An Open Window
Children arrive…and some depart—Pray with us that seeds of hope are just the start.
Working with children might perhaps be one of the most rewarding and fulfilling callings in life. The very heart of Christ reflected the Father’s love towards the little ones. Children can love and smile and forgive. They love freely and dare to dream. In more than 20 years of working with at-risk children, we have been able to witness their joy and parts of their healing process, but that’s just a slice of reality. Many special relationships are formed and built with the children in our care and it can be difficult to release them back into the hands of their family–yet these family bonds are deep-rooted, natural and legally binding.
Adán, Betzaira, and Ximena arrived at Esperanza Viva Youth Home for the first time in 2009. However, in 2012, their mother abruptly removed them from our care during a Sunday church service. There was no time to say goodbye to friends, no reassuring embrace that everything might be okay, no time for the children to process what was happening. There were tears and that feeling of helplessness among staff with the afterthought that perhaps the children would be better off with their family.
We have learned that despite the changing variables in each child’s particular situation, one thing is certain: the Lord is doing a work in their hearts and our role is to encourage, care for, hug, play with, pray over, cry with, and pray some more.
In April 2016, Adán, Betzaira, and Ximena returned to Esperanza Viva. Their faces, although older, were reminiscent of that summer day in 2009 when we first met them. For almost four years they had been living in uncertainty and were witness to situations that a child should not ever have to encounter. In spite of this, we rejoice at the opportunity to care for their hearts once again. We are grateful.
It is tough to press on when our eyes do not see the full picture, but it is then that we are reminded His grace is more than enough, and His love is limitless. So we take heart and stand firm in our mission to love and to make the most of the time that these hearts are entrusted to our care. The labor of love will not cease.