- Promote the book Left In America, The Story of Juan Terrazas
- To bring awareness to the 300,000 children who have been left in America and ways to help these children.
- To support HIS Girl program and other programs that work with the children who have been left in America and the children of undocumented immigrants.
- To promote a documentary and/or news on the subject
- To develop additional programs, books, and materials concerning the children that have been left in America and the undocumented immigrant family
In 2009, the Pastor at Trinity Church Dallas began talking about members who volunteered. He mentioned a young man who came on his own during the week to help around the building; vacuuming carpets, cleaning windows, dusting, and anything else that needed to be done. Pastor Joe Martin was talking about Juan Terrazas.
Juan was a member of Youth With A Mission (YWAM Dallas). Through the Director of YWAM, David Funke, founding members of the organization grew to know Juan and the other children the mission served in East Dallas.
One Sunday after church, one of our Left In America founders, Debbie Walker Blair, and Juan were visiting. Juan was talking about his life and how his music had become his way of communicating his journey. Debbie immediately heard the voice of God saying this story needs to be told. It’s a story of those who are lost and find love and hope in Jesus Christ by developing faith in him and his chosen path.
Several Sundays later, Ed & Debbie Blair had the privilege of listening while Juan told us the full version of how he came to live at YWAM. We sat in amazement as we heard how he was brought to America at the age of 5, how his dad was deported and his mother followed her husband back to Mexico. We couldn’t imagine leaving a young boy of just 14 years old in another country. More than that, it was hard to believe that a young boy left on the streets of Dallas at such a young age, could turn out to be the fine young man we were having lunch with.
We could not get Juan’s story out of our heads until one morning Debbie said, “You know, the story needs to be told, the story about children who have been left in America after their parents are deported.” We both realized Juan and his story should be told to others.
During this process of writing Juan’s story, our eyes were opened even more to how “normal” Juan’s story is. After researching and talking to people, we realized how many children in America have similar stories. America needs to be challenged to do something about the children who have been left in America; Churches, Christian Organizations, and Christians have a choice to make. The plight of the children of illegal immigrants is a problem that isn’t talked about or addressed and has no easy solution outside of the individual acts of love and care by Christians who love God and love people. What would have happened to Juan had he not met the Lord? If he had not met men and women who love God and love people? What will happen to all of the other children who have been left alone in America? It was this question that led us to forming the Left in America Organization.
Left in America (LIA) started as an organization in 2013, though work begun a year earlier on the book: “Left In America”, “The Story of Juan Terrazas”. LIA was officially incorporated as a Texas Non-Profit Organization in 2015.