*Julie is a young 15 year old girl in Central America. She enjoys many of the same things that girls everywhere enjoy. Romantic comedies, dancing, and enjoys talking about boys with her friends.
Julie had her first boyfriend when she was 15. She loved the attention that he gave her, the gifts he brought her, and how she felt like all eyes were on her when she was with him. But her boyfriend had a dark secret. He was part of a gang called Mara Salvatrucha, or M.S.13 for short. The MS gang are responsible for some of the worst cases of trafficking we have seen in Central America.
Julie's boyfriend became violent. Beating her and wanting her to have sex with his friends for money. She refused and broke up with him. When she broke it off with him he said "if you leave me, I will kill your mother and your little sister." Seeing this an an empty threat from a mad teenage boy, she promptly left him.
She arrived home that night to the lifeless bodies of her sister and mother. He was also there, he raped her, and then left the house.
As a result of the rape, Julie became pregnant with a little girl and was placed in an aftercare home far from the city. She struggled when the baby was born, seeing her reminded Julie of what was done to her family. Julie also felt a great amount of grief for what had occurred, blaming herself for breaking up with the boy.
Julie began to realize after some time how much she loved her daughter, and how her daughter meant the world to her and in a way gave her a new beginning. She also came to learn that what happened to her was not her fault. It was him that pulled the trigger and who committed violence against her. Rape victims are NEVER at fault for what has happened to them.
Gifts of Grace stepped into Julie's life to help her chase her dreams of becoming a chef. We were able to providing funding to her to attend cooking classes as well as providing her some additional funding for the professional clothing gear that she wanted in order to present herself in a more official capacity.
It was YOU who allowed us to meet Julie on her journey and come along side her to help her achieve her dreams. As her daughter continues to grow, she sees more and more that this is a new beginning that she has. She is taking advantage of every opportunity.
To continue to walk with Julie, donate today at