they began discussing the case – two counts of theft, Lauryn probed Rose’s story further.  Some things didn’t add up.  Rose had been 17 when she was arrested which meant that she was a juvenile being held in an adult prison. 


Lauryn had received specialized training in identifying victims of human trafficking.  She was the only lawyer or law student in our group with such training.


As Rose’s story unraveled, her attorney realized that Rose had been trafficked.  She had been enticed hours from her home village for work as a house helper.  She’d never been paid, and in an effort to get home to her family, she’d taken a set of clothes and enough money for bus fare.  The man of the household accused her of theft and she’d been in prison for the past 4 months.


Through quick legal work, the prosecutor and judge both agreed that Rose should be released.  She was warned not to steal but the extenuating circumstances of the case allowed her to go home the next morning. The perpetrator will likely never be charged but Rose is now home with her family.


God provided for Rose extravagantly.  Normally, when prisoners are released, they are left on their own to get home or come up with the resources to take public transit. 


But Rose had more than one advocate that day.  She caught the eye of a couple of lovely guests of Pepperdine who were helping me sort files. They had followed Roses’ case.  They found out what time she would be released the next morning and put together a gift bag of clothes, food and the resources to start her new life.  They even paid for a private taxi to drive her home.  And to my delight, the taxi driver who took her home was our favorite airport driver who we’ve known for 3 years.  He’s never known what we do.


Abdul, ferried Rose home in style.  It felt a bit like Mary pouring lavish oil on Jesus’ feet.  When they arrived at her home, to the surprise of her family, Abdul took the time to video her homecoming and send the video our way.  I’m not including the second video he sent of Rose’ mom in glorious prayer of praise and thanksgiving.  It seems too sacred to put on the internet but please know that God was honored for rescuing Rose.


And more good news –


ROSE WAS NOT ALONE


We found the file for another woman.  A woman in almost identical circumstances. Again, Lauryn, in her third year of law school, secured the freedom of a young trafficking victim who went home to her children the next day.


Lawyers like Lauryn are going to change the world.


What an honor to work with so many passionate, young, gifted seekers of justice.


“Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.” 

C.S. Lewis


Rose's family rejoicing in the surprise of her homecoming.

2 Comments


karenejohnson2
Mar 18

This is such a beautifully story! And it highlights the importance of the work you are doing there to change lives forever. Thank you- from the bottom of my heart. I have tears in my eyes, and joy in my heart reading these stories of freedom. I hold you both in my prayers as you continue to faithfully serve where God has called you. Sending much love, Karen

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Steve Norris
Steve Norris
Mar 18

CS Lewis had it all right.

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