Before I tell you about Joseph, you should read here. I am super excited and thankful to the girls at Darling Companion for featuring us today! Make sure you check out the post about LOT 2545 and follow them to be continuously inspired.
Now, on to Joseph....
I have written about Joseph many times before but they are all under the name Brian. Brian is his nickname. How he got a normal name for a nickname, I may never know. Since it was a normal name, I never knew it was a nickname.
The first time I found out was when we went to the hospital to get a rabies shot for him. He was out collecting scrap and was attacked by a dog. Just to be safe, we decided to take him to get the shot. It was at the government hospital so it was free and it couldn't hurt him to have it. So off we went. When we got to registration, I asked him what his other name was. He answered in such a whisper, I had to ask him many times and then told him to speak up. That is when he told me his real name was Joseph and what his other name was. I was shocked.
He wanted to be called Joseph, but I would forget. I would ask the other boys about Joseph and they wouldn't know who I was talking about, so I kept forgetting and just calling him Brian.
It seems like a lot of our encounters were after he was bitten by a dog. Another time, we were at camp for the boys on the street. He had bitten a few days before but was still on antibiotics. He was supposed to go back to the hospital to get another IV of antibiotics. I started to feel really bad at camp but no one else would take him to the clinic. I tried to hide my discomfort but by the end, I think he realized. That was the sickest I had ever been. By the time I walked into the house, I was crying and was in excruciating pain. I don't know how I kept it together but I am sure it was only by the strength of God. I am glad that I was there for Joseph that day. It definitely helped us grow closer.
Things weren't always easy between us. There was a long period of time where he was just a ball of anger and refused to speak to me. I could say hi and he would walk past me as if I was invisible. The breakthrough came when a friend and I were fasting. You can read about it here.
Joseph came into the home because he was attacked by a dog again. I felt like that was God telling me, Joseph has had enough, you need to act. So I asked the uncle to go and find him and bring him home. Hearing his giggles and squeals the first time we talked on the phone was the best. Since then, we have struggled.
He has only been with us since May and he has already run away. He came back but just wasn't ready for school, so he sat last term out. School has started again and he is going again but we aren't sure he is ready. the thing is he is so young, maybe 12 or 13, but he has been on the streets for so long. Maybe since he was 9. He doesn't remember what it means to be safe and issues come up because of that. He doesn't remember what it means to be loved, so he lies and manipulates to get his way. He is hurting beyond anything I could ever imagine, even in my worst nightmares, and still wants to find comfort in drugs.
I know deep down, under all of the hurt and heartbreak, there is a wonderful kid. It seems like he is too much right now, but I know he will change. He just needs lots of love and time. God has worked miracles in him before and I know that He will do it again. Soon his beautiful smile won't just be a mask, but a reflection of his happiness and joy.
Please pray for healing for Joseph and that his heart would settle and be softened. Please pray that God would work another miracle for Joseph and help him let go of his past and look to the future. Pray that Joseph would just let us in and let us love him.