I want to tell you a story about these kids and why I love them more than anything. It isn’t that I don’t see what others see. I see it, but I also have the rare gift of seeing their hearts. Seeing who they really are. When we went to the beach on Christmas, the boys were scattered all over the beach, swimming, dancing, and walking around seeing the different statues and old airplanes. I was seated on a bench and they would periodically come and check on me and sit and chat.
One boy, Arthur, was sitting with me almost the whole time. As the day went on and turned to evening, the beach got even more crowded. There were a lot of people around where I was sitting, including 3 guys that were being super weird. They kept coming around, seeing what I was doing and trying to see what I had. I think they thought that I was alone. Little did they know, I was with a small, but fierce army. The guys disappeared, but they passed when some of the boys came back to check on me. I mentioned that they were being super weird, and the boys noticed that they wanted to steal. So 2 boys sat with me, while another went to tell other boys. Soon, like 10 boys came, crazy annoyed, asking who was trying to steal from me. The one sat by my side, holding my hand, while they all assured me I was fine.
The guys got scared away, and I was fine. Others came and asked if I was fine and felt comfortable. Others refused to leave my side until we left. The way we walked back to the taxi, I have never felt more safe. I always feel safe when I am with them. They know I would do anything for them, and I know they would do anything for me.
The crazy thing was, when we entered the beach, the man at the entrance was slightly concerned. He happily welcomed us, but tried to gently say, “I’m sorry to say, but your kids look like they are from the street. Please caution them on how to behave, because our security is really tight and they will be arrested if they don’t follow the rules.” I assured him that they are well behaved and he would have no problems from us. Sure enough, he didn’t. But almost he did, because they were doing the right thing. It wasn’t just me that the other guys were trying to steal from, but also another man sitting a few benches in front of me.
I could go on and on with stories of how these kids protect me. On Saturday in the slums, a drunk man was trying to disturb me. A boy quickly told him to leave me alone. It is crazy how love changes people. Just that same day, I was told that I was a liar and God sees me as a liar because I vouched for a boy saying there is no way that he could steal.
I don’t know how I got so lucky to deserve these boys’ affections, but it is definitely the greatest reward of this life.