It’s Ok

“How do you deal with it when you know that a child is being abused at home?” she asked me the other night.

“Well, that’s a hard question,”  I responded, “and I guess the answer is that you allow yourself to feel whatever it is that the Lord has you to feel.”

It’s ok.

I told her that it’s ok to be sad FOR them, and it’s ok to be sad WITH them. It’s ok to throw yourself on the floor and weep for what you know that they are experiencing.  It’s ok to cry out to the Lord and tell him it isn’t fair.

It’s ok.  

In a way, when you do that, you are walking alongside them in their suffering.  Yes, they may not know it.  But you are hurting with them, and in that, getting a tiny glimpse into the Lord’s heart for the poor and oppressed.

There’s a Scottish man who runs a children’s home about an hour outside La Ceiba.  He has told me several times, “The day you stop crying is the day it’s time to go home.”  [Best read in a Scottish accent]

And I believe this to be true.  

I have been told that I need to get tougher or I’m never going to be able to do this job.  I’ve been told that I need to harden my heart a little bit.  This advice was given to me by people who love me and who don’t want to see me hurting so much each day.  But the truth is, I don’t want to stop hurting for these boys that I love so dearly.  You see, it isn’t my heart that needs to be hardened, it’s my heart that needs to learn to give these burdens to the Lord.

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”  –1 Peter 5:7

So, dear friend, in answer to your question, “Throw yourself on the ground, weep and moan, beg the Lord for deliverance, and then GIVE IT TO HIM.”

Funny thing is, I have yet to learn to do this for myself.  

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F@#*^ You.

“I’m going to grab Deric and throw him into the hot sand and hold him there until he burns.”  “I’m going to break into the project and steal everything.”  “You’re a f*^$#@! a*+&^%$”  

These are just a few of the many threats and choice words we heard from my K last week as we ate our lunch on the beach.  He was so angry and it broke my heart to see him like that.  As he slowly began to make more and more threats, we had to pile the kids into the car and find another place to go.  As much as we love him, we can’t jeopardize the other kids and their safety.

Please understand that this kid is my heart.  I love him more than I ever thought I could love a child who is not my own.  And the thought of losing him to the pervasive temptations and bad influences that he confronts everyday is scary and very real.

So, we let him be for a few days, as we knew he was very angry and was best left alone. Honestly, we didn’t think he’d come back to the project.  Yesterday, he showed up at the project to get his birth certificate, because he was “never coming back here.”

I tried talking to him, but to no avail.  Roberto came out and gave him his birth certificates. He grabbed them angrily and walked away.  I told him I loved him as he was walking away. He said, “Look for a man to f@#$ you.”

I went back into the project and wept.  Not for myself and the insults hurled at me and at Roberto.  But for him.  For the anger that has so invaded his heart.  For the thought that he may not ever come back to the project.  For the possibility that he may be losing an opportunity for a better future.  I praise the Lord because I know his eternal future is secure, but I weep for his earthly future.

They told me, “You have to harden your heart, Kate.”

No, thank you, I will not.  I will never stop weeping for my precious boys.”

Last night, we were driving around looking for our kids.  (Unfortunately, they hit the streets at night to beg and sell trinkets to make money.)  As we were driving, there he was.  My sweet boy.

We pulled over.  He walked to the passenger side of the car, where I was sitting.  He leaned his head closer to me.  This was my cue that the Lord had softened his heart.  I reached out and hugged his sweet head.  And he just stayed there.  He looked up and smiled at me.  And, of course, my heart melted.

After that, we (Roberto, Ahnalies and I) heard different words.  We heard things like, “I’m sorry for treating you that way.”  “Did you get the note I put on your car?”  “The truth is, F is pulling me down and into bad things and I can’t resist.”  “I shouldn’t have talked to you that way.”  “I’ve been thinking about this all day yesterday and today and the truth is I can’t ever hurt you guys since you were the only ones who cared about me when I broke my nose.”

Roberto and I got to tell him how special he is for us.  I got to reassure him of his eternal salvation, and just because he has decided to walk with Christ doesn’t mean he isn’t going to have times where he doesn’t act like it.  His heart has been made new.  I told him how God had been working in his heart since he came to us and asked for forgiveness, unprompted.  I mean, how many 14 year olds do you know that do that?

But the best words I heard were, “See you tomorrow.”

Isn’t God awesome?

The Littles

I think this whole Chiki and Kevin wrestling thing is becoming a trend.  We have a few littles, and they know how to stay within their size range when choosing a wrestling partner. Apparently, Chiki and Kevin have chosen each other and it is a wrestling bond that cannot be broken.

Here they are a few weeks ago at the project….

DSC_0328DSC_0330DSC_0335And they started at it again at the pool on Friday….

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I never knew wrestling could be so completely adorable.

Open Wide Your Mouth

Yesterday, we went to one of our kids’ houses (and i use the term “house” very loosely) to get all of his school books.  A couple of months ago, he apparently decided that he didn’t want to go to school anymore.  So he just stopped going.  In addition, he has stopped coming to the Peter Project.  Basically, he has removed himself from the Peter Project.  We just made it official yesterday.

It’s been a long time coming, but it doesn’t make it any easier.

My heart breaks for these children, especially when they are given opportunities and are unable to grab hold of them.

But it is such a picture of what we do in our Christian walks, isn’t it?  God is offering us a feast, but instead, we choose to feed on the trash of the world, which to us looks like treasure.

“Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.”  –Psalm 81:10

But we often won’t even open our mouths.  D.A. Carson says, “God is perfectly willing and able to satisfy all our deepest needs and longings.  Implicitly, the problem is that we will not even open our mouths to enjoy the food he provides.”

Let’s open our mouths to eat and drink of the treasure that is Christ.

Of course, I always leave you with some pictures….

{Cristofer never has a problem opening his mouth!}

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{Nothing like an ice cold Coca-Cola.}

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{Winning smile (and yes, we love our GoPro!)}

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{Better than any mountain or ocean view.  (Yes, Kevin hangs over the side of the truck to stare at me through the window.  Safety first.)}

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The Muck

I’m in the US now.  {Side Sote: Peter Project needs money.  Just sayin…}

And I can’t help but think about what it will be like when I come back in November.  For good.  My heart can’t even begin to wrap itself around the idea.  I know He is calling me back here, yet I don’t want to leave these kids I love so desperately.  Sounds to me like I can’t be happy either way.  Quite a pickle I’m in.  

The hardest part about being a missionary (and it’s hard) is loving people and seeing the reality that they are living in, the spiritual and earthly darkness that is their daily existence.  Oh, but there is such joy in being a vessel for Him to show them His light.  I am privileged and honored to be able to be that for my precious boys.  

And I’m going to miss it.

I’m going to miss walking alongside Kelvin, Cristofer, Fernando and Moises, as they wade through the muck that tries to take hold of their lives.  I take such joy in seeing light come into their eyes as they hear about a Savior who loves them and as they continue on in the battle towards and brighter earthly and eternal future.  Don’t get me wrong.  I know and understand well that I can come to the US and “walk in the muck” with anyone who is living in that kind of darkness.  But I want to walk in THEIR muck.  I want Kelvin’s, Cristofer’s, Fernando’s and Moises’ muck.

I want to walk through and beyond that muck, into the arms of the Savior who longs for them.  

Please join me in praying for our precious boys.  For their rescue, both earthly and eternal.  

{Oh, and while you’re at it, some money would be good, too.}

Education

This is what we do with the educational supplies you send. Cristofer is learning to read and we are so proud of him! (Also, what you can’t see is Nelly, our tutor, watching me in order to learn how to use our new pocket chart.)