Restoring our Souls
NOTE: The government of Honduras frowns upon American non-profits using the images and names of children living as orphans or in foster situations. As a result, we have chosen to use nicknames or initials to identify the beautiful little people living at our children’s home!
“Non-Christians seem to think that the Incarnation implies some particular merit or excellence in humanity. But of course it implies just the reverse: a particular demerit and depravity. No creature that deserved Redemption would need to be redeemed. They that are whole need not the physician. Christ died for men precisely because men are not worth dying for; to make them worth it.” ~ C.S. Lewis
If you’ve ever visited Honduras or taken a drive through the inner city of a developing country, it’s very likely that you have come across children begging at busy street corners. Here, specifically, it’s common to see kids “working” a street corner by washing windows while cars are stopped at stop lights or walking between the cars selling goods. To society, these children are often looked down upon and viewed as outcasts, stuck in this situation in order to provide for their siblings or parents, or just to survive. They are innocent victims to poverty.
On January 21, our directors, Eric and Roxanne Bowman, received a call about three such children in need. Alishia and I prayed about accepting this sibling group, and God gave us such an unexplainable peace, so the next day, we went to pick up K, B, and A. K is the older sister of the two boys, B and A. We’re still learning more and more about their story each day that they are with us, but essentially, these kids “worked the streets” washing windows and begging in order to support their mother’s habit. Living this life style, these kids were never given the opportunity to eat regularly, bathe well, wash their clothes, go to school, receive medical or dental care, be vaccinated, receive consistent and loving discipline, or have toys or really anything that was just theirs. They were dirty, wild, and starving for attention. So you can imagine how crazy our first days together were. They were all beating each other up in order to hoard toys, destroying all sense of cleanliness and order, and eating every second of every day. It was crazy.
But God was there with us, and we had lots of support, and we really had just accepted that it was going to be that crazy. But then, something amazing happened. We were one week in, and we realized that the boys were sharing with one another. K wasn’t yelling at them. Instead, she was coloring and playing with them. When we sat out a snack, they didn’t fight and hoard. They went to find each other to make sure that everyone got a share. After one week of love, affection, discipline, and CONSISTENCY, there was a drastic change already beginning. Today marks exactly one month since they came to us, and I couldn’t even begin to explain the beauty in the transformation we have been able to be a part of.
We received this sibling group into our home a little over a year after moving to Honduras, but for a bit of a personal testimony, I can tell you, that was not our plan. We were not prepared to wait that long. After leaving language school, we became very impatient waiting on these kids, but once we turned it all over to God (which took a while), He gave us a sense of peace and comfort teaching us that it’s not always about the next step. Sometimes, it’s about the growth that can occur during the in-between time. During this in-between time, we worked with Eric and Roxanne and their 4 beautiful babies, receiving training, guidance, and discipleship. Words cannot describe how grateful Alishia and I are for the Bowman family, their wisdom and patience with us, and their Spirit driven wisdom and love for us and our three kids. We’ve learned how perfect God’s timing is and just how amazing and intricate God’s plan is.
We wanted to share with you just one example of the intricacy of God’s incredible plan for these children. All of the kids entered into the first grade this year because they had never been to school, even though they are 11, 8, and 6. When their teacher came up to Alishia last week and asked if she could talk with her, Alishia’s first thought was, “Oh no. What did they do?” But she asked if she could tell her story. She began to explain that she was orphaned as a baby. She was found in a trashcan in La Ceiba. Her parents literally threw her away. When she was found, she was sent to an orphanage where she lived under a house mother that was simply evil. She was mistreated and abused, and it got so bad that one of her house brothers committed suicide. At this point, she and Alishia were both crying, but she looked up and said, “I just want you to know that I understand what these children have gone through. I know how it feels to think that the people in the world who were supposed to love you didn’t. I know how abuse feels. I know how abandonment feels. And I also know how it feels to go somewhere new and not understand that I am saying bad words or behaving badly because no one ever taught me that was wrong. So I just want you to know that in my class, when your kids misbehave or say bad words or do something that they just haven’t grasped that it’s wrong yet, I will approach them with patience and love, but most importantly, understanding.”
How amazing is our God and His intricate plan, putting that teacher at that school with our children in mind? How overwhelming is His plan for their healing and redemption. For me, having them here has been a beautiful picture of redemption and restoration. Day by day, they are being able to be restored to the children they should be able to be who play with friends, go to school, eat when they are hungry, and feel safe in their home. They are now a part of a loving church family where they enjoy attending church on Sunday and learn about the redemption found in Jesus. No matter how society looked at these children and their mother, or how society looks at any of us, we are all the same. We are all in need of the Physician to be made whole again through the blood of Jesus.
“He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” Psalm 23:3 (ESV)
I want to publicly praise the Spirit for actively helping Alishia and I parent them with grace and love even when it is very difficult. Also, for visibly working within them, helping them to open their hearts and seeing what God is doing in their lives. I ask for your continued prayers for them in their transition from their old life to their new life with us. It is not an easy transition. I also want to thank everyone who is part of the Sparrow Missions family as a whole, from everyone here in Honduras to everyone in the states who serves with us whether it be short or long term. Because of you, this has all been made possible through God’s sovereign grace and providence!
God Bless, Christopher Weeks