They were going to kill him just because he crossed the street. He didn’t want to cross the street. But the car they wanted him to fix was on that side of the street. It was broken down and they couldn’t move it. And he is a mechanic. So he crossed the street. But that side of the street was the rival gang’s side. Within minutes, he was spotted, and surrounded, and they already started roughing him up, and they had his shoes, shirts, and pants off and he was just in his underwear.

I didn’t know that this was happening. I was washing clothes on my old washboard on our little backyard, but I was filled with dread suddenly. Like someone punched me in the gut. I just dropped the shirt I was washing back into the concrete sink, and I fell to my knees and prayed. God, I said. I don’t know what is happening, but please watch over, please keep my loved ones safe, please help me, God! I prayed on and on.

My son came back while I was still praying and he came flying around the mango tree in his boxer shorts and no shoes and no clothes and a look of terror on his face! He told me what had happened, and we sat on the little bench and we were both shaking and trembling. He said right when someone knocked him down and he was waiting for the death blow, he heard the voice on his friend calling out for them to stop!

It turns out that this sweet girl that he has known since they were babies, a neighbor kid who had played under our very mango tree, in the very backyard where I was praying, had walked by and seen what they were doing. One of the guys in that gang, I am sad to say, but also happy in this case, is her cousin. She called out, “Stop what you are doing! You don’t even look at who it is before you start harming someone! This is my friend!” He lives in thus and such a place and he knows thus and such people, she explained to her cousin.

Then she turned aside to my son and whispered, “Run for your life!” He turned and fled without clothes or tools and without looking back and he himself cannot say what happened behind him because like Lot’s wife in the bible he didn’t look back. Oh! Actually, she did look back, and that was the end of her. But my son didn’t look back, and he was saved. Haha! I am so nervous just talking about this that I am mixing up my bible stories!

So I told him I could feel that something was happening and I had asked God to intervene but now we needed to remember that God helps those who help themselves and he needed to get out of the country right away. I cannot tell you how he ended up in Europe because I don’t really understand the highways and byways of all of that travelling. He left with a bus ticket and then he was in God’s hands and ended up way over there. That’s all I know.

And now we have a new challenge to face that is testing our faith because he just lost his political asylum appeal in Europe and they are going to deport him back home and if he goes anywhere near our old place and anyone recognizes him, they will kill him. He thought Europe would be more forgiving than the United States, but they are worse, and they especially don’t like to receive young men, I found out. People come up to him and tell him he should go home and fight, and protect his family. But how do you protect your family against the gangs?

I have to believe that God has a plan, and I try so hard to believe it. But it is hard for me right now and I catch myself doubting. And I have to admit, sincerely, that I do wish God could reveal the plan to me so I could be at peace. I wish I could understand why all this is happening, so it would make sense to me. May God forgive me for my lack of humility and trust. He has shown me more than I ever wanted to see, and I am only a weak human. So why do I ask to see more? Who am I? A speck of dust! And I know I have to be grateful that most of my loved ones are still alive. I have to trust Him! I have to. May God have mercy on me, a poor sinner.