Nancy: Working at age 11

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By: Sherri B.

Nancy came to Carmel Shelter more than seven years ago directly from a prison for young teenaged asylum seekers.  Nancy had actually come with her mother, Miriam, and younger brother and sister from Egypt but they were separated soon after crossing the border and she was sent to a prison for "unaccompanied minors.”  We could see that she was a very bright and sensitive girl but had clearly suffered much in her young life.  Born in Sudan, she never knew her own father and her mother, who was born into a Christian family, married a Muslim man who took them into his home near Khartoum.  The husband and his family began to put tremendous pressure on Nancy’s mother to convert to Islam, even threatening their lives.  No longer able to live in such fear, Miriam took the three children and fled to Egypt where they stayed for several years.  

Due to the pressure for money, Nancy’s mother forced her to begin working at age 11 in the house of an Egyptian doctor.  Nancy stayed there for five years, not going to school and never knowing the life of a "normal” teen.  Their home life was unstable, sometimes violent, and Miriam decided to attempt the dangerous journey on foot across the Egyptian border into Israel.  In the dead of night, they walked until they were picked up, like so many others, by Israeli soldiers.  After spending a year in separate prisons, the family was reunited at Carmel Shelter.

After knocking on a number of doors, we were able to get Nancy into a program where she could make up for the years of schooling she had missed and earn her high school degree.  The day she graduated—with special commendation—was a proud day for all of us!  She has come a long way from being a traumatized young girl to a genuine woman of God, loving the Lord with all her heart and seeking His will for the next step in her life.  Her dream is to be a nurse but, sadly, her future is an unknown.  Due to the current refugee policy, it is doubtful whether she will be allowed to remain in Israel as much as she would love to do so.  She has even wondered whether God may open a door for her to go to Canada!  We want only His perfect plan to be fulfilled in her life and appreciate prayers for this precious child of the King.     

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