IT’s been nine months since I visited my old church in Guatemala City. This time I was able to bring five people from my new church in Van Nuys AND my pastor from Santa Monica, Rob Scribner of the Lighthouse Church. It’s exciting to see how God is rescuing people.
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Both moms were convinced that pregnant 15-year-old Diana wasn’t old enough to be a mom. They thought she would be dumping off her baby for either mom to raise, and neither wanted the duties. The solution was obvious and logical.
The young teen received an ultimatum: get an abortion or move out.
Pressured and confused, not knowing any options, Eric and Diana – naturally – scheduled the appointment to terminate their unplanned pregnancy. No one would ever know – and not because they lived in Las Vegas, but because that’s the way abortion laws work.
But a funny thing happened. The nurse called Diana’s name once, then twice over the public address system. It was time to hand over the money and terminate the pregnancy.
But Eric Pagan looked at his girlfriend, and she looked at him.
“Let’s just get out of here,” he said.
They stood up together and skipped out.
Just this June, Bianka – a strikingly beautiful teen with pink rose petal cheeks – graduated from high school in the San Fernando Valley. She’s planning to earn a teaching credential. She cares for her four younger siblings. And she broke the cycle of teenage pregnancy. She’ll wait until marriage. Now, for the parents, it’s inconceivable that she almost didn’t come into existence.
“Not once in my life did I ever regret NOT having the abortion,” Diana said. “No matter how hard things got, how hostile the relationship between my husband and I became, we’ve never ever regret, NOT having the abortion.”
How Eric and Diana met and fell in love is not the plot line of a fairy tale. He was running from police heat in his neighborhood. A gang leader, Eric saw patrol cars prowling his neighborhood, and he figured the cops were looking for him.
When some acquaintances cruised past, he jumped in front of their car and asked for a ride. His buddy was with him and remembered a certain señorita in another neighborhood at whose house he figured they could hang out.
That’s where Eric saw the dark brown eyes of Diana. He had time to kill, so he tried to strike up a conversation with her. It was no easy matter because she spoke Spanish exclusively.
Of mostly Hawaian descent, Eric didn’t know much Spanish. What he knew was the rough lingo of the streets where words were used to steal cars and fight rivals.
So what sparked the romance? Cupid’s arrow smote not “in spite of” but “because of” the communication barrier. She could only understand the most rudimentary English, and he had to be careful not to use street Spanish laced with expletives.
It was a challenge to get to know each other, and the challenge made it an adventure. The difficulty of conquering Diana was part of the attraction.
It was a challenge also because she was dating someone else – a fact she tried to communicate to Eric to throw water on his evident interest. He either didn’t understand or didn’t care.
Eric kept visiting the dark-haired beauty secretly. Sometimes, he would tap on her window after midnight, and they would talk – or TRY to talk.
Their romance had all the precursors of an unwanted pregnancy. He was 17, a mere two years older.
“Our parents told us to get an abortion, but I had a feeling come upon me not to do it,” Eric said.
Uncertainty prevailed in Diana’s heart. “I felt cornered. I had only known my husband for six months. My mom felt she was going to end up raising my baby, so she said, ‘Either get an abortion or move out.’ To me, I kind of didn’t even know this guy, so I only saw the option of going through with the abortion.” Find out how Diana heard a lucid baby’s cry the night before she was considering abortion.
I have been in a flurry of reporting and editing student reporters. I enjoy this. But I haven’t updated y’all on the progress of my start-up church. We have revival, despite myself. The church has doubled with the addition of another family, with lots of kids. They are kind people and have a heart for evangelism.
Do you want to evangelize the world? Go to Super King supermarkets in Los Angeles. It caters to immigrants with all kinds of exotic foods. We evangelized Arabs, Persians, Armenians, Greeks, Latins, Jews, Egyptians all in one night of evangelism recently.
It’s been too cold to meet at Lake Balboa, so we have been meeting in my apartment. Fortunately, it’s an old one, which means it’s spacious. The newer apartments are really small. We cram 20 people into that front room. Keep praying because it’s working!