A girl.

October 27, 2011

A girl, right on the edge. Barely hanging on to the last remnants of a broken childhood. She’s only nine, but already has seen and known too much to remain a child much longer. Her innocence is gone and her heart is hardening.

Have you ever wanted to just grab someone and run? To snatch them out of the situation they are in? To scream and shout that this isn’t right? This shouldn’t be!

But you don’t. You just carry on. You try to be her friend. As she looks at you with eyes full of distrust, occasionally you see a spark of hope, a tender smile peeking through the tough exterior.

Her fighting, name calling and mischief making cover up her deep pain. She’s angry at a world that couldn’t protect her, cherish her or keep her safe. So she’ll fight. She’ll be strong. She can’t show weakness, that would be unsafe; that would make her vulnerable. She’s been vulnerable before and she won’t go back there.

Can love break through this hard shell? Does anyone care enough to really get to know her? To walk with her? To be someone she can rely on?

“I hate God.” she says, looking to see if I’m shocked. But I’m not surprised. Why would she love God when all she’s known is pain?

Arise, LORD! Lift up your hand, O God.
Do not forget the helpless.

Why do the wicked revile God?
Why do they say to themselves,
“He won’t call us to account”?

But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted;
you consider their grief and take it in hand.
The victims commit themselves to you;
you are the helper of the fatherless.

Break the arms of the wicked and the evildoers;
call them to account for their wickedness
that would not otherwise be found out.

You, LORD, hear the desire of the afflicted;
you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,
defending the fatherless and the oppressed,
so that mere earthly mortals
will never again strike terror.

~Psalm 10

Lord Jesus, we look to you right now. The most loving, compassionate, kind person to ever walk the face of this earth. Your love is miraculous. You heal the brokenhearted, you comfort those in distress. We ask that your Holy Spirit would surround this precious child. Protect her from harm, keep her safe tonight. Make a way for her to know your love, to experience your friendship, to understand that she is not alone. You will never leave her nor forsake her. I pray that your love would enter her life and transform her from the inside out, restoring what has been lost. Though the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy, You come to give life abundantly! We ask for life abundantly for this beautiful girl.

Thank you for praying with me.

Amen.

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Love Doesn’t Spoil

October 26, 2011

We see evidence of this each and everyday in our work with children at risk. Children who truly have not received the love and care that they need and are now suffering with anger, entitlement issues, lacking the ability to trust, lacking compassion, bullying behavior and more. Yes, they are difficult to work with, because their pain is so deep and it is masked by outward misbehavior.

What they need most, their most deepest need is love – just for who they are, not because they have “earned” it. The love that they are missing out on is what “spoils” them (I hate to even say that word in relation to children because it sounds as if a child is ruined, beyond hope – and NO ONE is ever spoiled or beyond hope).

Hug your kids tight today, shower them with unconditional love and kindness. That’s what God gives freely to us, and it is what we need to give to others. ♥


Meet Karina

October 23, 2011

She was trafficked from Nicaragua when she was 18 years old. The 300 dollars she was loaned and the promise of a better life ended in prostitution and debt she could never repay. After seven years of living a nightmare she broke free from her enslavement. Now at 27 she is a single mom to three beautiful children, trying to make it on her own.

A small group of Christians in Jaco followed the call of God to reach out to the poor. They started feeding the homeless and praying with them every Friday night in the central park. Karina, desperate for help and food for her family discovered this group and gladly received the food and prayer they offered. She began coming every week and soon after gave her life to the Lord. That was a year ago. Since then she has been faithfully attending Bible study and growing in her relationship with the Lord.

But she is a woman living life constantly on the brink of disaster and homelessness. The stress at times is unbearable. This is where the call to true religion hits very close to home.

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…” ~James 1:27

If ever there were orphans and a widow in distress it is this precious family.

Violeta

Moises

Mateo

What is our response as the body of Christ?

With a fierce mother’s determination she walks the streets with her children trying to sell cologne, lottery tickets, clean houses, anything to earn money for her family. There is no space or time to learn any skills or improve herself to be able to get a better, steady job because all her energy is going towards trying to feed her family today.

This is a family at risk.

Would you pray about helping this family?

What we want to do is raise enough money to help her monthly with her rent and groceries, to give her a little breathing space, some time to secure a better job and get on her feet with confidence. What she wants more than anything is to be able to provide for her family herself and we want to help her be able to do this.

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October 6, 2011