There are things in life I thought I would never have to do. I don't have a list or anything, but when they happen, I think "Never saw this one coming." or "When in my life did I think I would have to do this?"
Yesterday was one of those days.
Raising kids is hard work. Really hard. Especially trying to do it over the telephone. I have had more serious conversations over the telephone these last few months, than I ever have in my life. And they aren't conversations that should be had over the phone. But that is where we are and there is nothing to be done about it. So we talk and I hope they get it.
Yesterday's topic of discussion, witchcraft.
First, let me start by telling you I don't believe in it. It is hogwash and insanity. And I think people that believe in it are crazy (sorry if that offends you.). It has just been recently in my faith journey that I have been able to accept that if God is working for good then the Devil is working for evil. While I understood that the Devil was evil, I just never put two and two together. Yeah, I know, I am slow...
Anyway, my home is a country where people openly practice witchcraft, child sacrifice, and all sorts of insanity. I have heard stories of crazy things that I don't think happen. But people are sure that they did. I can't make sense of it all, so I guess that is why I choose to believe it is hogwash.
Despite it being unreal for me, it is very real to many people. They believe in its power and that they can be cursed or whatever. And that is where my conversation starts yesterday.
I strongly believe in having all of the boys reconnect with their families. All of the boys have some family, even if their parents are no longer alive. I know that some will probably never rebuild that relationship and trust or heal from the terrible things that were done to them. But I also realize they are kids and they want to know their families. They miss them and love them despite whatever happened. In order to make sense of it all and heal, I feel like it is extremely important for them to see their families again. All of the boys express interest in returning to their villages. So I feel that it is my job to help them. Where it gets tough is letting the boys go visit and deciding whether it is a safe place for them to stay. I feel that I cannot refuse the boys to see their mothers and fathers or grandparents, if that is what they want. It will only build anger and resentment, and eventually they will just run away and visit on their own. So I always feel torn because I want to protect the boys but realize their need to see their families.
One of the boys is ready to go for a visit. The school term is almost over and all of the boys except maybe 4 will be going for a visit. Usually this boy visits his mother's side of the family. This time he wants to visit his dad. I said sure and started asking him about his dad. First, I found out he was muslim. This could be a huge problem and so I expressed my concern and he said he wouldn't stay at his father's house. He only wanted to visit his father and then have him take him on to his grandfather. Asking more about his dad and if he thought he would be safe there, I found out his dad is a witch doctor. He began telling me stories that I couldn't believe. I felt like I was listening to him tell me about a horror movie. I thought these things don't really happen. This is craziness. He also told me those things scare him and he is afraid of his father. So the next logical question is, "why do you want to go?". He answered so matter of factly, "Because he is still my father."
This started our long conversation about witchcraft and why it is bad and we shouldn't get involved. I wasn't prepared. I never thought I would have to explain to anyone EVER why witchcraft is bad. I think he got it, but not being there, looking him in his face, showing him the passages in the Bible myself, I can't be sure.
The biggest problem????
Do I let him go? I don't know.
Can I refuse him to see his family? I don't know.
Will he hate me for refusing? Probably.
Will he forgive me? Maybe.
Can I keep him safe if I say yes? No.
And that is what it boils down to. I can't keep him safe. And that scares me. But...
I am not the one currently keeping him safe. I am thousands of miles away and yet he is safe, he is provided for, he is fine.
Do I trust God to keep him safe? Absolutely.
I still haven't made up my mind about it all, but I feel like by refusing a part of me is saying that God isn't big enough to keep him safe and defeat the evil that his dad is involved in. And I don't believe that. He is big enough and strong enough and good enough. The other part of me feels like saying yes is sending him into a situation that I know is unsafe.
So I don't have an answer and need to make my mind up soon. I am torn. I am unprepared to make this decision, like so many others. Any HELPFUL advice and prayers would be appreciated.