What is a faun? Higher up and further in with an outreach twist. Writing.

Posts tagged “children at risk ministry

Children talking with God…

Every afternoon a call of “A la mesa!” rings out and echoes around at five o clock.  All forty-some children, and about five adults gather around plain long wooden tables, set with faded plastic “Sleeping Beauty” placemats and a plastic cup of hot sweet tea and one “pancito” (a small Bolivian bread roll). Nobody starts in on their food and drink.  An adult designates two kids to lead in prayer one after the other.  The children’s prayers usually run along the lines of ” Thank you for Auntie ______, Auntie________ and Auntie ________, and please help nobody to have an accident, and thank you for the Program and for the food and, God, please help and give food and clothing to all the poor people out there in the city. Amen.” These children don’t think of themselves as poor!  I love to hear them pray. Often, their prayers contain special little pleas for safety and protection for themselves and for each other, and VERY often they pray for themselves and their friends (all there – they act like brothers and sisters with each other) to not be hungry.  They DO experience hunger, and rather frequently.IMG_2093


The Children, Vignette #’s 2, 3, 4 and 5.

Vignette #2:

Teaching the 3, 4 and 5 year olds today we had to reprimand several of the little boys for talking and gesturing with each other about stabbing people with knives and about slitting people’s throats with same.

Vignette #3:  Little E., four years old and speaking with a lisp, when the topic of class discussion got on “Obeying our Moms when they Ask  us to Wash up, or to Go to Bed”, talking eagerly and excitedly to everybody in the class about how he has 3 Moms!

Vignette #4:  Sharing Who Jesus is with the children, verbally, in small groups of four or five, through use of the “Evangel-cube” and how eager all the children are to hear and “do” the cube over and over again, never tiring of it, and breaking in to help tell the story, and how they love to handle the cube themselves, in turn, and help tell bits and pieces of the story.

Vignette #5:  How the children were all big-eyed when I introduced the new Crayola crayons all the way from the Estados Unidos, and how worried they were about the possibility of accidentally breaking the new crayons.  One little guy said, “Oh no!  The point of my crayon is breaking!” when it was only blunted the tiniest fraction through him starting to use it on his color paper…


Vignette # 7 from the Children

#7 Amanda, 5 years old, kept complaining to the adult monitor that some of the little boys kept calling her a SPIDER (araña)!  They kept insisting that they were not!  (a lot of these little ones seem to have lisps and slight speech impediments)  Several of the other kids chimed right in and they all had a little philosophical discussion about it.

 

 

 


A Unique Adventure God Gave Me, Part Three.

Alright, well, to take up where I left off before, the rickety narrow steps going up to the rooftop/second “storey” of the big, open, multi-hovel brothel where our four children lived with their mother had VERY uneven steps, plus only had a railing on one side.  As I carried the heavy end of one wooden bunkbed up those stairs, 12-year-old M. carrying the other end, and going first, I had to try to lift the weight up high so that my end of the bed would fit between and over the railing, and the dangling poorly strung electrical wires and chicken-wire netting above the adobe bricks used to delineate the edge of that property, from the next one, and also, for sure, to deter thieves who might try to climb over the wall to steal people’s natural gas cooking stove tanks.  All of a sudden I heard catcalls, whistles and “Que macha!” (“Wow, what a jock”).

The catcalls and remarks were being addressed to me, because I was carrying one end of a heavy wooden bunkbed all by myself up some stairs.  I ignored the remark and prayed in my heart, “Jesus, protect us all three, and help us to get these bunkbeds delivered to these children, and help us to shine your LIGHT in this dark and awful place!”  I felt a little more calm after that, even though my heart was pounding and sweat was breaking out all over but that was because of the weight of that bunkbed and the fact that it was a very warm summer afternoon.


A Unique Adventure God Gave Me, Part Two.

We labored the various heavy wooden bunk bed parts off the roof rack of the taxi, the two new twin mattresses, the wooden drawers and ladder.  Children- LOTS of children, most of whom we DIDN’T know  (our ministry is constantly getting requests from moms and grandmas to take more kids – sadly we don’t have human and material resources to take more than we already have – around fifty. Our number fluctuates, as often our children as young as six are removed by their parent in order to make that child work full-time and, as many of our kids get into their adolescent years they don’t stay, with us, either. We are keenly cognizant of the value of that window of opportunity and presence, that is given us as a gift, with each child. Sometimes that window is short.) were milling about excitedly calling and trying to help.  Various women, curious as to what was going on, approached. One older woman, hair dyed platinum, stood by the doorway, watching like a hawk and calling the other women and kids, a bit bossily, by their first names and in a familiar manner.

That’s why I thought she might be G., M. and R.’s grandmother – when we first arrived and were doing greetings, I’d shaken her hand and a few seconds later, because of the way she was interacting with persons there, I asked her if she was the children’s grandmother.  VERY taken aback, she looked at me and said, “NO!  Oh NO!  I’m the LANDLADY!”

“Oh, so very nice to meet you!”, I responded.  My friend, carrying a headboard in front of me, was laughing quietly, her shoulders shaking as I followed along behind her carrying the other heavy wooden headboard. “Psst, NinadesusOjos,” she whispered to me, she’s the “madam” of this establishment!”

OOOHHH.

(shows how much I know…….not…) How embarrassing. At least she didn’t get too mad when I called her the gramma.)


A unique adventure God gave me last Thursday afternoon. Part One.

A few of the more serious and heartfelt posts on here I need to make sure I give without any photos. This will be one.  Good exercise for me to try to describe my experience and my resultant thoughts about it, to you, in words alone without the “crutch” of photographs.

Three afternoons ago, at six o’clock, I thanked my hubby for giving me a ride out to the ministry where I help a tiny bit, gave him a kiss and jumped out of his jeep and briefly rang the doorbell on my friend’s property, then let myself in the black-painted metal pedestrian door with the painted tin can lid on a wire covering over the hole you can stick your arm through to open the slide-bar from the outside.

Three of us, all women, met up and a tiny white rattle-trap taxi had been called. The driver pulled up outside and we opened one side of the metal car door to the property and started carrying out, bit by bit, two brand new wooden bunk beds, two new foam-with-fiber, and a sewn cover on the outside mattresses, and the drawers and ladder to the bunk beds.  The driver loosely lashed some of the bunk bed parts to the top of the roof rack where they towered, looking a bit like a a two-year-old’s efforts to play Jenga, and we three gals piled into the taxi. The driver took off slowly, easing over the bumps and ruts and through heavy traffic.  After driving a short distance, we pulled up in front of a sprawling, run-down old brothel.

“HERE?????” How surprised and embarrassed the driver was! Yes, here. My friend had called ahead and, the paint-peeled metal door to that rundown brothel property was open, and three little children, siblings, R., G. and M. were already waiting for us out in front, joyfully jumping up and down, big smiles on their little faces!

Let me back up a little.  This ministry, where I help out a little is an outreach of sharing the Good News, and also teaching the Bible, to, principally, about fifty teens and children and some of their family members, each of the kids and teens of which is the child of sex trade workers and clients. The raison d’être and goal of the ministry is to see each child saved and protected, on every level and provide surrogate Christian “family” to each child.  The ministry platform/felt need/way we get access to these children and teens  used for the outreach is after-school homework support and nutritional support, for the children. Ours is a day program, not an orphanage. About half our kids are extremely malnourished when they first come into the center.  About a quarter of them have not been signed up for free public schooling; the first thing we do for a child is make sure that they are signed up for school, and then, we help them each day with their homework, plus give them nutritious simple lunch, snack and tea or breakfast, since their moms don’t cook or give them regular meals.  (To be continued…)

Epilogue Part One:  Why would we do this – go to such a place?  There’s only one reason – identical motivations for all three of us – for the sake of the children.  These young lives.  These little persons.  Jesus would have gone to that place, for them.  You go to such a place, a prayer on your lips and in your heart,sticking close one with another every second with your co-workers, one hundred percent only for the sake of Christ and for the sake of those three children, those three little siblings, R., G. and M., who are in our program, who live inside that brothel with their mother, who do not have a dad, and who sleep together with their mom and each other in one small dirty bed – the four of them, which is the bed, in the room, where their mother also plies her trade.  This family’s home is that one tiny, windowless room, with no table and no chair. Partially it is a family of five, not four, because another one of our little boys in the ministry, J., gets left by his mom for weeks at a time, frequently, with R., G., and M. and their mom, to live.  Okay, so, that’s four boys, the oldest of whom has turned 12, though he’s tiny and looks MUCH younger.  And one little girl, and that mom.  All sleeping in one bed. We were taking the new wooden bunkbeds, and mattresses, to fit into the side of that tiny dark room, for the children – the 3 boys to sleep in one bunk and the little girl, G., to have her own bed, the other bunk.  That was our project, that was our dream for G., R., M. and J.  THAT was our reason, our ONLY reason, for going to such a place.


Wednesday Post

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Ghandi

 

“If you do away with the yoke of oppression, … and if you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed then your light will rise in the darkness.” Isaiah 58:9-10IMG_5373


Wednesday Post

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Ghandi

 

“If you do away with the yoke of oppression, … and if you spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed then your light will rise in the darkness.” Isaiah 58:9-10IMG_5373


A Unique Adventure God Gave Me, Part Three.

Alright, well, to take up where I left off before, the rickety narrow steps going up to the rooftop/second “storey” of the big, open, multi-hovel brothel where our four children lived with their mother had VERY uneven steps, plus only had a railing on one side.  As I carried the heavy end of one wooden bunkbed up those stairs, 12-year-old M. carrying the other end, and going first, I had to try to lift the weight up high so that my end of the bed would fit between and over the railing, and the dangling poorly strung electrical wires and chicken-wire netting above the adobe bricks used to delineate the edge of that property, from the next one, and also, for sure, to deter thieves who might try to climb over the wall to steal people’s natural gas cooking stove tanks.  All of a sudden I heard catcalls, whistles and “Que macha!” (“Wow, what a jock”).

The catcalls and remarks were being addressed to me, because I was carrying one end of a heavy wooden bunkbed all by myself up some stairs.  I ignored the remark and prayed in my heart, “Jesus, protect us all three, and help us to get these bunkbeds delivered to these children, and help us to shine your LIGHT in this dark and awful place!”  I felt a little more calm after that, even though my heart was pounding and sweat was breaking out all over but that was because of the weight of that bunkbed and the fact that it was a very warm summer afternoon.


A Unique Adventure God Gave Me, Part Two.

We labored the various heavy wooden bunk bed parts off the roof rack of the taxi, the two new twin mattresses, the wooden drawers and ladder.  Children- LOTS of children, most of whom we DIDN’T know  (our ministry is constantly getting requests from moms and grandmas to take more kids – sadly we don’t have human and material resources to take more than we already have – around fifty. Our number fluctuates, as often our children as young as six are removed by their parent in order to make that child work full-time and, as many of our kids get into their adolescent years they don’t stay, with us, either. We are keenly cognizant of the value of that window of opportunity and presence, that is given us as a gift, with each child. Sometimes that window is short.) were milling about excitedly calling and trying to help.  Various women, curious as to what was going on, approached. One older woman, hair dyed platinum, stood by the doorway, watching like a hawk and calling the other women and kids, a bit bossily, by their first names and in a familiar manner.

That’s why I thought she might be G., M. and R.’s grandmother – when we first arrived and were doing greetings, I’d shaken her hand and a few seconds later, because of the way she was interacting with persons there, I asked her if she was the children’s grandmother.  VERY taken aback, she looked at me and said, “NO!  Oh NO!  I’m the LANDLADY!”

“Oh, so very nice to meet you!”, I responded.  My friend, carrying a headboard in front of me, was laughing quietly, her shoulders shaking as I followed along behind her carrying the other heavy wooden headboard. “Psst, NinadesusOjos,” she whispered to me, she’s the “madam” of this establishment!”

OOOHHH.

(shows how much I know…….not…) How embarrassing. At least she didn’t get too mad when I called her the gramma.)