Maria Jose took a deep breath and leaned back into the clear, cool water. She felt it cover her face, and a split second later, is immersed and brought back up to standing. The onlookers standing around the pool cheered loudly.
In the heat of the Mazatlán sun, Maria Jose, Nazmin, and Grecia are getting baptized.
Maria Jose is a young girl overcoming difficulties and seeking a Father who will bring her strength and love.
“We went to a youth retreat as a family,” explains Gennie Castro, Mazatlán Hope Parent. “Initially Maria Jose was very closed off; she only went because everyone else was, but she didn’t want to talk about what was happening or absorbing anything going on at the camp.”
On the last day of the retreat, Gennie and her husband Jorge, saw a softening begin to occur in Maria Jose. “She began worshipping openly,” Gennie recalls. “She was touched, that much was clear.”
Once home from the retreat, Maria Jose began asking to attend youth group and little by little, she opened up about what she was learning. She told her friends about the changes going on inside of her, inviting them to church, and encouraging them to attend youth group.
As she continued to grow in her faith, getting to know her Father and who she is in Him, she drew boundaries with friends who had been a bad influence, focusing on becoming a healthier version of herself.
“She recently did an activity in youth group where they had to say ‘who I was‘ and then fill in ‘who I am,'” shared Gennie. “Rebel was the word she wrote for who she was. But then she showed us what she had written for ‘who I am.'”
I am the daughter of the King of Kings.