In 20 years of service at Buckner International, Anna Rodriquez knows God's timing is perfect ... even during a pandemic.
When COVID-19 first hit, three young adults who had aged out of foster care found themselves hungry and homeless. They did the only thing they could think of: They called Anna for help.
Though currently the director of Buckner Family Pathways in Houston, Anna first met these siblings in Midland, where she had a group foster home. These three siblings, aging from 4 to 7 years old, were in her care close to three years. Anna did not hear from them until March 2020, after they had had aged out of the foster care system in Houston, where Anna now runs the Family Pathways program.
“April called me and told me she was homeless, hungry and had nowhere to go. So I said, ‘I can put you up in a room.’ But the next day, everything’s closed. The whole city’s shut down,” Anna said.
Anna called locations she knew but found shelters weren’t taking anyone. She decided to break every rule she had made in the past and called the girls to let them know they could come stay at her and her husband’s home.
“I gave them a list of goals, things they needed to work on. We did Bible studies. Two of them got saved while they were here with us,” she shared.
The siblings stayed with Anna for nearly two months throughout the coronavirus pandemic. While in Anna's home, they were able to set goals for themselves and recently moved out to attend treatment, plug into a church and even work toward their driver’s license.
“Anna is a prime example of what it means to show up to battle every day. She begins each day with prayer, then laces up her boots and goes to war on behalf of the children and families we serve,” shared Shawna Roy, senior executive director of Southeast Texas for Buckner Children and Family Services. “Like a true soldier, Anna doesn’t mind being in the trenches, where others are often afraid to go, in order to do all she can to advocate for our families, show them unconditional support and to encourage them along their journey.”
The pandemic has caused many to shift how they do things, but Anna knows that even during uncertain times, God has perfect timing and purpose.
“This has been the ministry God has called me to, and to teach and help women in their walk. Most of these ladies have been victims of sexual abuse, domestic violence – there’s a bunch of hurt that they’ve had in their life for so long,” she said. “I’ve stayed because this is a ministry and I feel like I can lead them to the answer for that pain. God did all of what he did. The purpose in his timing is everything.”