Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Until it Hurts...

"I have found the PARADOX-- That if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love." --Mother Teresa

This, friends, is what I am learning. 

Three weeks. I have been in Ecuador now for almost 3 weeks, and time is just flying by. Some days are fun. Some days are hard. But every day I see a little bit more of God and His love for us.

Being here isn't easy. It's much harder than I expected, but for reasons I never really considered, as my first post since being here shared <Rad Dad>.  These kids have been through horrific tragedies already in their young lives. I expected them to love me and beg for my attention to play with them. Some moments, this happens, and that is fun. But most of the time, my life is not that pretty here. Most days are spent trying to figure out new/effective ways to help the kids do their homework and chores, stop fighting each other, play fair, and just listen. Most days, I feel like I have made absolutely no impact in these kids' lives.  Some days, I feel like a complete failure.  But then, there are these rare moments when I see a sliver of the Kingdom being won.  And these moments are enough. 

Don’t get me wrong.  I love it here.  I truly enjoy being at the Foundation and working there, but by the end of the day, I am tired.  One of the older girls actually asked me if I get tired of being there, and I told her that I get tired, but I am not tired of being there.  I told her that I didn’t have to be there, but rather I choose to be there because I want to get to know them more.  I just pray that she and the others truly feel that when I interact with them. 

Two of the last three nights that I have worked have been pretty crazy.  I don’t want to go into the details, but I have never seen some of what went down ever in my life.  It terrified me and also broke my heart.  These kids live with the lie that there is no hope.  They don’t experience much peace, and they desperately need it!  When there is no peace, there is chaos.  I was reminded that I am here, in this moment, this time in their lives, to stand in the gap and declare victory in their lives.  To pray for peace to permeate their hearts.  To claim them for the Kingdom of God.  To love them regardless of their issues.  To fight for them. 

This isn’t easy.  I’ve prayed over some of the kids in ways that I (shamefully) never have before.  In their moments of pain, shame, anger, and hurt, I have been given the privilege of being there.  I’ve held teenagers in my arms who are sobbing, their tears and snot all over my arm.  I’ve sat beside them as they cry and yell as sorrow tried to overtake them.  I’ve come to realize and see with my own eyes just how real this spiritual battle is. 

This isn’t being written to show how great of a person I am.  In contrast, I have come to realize just how broken I am.  I often feel helpless, but that is also a lie.  Truth is that my God is good all the time…..He just is.  Truth is that I have Light when darkness is trying to overtake it all.  Truth is that He alone gives me the strength to continue to fight for these kids.  Truth is that He has already won. 

I ask those who are reading this to stand with me.  The devil is trying his hardest to kill their spirits and fill them with the lies that they are worthless and unloved and not worth it.  Some days, they believe them.  Pray for protection for their minds and hearts against his stupid schemes.  Pray that we would be able to show them just how worth it they are.  Pray that Jesus would be proclaimed in their lives each day.  Pray for PEACE.  Pray for JOY.  Pray for VICTORY.

Thank you for all the prayers you have already offered up on our behalf.  Don’t grow weary in them!  I know I speak for all the volunteers and staff when I say that we NEED your prayers.  These kids NEED your prayers.  They are making a difference.  God has already brought us to some of your minds when we needed your defenses the most.  The battle is real, and your prayers are the flaming arrows that are lighting up this place and fighting off the enemy’s army and attacks.  We thank you for fighting for us when all we feel we can do is hold up our Shield.  Love you. 

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