“The first time I met Julia, she was stern,” Karla remembers. “She didn’t have much of an expression and said very little.”
That was almost a year ago, when now 17-year-old Julia first attended Karla’s craft class at DAYA. Despite her tough exterior, her natural talents showed through. “I clearly saw her art ability and creativity in the first class we did,” Karla says. “We made bracelets.”
In the following class, Karla (ReachGlobal missionary in Mexico and volunteer at DAYA) brought the materials for hair barrettes – a difficult project for many of the girls. Yet, as the other girls struggled with the barrettes, Julia took quickly to making them. Karla again saw a creative spirit in Julia – but she also saw a hard worker.
Over the following months, Julia continued to master project after project, revealing her natural gift for arts and crafts.
Shortly before a craft show in 2010, Karla asked Julia to “own” a special project. Karla says, “I asked if she would like to work on some more hair barrettes on her own, and perhaps even teach some of the other girls.”
She was taking a risk leaving craft supplies (which sometimes disappear) at DAYA with Julia, but Karla wanted to empower her to lead the charge on the project.
Julia accepted the challenge, surprising Karla a week later with a bag full of completed barrettes, ready for the craft show. “She had a huge smile on her face!” Karla says.
It only took a spark – one opportunity to step up into leadership – to ignite a whole new side to Julia. During Karla’s craft class, she now makes herself available to teach and help the other girls. Karla explains, “I have seen her… give of herself to the work before her.”
A young mother to 2-year-old Dana, Julia has also stepped up in the care of her daughter.
Julia continues to develop her skills and was the first of the girls to complete a baby quilt for her child using the new sewing machines at DAYA. It only took one lesson in threading the machine, sewing a straight line and replacing the bobbin to set her to work on her own.
“I have seen her grow into a girl that is confident, willing to teach others, and she is softening as she learns about herself,” Karla says with excitement and affection.
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- That Julia would continue to grow in confidence — in her parenting skills, her artistic talents and her leadership abilities.
- For Jesus Christ to be Lord of Julia’s life.
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