Today, I am resting in the promises God has made to us. Or at least really trying to. Figuring out what to do with the street boys and how to help is not an easy task.
Bereket and Abiti had been waiting at the gate for me every day. As soon as I opened the door to my house, Abiti would try to find something to do. Bereket needs a bit of encouragement to help. They have been cleaning the counters, sweeping, doing the dishes, working in the garden… breaking things. They would ask to sleep on the porch, so they could have a blanket and not have their things stolen during the night. I had given Bereket a pair of shoes and they were stolen a few nights later as he slept on the streets. I finally let them sleep on the porch and then they moved into the living room. They have been living with me about 2 weeks.
We clean the house, watch movies, draw, play card games, run errands… They have been through all the drawers in my house. They know what works and what doesn’t work. They have been begging to be circumcised. Last night we were doing math problems. It is not all roses, though. Two days ago, I found out they were lying to me. My heart was broken. They had completely lied about their families. They had both made up stories that they thought sounded worse. If their story was “sadder”, maybe I would help. I decided to send them back to the streets. I felt horrid. How could I send them back to the streets? How can I teach them to do what is right? Do they not see the importance of honesty? Am I a horrible person? What should I do that will help them the most? What is best for them? We had a long talk and shed many tears. It started raining when I was walking them to the gate of the compound. Neither had jackets, so we went back to the house to get jackets. I told them to wait until the rain stopped. They kept apologizing and promised to never lie again. They stayed the night.
In this whole process, I found out their real stories. Abiti has a sister that lives in a town about 4 hours away. She owns two shops and is wealthy enough to own a car. Today, I brought Abiti to the bus station to go to his sister’s house. I have been in tears all day. I can’t tell you exactly why I am crying. Is it because I may never see him again? Will he be ok? Will he find his sister? Will he just end up on the streets in another town? Is it the realization of how hard life is here, yet again? Is it that when he left all he has is the clothes on his back that I had bought him and a tooth brush?
As I was writing this, I got a call from a man at the bus station in Hawassa, the town Abiti was went to. He said he
found Abiti and he was at the bus station crying. Abiti had my phone number so he called. An Ethiopian friend called a friend that lives there to look for him. He couldn’t find him. I don’t know where he is or if he is ok. He has my number to call, a few snacks, clean water, 2 birr and a tooth brush. Please pray with me that Abiti is safe and can find his sister. And that she will take him in when he arrives.
To give you an update on the rest of the boys. Daniel, the Peace Corp worker, has enrolled the boys in school. So far 12 are in school. They go to his house before school and get lunch. They come to my house on Tuesday for lunches. This week we had 17 show up. I don’t know what the costs of everything is right now. We buy notebooks, pens, pencils, clothes and food. Notebooks for school are about $4 per child. Lunch, laundry and a shower at my house
are less than $2 per kid each week. I make sure and feed them a good meal (meat, lentils, beans, veggies). A meal (PB&J sandwiches, eggs and bananas) a day for the kids in school is about $5 per week per child. If any of you would like to help Daniel and I that would be wonderful. He is doing a lot of the foot work and I am fronting the bill. All information about donating is on the right side of my blog. Thank you!
Please keep us all in your prayers.
Max Lucado asked, “If God were to write us a letter, what would it say?” This is what he came up with. This letter is written to me, to Abiti, to you… well, to everyone.
Dear Child of Mine,
I am one who comforts you. I bought you and complete you. I delight in you and claim you as my own. I will never fail you or forsake you.
1RECEIVE MY LOVE
I throw my arms around you, lavish attention on you and guard you like the apple of my eye. I rejoice over you with great gladness. My thoughts of you cannot be counted, they outnumber the grains of sand! Nothing can ever separate you from my love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels can’t, and the demons can’t. Your fears for today, your worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t keep my love away.
2You sometimes say, The Lord has deserted us; the Lord has forgotten us.? But, can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for a child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you! I paid for you with the precious lifeblood of Christ, my sinless, spotless Lamb. No one will snatch you away from me. See, I have written your name on my hand. I call you my friend. Why, the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are valuable to me.
3Give me your burdens, I will take care of you. I know how weak you are; that you are made of dust. Give all your worries and cares to me, for I care about what happens to you.
4TRUST MY OVERSIGHT
Trust in me always, I am the eternal Rock, your Shepherd, the Guardian of your soul. When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.
5So, don’t worry. I never tire or sleep. I stand beside you. My angels encamp around you. I hide you in the shelter of my presence. I will go ahead of you directing your steps and delighting in every detail of your life. If you stumble, you will not fall, for I hold you by the hand. I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.
6Wars will break out near and far, but don’t panic I have overcome the world. Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. I surround you with a shield of love.
7I will make you fruitful in the land of suffering, trading beauty for ashes, joy for mourning, praise for despair. I live with the low-spirited and spirit crushed. I put new spirit in you and get you on your feet again. Weeping may go on all night, but joy comes with the morning. If I am for you, who can ever be against you?
8ACCEPT MY VICTORY
I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins, yet, my grace is sufficient for you. I have cast all your sins behind my back, trampled your sins under my feet and thrown them into the depths of the ocean! Your sins have been washed away, swept away like the morning mists, scattered like the clouds. Oh, return to me, for I have paid the price to set you free.
9Your death is swallowed up in victory. I disarmed the evil rulers and authorities and broke the power of the Devil, who had the power of death. Blessed are those who die in the Lord. Your citizenship is in heaven. Come, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you where I will remove all of your sorrows, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain.
10RELY ON MY ENERGY
You are worried and troubled about many things; trust me with all your heart. I know how to rescue godly people from their trials. My Spirit helps you in your distress. Let me strengthen you with my glorious power. I did not spare my Son but gave him up for you. Won’t I give you everything else? March on, dear soul, with courage! Never give up. I will help you. I will uphold you.11
Remember, I am at hand. Come to me when you are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. I delight in you; and I can be trusted to keep my promise. Come and drink the water of life.12
Your Maker, Your Father,
1Isaiah 55:1, Isaiah 51:12, 1 Cor. 6:20, Col. 2:10, Isaiah 62:4-5, Hebrews 13:52Deut. 32:10 MSG, Zeph. 3:17, Psalm 139:17-18, Romans 8:353Isaiah 49:14-15, 1 Peter 1:19, John 10:28, Isaiah 49:16, Jn. 15:15, Matt. 10:29-314Psalm 55:22, Psalm 103:13-14, 1 Peter 5:7 5Isaiah 26:3-4, 1 Peter 2:25, Isaiah 43:26Matt. 6:34, Psalm 121:3, Psalm 34:7, Psalm 31:20, Deut. 31:6, Psalm 37:23-24, Psalm 32:87Matt. 24:6, John 16:33, Phil. 4:6, Psalm 5:128Gen. 41:52, Isa. 61:1-3, Isa. 57:15, Psalm 30:5, Romans 8:319Amos 5:12, 2 Cor. 12:9, Isa. 38:17, Micah 7:19, 1 Cor. 6:11, Isa. 44:22101 Cor. 15:54, Col. 2:15, Heb. 2:14, Rev. 14:13, Phil. 3:20, Matt. 25:34, Rev. 21:4 11Luke 10:41, Prov. 3:5, 2 Pet. 2:9, Rom. 8:26, Col. 1:11, Rom. 8:32, Judges 5:21, 2 Cor. 4:1, Isa. 41:1012Phi. 4:5, Matt. 11:28, Psalm 149:4, Heb. 10:23, Rev. 22:17