Tuesday, April 16, 2013


I don't have some witty way to start this, so I am just going to jump right in and tell you what is going on.

First, we have success.  

I think.

Vincent completed his first class of vocational training a while ago and has been waiting on his test results.  He asked if he could go back to the village while he waited and of course I said yes.  Well, in making arrangements for his travel, the uncle spoke to Vincent's dad.  Turns out, the dad has his own garage where Vincent can complete an apprenticeship and learn more.  What is the best part?  His dad agreed to letting him study there.  Vincent wen back to the village a few days ago and we are considering him resettled with his family.  His dad is happy to have him back, wants him to study at his garage and has the means to take care of him.  It seems that Vincent is happy to go back to the village and there is no reason for him to come back to us.  We are hoping it will stay this way.  We will continue to check in on him and make sure he is doing ok, but for now I can happily say that he is right where he belongs, with his family and that is where I hope he stays.

A little side note about resettling.  First, I am no expert.  I don't know really what the best method is but I do know that when possible, the kids should be with their biological families.  That is where they learn their customs and culture.  It is where they will inherit land and form bonds with generations of their families.  For me, it is so important to reconnect the boys with their families.  So with that being said, the logical question is probably why don't I just resettle them instead of bring them into the home?  Well the answer isn't easy and is a bit complicated.  I think that taking boys directly from the street back to the village works for boys that ask to go back home or ended up on the streets because they were lured away from their village or taken.  Sometimes they even get lost or left in the city.  But for boys that have spent years on the streets, I don't think it is so simple.  

Time has a way of distorting things.  Maybe they just need someone to be angry at.  Maybe all of the good memories have wasted away or maybe there were none to begin with.  I don't know what it is but many of the boys when they came into the home, hated their families and never wanted to see them.  It took time and encouragement.  It took talking and counseling.  It took seeing other boys go back to the village and come back with good stories.  So we don't force the boys to go back but we let them come to that decision on their own.  Thankfully, we have had all of the boys return to the village and all of the reunions were happy but one.  That doesn't mean that all of the boys can return to the village for good, because for some, they will never be fully reunited with their families.  But when it is possible, we want to give them that option.  For now, Vincent is happy.  We are praying that he learned enough in the home to cope to the different issues that arise.  We are praying that he doesn't run again.  Please be praying for him to adjust to life in the village and to really focus on learning at his dad's garage.  

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Where's the love?

Recently, something has been on my heart and I want to share.

My heart has been so heavy and it makes me so sad.  I have seen so many negative posts about Jesus on Facebook lately, and it break my heart.

I can't muster anger, only sadness.

But am I surprised?  Absolutely not.

The thing is I get why people are posting such negative stuff.  They see those of us that are claiming to be Christians acting so mean and hateful and so they assume our God is the same way.

I think it is a logical assumption but it is so far from the truth and it makes me so sad because I don't know how to make people understand that.

The Jesus I know and love, is loving and kind.  He is fair and just.  He loves us more than we can ever put into words.  He loves us when we are making good choices and when we are making bad ones.

I wish people could understand that.  That God is nothing like those of us that love Him.

But with all of the hot button topics right now and both sides basically spewing hate to get their message across, how is that showing Jesus?

We get so wrapped up in proving our point and how we are right and everyone else is wrong, that we forget the other person is a human being that deserves to have their views valued and respected, even if we disagree.

What baffles me is we think we can change people's mind by being mean or disrespectful to them.  I am pretty sure that I am not changing any of my ideas or thoughts when the person trying to convince me is being rude or mean.  In fact, quite the opposite happens.  I shut down.  I simply think that they are jerks and stop listening to a word that is being said.  Even if they have the best idea in the world, I think it is probably the worst, all because of the delivery.

I don't know when disagreeing with someone gave us the right to be hateful, but it definitely should not be ok with any of us.  The God I know, the Jesus that died to save me, sat at the dinner table and ate with people others were convinced were "unworthy" or "sinners".  He didn't shout insults at them or belittle them.  He sat and ate with them.  Talked to them.  Listened to them.

We don't all have to have the same opinions, ideas, thoughts, views.  That is what makes life interesting. We are all different and unique.  My point is when someone disagrees with you, maybe try to take the time to understand where they are coming from.  Listen to their side and extend grace.  Share your views without insulting them.

If we are going to call ourselves Christ followers, which is what I think we should be striving for, then we need to be showing Him to the world.  We need to be extending the same grace and love to others that He shows to us, even when we disagree with them, even when we think they are wrong.  After all, we all fail Jesus daily.  We will never live up to His goodness or perfection, but that doesn't stop Him from loving us or saving us.  That doesn't make Him condemn us or weigh us down with guilt or shame.  He does the exact opposite.  Even as He was dying on the cross, for your sins and mine, He still begged forgiveness for us.

If Jesus can extend grace, love and mercy to us when it was our sins that kept Him nailed to the cross, then why can't we?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

A crazy thing

Some days, I wonder how on earth I thought that all of this would be possible...or even a good idea.

It is a lot and some days really difficult.  It just piles up and becomes so overwhelming I feel like the responsibilities are crushing and suffocating me.

I worry about how the boys are growing up and if they are learning all of the lessons that they need to be successful men.  I am so far away and not part of their daily lives.  I worry.  Sometimes too much.

It is in those moments, that I feel so overwhelmed.

If I don't step back, sometimes I can hardly breathe.

But I pull myself together because I know I have hope.

I wanted to write this over Easter, but time got away from me and Easter came and went.  But in reality, every day is Easter.  He is still risen.  Yesterday.  Today.  Tomorrow.  Always.

Our Savior is risen.

And that is why I have hope.

I have hope because I know He will take care of the kids.

I have hope because I know that He will provide all we need.

I have hope because I know He is working non stop for us.

So even though times are tough right now, I can dream about days in the future when the kids are grown up.  When they really have become men.  When they have families and we get together for family dinners and laugh about all of the headaches they gave me when they were younger.  Of the days when their time on the street doesn't crush them and make them run over nothing.  A day when they can trust instead of fear.  A day when they will talk their problems through instead of fighting or running.  A day when "normal" isn't too much.  A day when they believe they are worthy of love and believe they have a future.

And because of a God that loves me, that conquered death and the grave,  I know that day will come.

It doesn't make sense.

None of it.

But that is the crazy thing about faith.  And love.

Rarely does it ever make sense.

But that doesn't stop us from believing.