10 Oct Day 2



”I am convinced and confident of this very thing, That he who has begun a good work in you, will perfect and complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”  Philippians 1:6


Sometimes we get a call from a different jurisdiction asking us to take a kid. Youth authorities in our city frown on it for obvious reasons—it’s bringing potential riff-raff into their turf.  Who will pay for medical services and social workers to accompany this case?  And when he runs away, will the other city’s social services find him and take him back?

Our own staff has different opinions.  Our social workers, always attuned to legal ramifications, are concerned with upsetting local youth authorities to whom we are often beholden for favors. But other staff members advocate strongly for the child. “Don’t we exist exactly for children that no one wants? Does God see political borders?”

Daniel is a good example. His mother abandoned him at an orphanage as a baby. When he was 8, his biological father, surprised to find he had a son, took him home. But by this time Daniel was out of control.  Before long his dad abandoned him as well.  Daniel lived in the burned shell of a car until someone alerted the youth authorities who asked the orphanage to take him back. They refused.  Even though Daniel is small for his age, his fits of rage put the younger kids in danger.

Out of options, the city youth authorities contacted us, desperate for us to accept him.  Our social workers worried that we were being sold a bill of goods that could pose legal quandaries.  “If they are that desperate, there must be a reason.”

Political negotiations, it seems, are a part of every job these days. It is hard when you’re trying to protect small souls. Differing opinions are not bad – iron sharpens iron. But they can also be divisive.  Trials can bring us together or they can stand in the way of the Body of Christ working together.

After much debate, Daniel arrived accompanied by two social workers. They were a bit pale after the long drive with their young charge.  Despite his small size, it was clear he was in control. They looked visibly scared each time we asked Daniel to do something.  “He only takes his meds crushed into a smoothie,” one advised.  Our house mom just blinked.

The first week, we were sure we’d made a grave error.  Daniel did refuse to take his meds or even to eat.  He scratched one house parent and bit another.  He punched his hand through a window and wouldn’t let anyone bandage it.

But over the next week, house parents Carlos and Cida won his confidence.  Carlos was able to share with him his own story of rejection, fear, and finally conversion.  Soon Daniel made friends with the other boys, and even enjoyed being trusted with chores—and school!   We were incredibly impressed by how quickly the transformation occurred.  If only it was always so easy.

Daniel is not perfect, by any means.  But compared to the rest of our rowdy bunch, he’s pretty compliant. He’s finally happy to belong.  And we’re confident that “He who began a good work . . . will carry it on into completion until the day of Christ.”  Daniel’s life is just beginning. I thank God for choosing us to be close enough to watch him grow.

Please pray for little Daniel. Pray for unity with our local officials and   harmony among our staff, who want the best for our kids, but don’t always see eye to eye on how to accomplish that. Finally, pray for mutual compassion and understanding in the ideological differences we all encounter daily at home, in our churches and in our communities.