Being a wife to an immigration detainee has been one of the hardest things I have ever faced in my life. My husband and I got married on August 3, 2019. We went on the best honeymoon that I could ever imagine, where we visited different states and tried different foods. It was a very memorable honeymoon. My husband and I went on our honeymoon for about two weeks.

On August 30, 2019, my husband was detained by immigration. That morning he called me to tell me that they had gotten him. The sad part about this whole story is that I know who called immigration on my husband and set him up!

As a wife, every night I hurt. During the day, I’m always keeping my mind busy, whether it’s with the organization or church, but at night it’s hard because when I go to sleep, I’m sleeping by myself. We do youth ministry work and work very hard with the community, radio, and church, but now with him gone I do it all alone. Now it’s me and the kids, and being a single mother is hard. My husband would always help me with the children, whether it was singing with them their ABCs or teaching them about God. This is a very hard process—a lot to do by myself—but I know that God is with me and He has given me the strength to continue doing what He has called me to do. Part of that is doing the work outside by helping families affected by detainment, while my husband does the work inside those cells, preaching the word of God and doing what God has called him to do.

We may not be together physically, but spiritually God has both of us working for His kingdom.

You can hear more about Jael’s story on the Lavish Hope podcast episode from January 21, 2021, entitled, “Jael Serrano Altamirano on Overcoming in the Immigration System.”

Partner. Jael started a non-profit organization, Unity, that aids individuals who have been detained or are at risk of deportation and their families. You can learn more about partnering with Unity here.

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We believe there is a clear biblical mandate to care for people on the move, including those who are involuntarily or forcibly displaced from their homes and are seeking refuge. Will you join us?