Elvira met a man from America, and they fell in love, so she and her daughter moved from Mexico to the United States to be with him. Elvira had no family near her and had no way of telling people the man she thought she knew turned out to be cruel, abusive, and controlling. She felt like there was no way out. Over the course of two years, his controlling tendencies and abuse became worse and worse. It got to the point that Elvira wouldn’t leave the house because of the fear that he struck in her. She threatened to call the police but never did because she did not know what the cops would do since she was only married to an American citizen and not an American herself.
One night, Elvira’s daughter desperately called the police because she knew her mother would never call for help. The cops showed up and saw how Elvira was beaten. They immediately arrested her husband. The officers helped Elvira call a domestic abuse shelter, but it was full. A female police officer named Christina, who responded to the call, told Elvira that she would be back after she got off duty and take her and her daughter to a safe place that would help them.
Officer Christina made good on her word and took them to Faith Refuge. “From the first day we came to Faith Refuge everybody helped us,” Elvira said smiling. She talked about how she felt free since living at the homeless shelter. After she moved in, she quickly got a job and started making preparations for her daughter and herself to live on their own. According to them, one of the best things about living at Faith Refuge is getting to know the Lord on a deeper level. In their own words, “We gave our lives to the Lord.”
Abuse occurs in the lives of women every day. Elvira would like to encourage women who are in abusive situations to get out of them. “Even when they say ‘sorry,’ they will do it again,” shared Elvira. There is hope. Sometimes it is hard to see God’s Amazing Grace in the midst of heart-wrenching situations. Officer Christina is an example of God’s Amazing Grace occurring when we least expect it.
Elvira and her daughter have lived at the shelter for over eight months, and Elvira continues to work toward a better situation for them. She asked for people to pray that things will continue to fall into place and that they will move at a faster pace. Elvira also wants everyone who has helped her (Lamar Baptist Church, volunteers, Faith Refuge staff, and other organizations in the community) to know that she is very thankful for each of them.