Written by: Anonymous
“I used to do bad things,” said Alex as he adjusted his wire framed glasses over his short-cropped blond hair. Alex had come to the US with his family as religious refugees from Ukraine, where the communist Soviet regime harshly persecuted Christians for routine activities like taking a child to church. As his parents busied themselves with learning English and looking for work, strapping teenage Alex fell in with the wrong crowd. Car prowling and burglaries got him several stints in the country jail, mortifying his parents and members of their church.
Now he was sitting behind a glass window in the detention facility in his orange jail coveralls facing a deportation order to send him back to the Ukraine. Deportation could mean a ten year separation from his family with no certain means of sustaining himself. In reality, he might never be able to come to the U.S. again.
But four months ago his spiritual life had taken a significant turn. Just before he was incarcerated in the Immigration Detention Center, he had given his life to Jesus Christ.
Alex spoke in his accented English to Cal with confidence. “You know, my life has changed. I know that even if I am sent to the Ukraine, God will go with me and help me with my life there.” Cal marveled at this young believer’s strength and confidence in God.
“I will try to write a letter for you on your behalf,” Cal promised. When Cal corroborated his story with Alex’s parents and his pastor they all said that Alex’s life changed from night to day. Cal hoped his letter would help keep this young man in the country.
When his case came to the judge, against all odds, the deportation was overturned and Alex was released to live in the U.S.; released to be with his family. “I want to help you with the detention ministry,” he told Cal as soon as he was released. Now Alex spends his energies with World Relief’s Detention Ministry helping his former fellow detainees.