We have been blessed to have an incredible young lady serving with us for a season. I wanted to share her latest blog. It is below. I love to see how God works through others and seeing my boys through their eyes. Please take the time to read Marie Miller's blog which is copied below:
Breaking chains, breaking hearts, and break throughs.
My heart is both full of joy and breaking to pieces this past week. As I spend more time with the boys, they're opening up to me and I'm able to see more clearly what they struggle with now, and how their painful pasts play a role in the way they think and understand things. But before I dive into that, here's a picture of the boys & their friends playing soccer on the beach! 95 degrees and no rain this weekend!
Playa at La Casa de Ninos
I don't even know where to begin. There is SO much to say, most of which I don't even know how to put into words even if I had the time to write it all down.
I post pictures of me and the boys like this one below, and I know everyone has the impression that I'm
teaching and helping take care of 6 Honduran foster kids (the 7th boy is the oldest & is really independent & has his own responsibilites). And this is true--they are foster kids that my friend Lisa is raising and I am living with them and coming along side her to love them and help them grow both spiritually & in their education.
And they have so much LOVE in their hearts for both me and Lisa. I am always greeted with a hug good morning & good night from them and countless hugs or someone snuggled up next to me while I read, etc constantly during the day. And they LOVE to learn more about God and are excited to read the Bible aloud during our twice daily scripture time. Hearing them read the Word moves me in a way I can't even explain. The Holy Spirit is alive and working in this home and I can hear it in their voices and see it in their eyes.
But everything is not so "happy go lucky" around here all the time. These children come from homes (or the street/dump in La Ceiba) having grown up in a childhood saturated with abuse, drugs, alcohol, gangs, violence, being threatened, and some of them in near-death situations more than once. These children are all between the ages of 11 and 15 years old.
I haven't really gone into detail about any of the boys' stories yet, because I wasn't quite sure what to share, or how to explain it after I shared it.
Below is a video that another woman my age made after her time here about a year and a half ago with the boys. Please do watch the video, but know before watching it that it's not easy to hear Melvin's story, and it is especially heartbreaking to know that he is not the only one who grew up enduring what he has.
Melvin's story is just that--HIS story. Each child here comes from an equally heartbreaking past and has different struggles and brokenness because of it. Melvin's brother Jose, like the end of the video said, was stabbed over 35 times by a complete stranger because a guard ordered the druggie to kill him, after hearing who he was and the crimes he was involved in. Jose did not know either man involved in this. He was literally walking down the street in the middle of the day when this happened. Long story short, Jose was left lying there to die in the street, lying in a pool of his own blood, but God rescued him and an ambulance just happened to be parked around the corner when he stumbled down the block & was then rushed to the hospital. This is especially moving because the healthcare system here is very inefficient and you almost never see an ambulance, so the fact that there just so happened to be one around the corner is truly a miracle.
Each of the 6 boys I'm here with have a different story. A different past. A different pain. But they are loved by the same powerful God that sought them out and pulled them out of the ditch (literally), a horror-movie status abusive home, a garbage dump (literally), a community run by gangs instead of law enforcement, and one boy out of a life that was completely dependent on cocaine and would do anything for it.
God did not forget about them. These are not just some statistic numbers on a world map. These are His children, and He fights for their lives. He cares for them. He provides for them. And even when they turn away (or run away from Lisa's house...) He protects them.
Just this past week, four of the 6 boys said they were running away and packed bags to go because something trivial upset them. And unfortunately, that is the response of many Honduran men here. They leave when they are upset--many Honduran men have a wife and a few kids and one day decide they've had enough, and leave. Not long after, they've met someone new and started a new family wanting to have nothing to do with their original wife & kids. And these boys see that everywhere. Some of them are that "first family".
God is molding and shaping their hearts and minds into something more beautiful every day. And when they make crazy decisions, say ugly things, and act out in anger or violence--God brings them back. He somehow uses Lisa and I to show them grace after they've chosen something extremely harmful to themselves or to others. And although the hurt and the anger happens, the grace overflows and overwhelms it, no matter how extreme or how deep the wound is.
One of my best friends referred to Lisa's boys as "the lost boys" one time when I asked her to pray for my trip while I was figuring out the details of getting ready to go to Honduras. (And yes, this is a Peter Pan reference to these kids growing up on the street without any parents & could literally do whatever they want, especially since they weren't in school.)
And today I'm reminded of how perfect that is--they were lost. Forgotten. Neglected. In the spiritually darkest areas of one of the most dangerous cities, in THE most violent country in the world.
And their Father searched for them, sought them out--to find them.
They are found.
They are no longer the "lost boys". They are children who have come home & know their true Father. The Father that will never leave them or move on from them. He is here to stay with them.
They are found.
Please pray for their hearts and minds to continue to heal & grow stronger in their faith and love for everything that is good, and not be drawn back into the unhealthy life they used to have that still has a power over them sometimes. It is incredible how strong the pull can be to something they know is unhealthy and incredibly dangerous--and yet the enemy uses this and twists it in their minds to make it tempting to go back.
People talk about "spiritual battles" or "spiritual warfare" in church. And it's one thing to learn about it or talk about the idea of it.
But it is another to feel it. And to see it right in front of you.
We went to church last Sunday night and it was me, Lisa and all seven boys sitting in the refreshingly cool (70 degrees maybe?) night time service at a church a few minutes away from our house. Churches here are kind of built like a simple, big open square with cement floor and windows without glass, but just metal bars in the window to keep people from robbing or vandalizing. Which means if someone is outside the window, you can hear their entire conversation because there's no glass--it's like there's an open door there. Now that you've got a mental picture, back to my thoughts on spiritual warfare.
As I'm listening to the sermon, I feel like someone is watching me. And I shake it off & think I'm just being paranoid. But then I look to my right and see three men standing outside, just standing there. Not saying anything--but just looking at me. And I realize there are more men creeping in the shadowy window, some drunk and some not, just standing there. Looking at people and making comments that I luckily didn't hear what they said. The windows are close enough to the rows of seats that they are two feet away from the person at the end of the row while they stand there. And this is a small town--everyone knows everyone!! Everyone here knows who I am, and I know almost no one in Balfate (most of my friends live in La Quinta just down the road), since the second day I go here. These men have absolutely no problem with creeping on women and making very crude comments about them, WHILE the pastor is preaching to the congregation. Once I noticed them, I didn't look back that direction for the rest of church, so they didn't think I noticed or was encouraging them. Just like the men in the streets--just keep walking and don't acknowledge them as they try to get your attention. But we were in a church, not the street. (Side note--there's not always people creepin in the windows, but it's also not uncommon for them to be there.) And I saw the spiritual warfare in a new light (which seems to be a continual pattern recently. God is doing big things in my heart this week!! He is so good. :) ) These people are gathered in this place to learn about and worship God, and they are literally surrounded by evil. Evil thoughts, suggestive comments, inappropriate actions, and basically people mocking the fact they're holding a church service by them even doing these inappropriate things. And even though I felt we were surrounded by darkness, I also believe we were covered in light and the church was filled by God's power, His presence, and His protection.
He is here.
Honduras is not just the most dangerous country in the world right now, but I believe it is also one of the most spiritually darkest places too. Which means when God works here, He shines.
And he makes waves and shakes the sickly foundation this country has built itself upon. One person at a time.
Tomorrow I'm going with Lisa to the dump in Ceiba. Please pray for our safety and that God would use us to continue to break the bonds of the suffering, violence, and drugs in that area.
As some of you might have seen in the media lately, Honduras is a very unstable country right now. And that is an incredible understatement of the reality of how bad it is here. My next blog post will be about the upcoming election on Sunday (PLEASE KEEP THIS IN YOUR PRAYERS--IT IS CRUCIAL FOR THE INSTABILITY OF THIS COUNTRY AS A WHOLE), and the drug/gangs that are more powerful than the police force at this point.
To see Marie's entire blog, click here: