01 Nov Day 22: The Good Fight

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

2 Timothy 4:17

Henrique and the girls

Henrique and Simone were newlyweds when they accepted the call as residential coordinators. During that time they had Samuel. Later, they tragically miscarried at 8 months. Through it all they kept loving and parenting their special flock of former street girls, modeling how to deal with joys, celebrations, and pain.
Henrique left to pursue a degree in Sociology, but his farewell speech clearly shows the heart shared by all our house parents.

“When Simone and I arrived at the Girls Ranch as the new Residential Coordinators, we anticipated many trials. We were right. Many times we cried, without anyone knowing except our Lord Jesus. Many times, we were tempted to give up. But then, the next moment, we’d be rejoicing at the victories of girls who had surrendered themselves at the feet of Jesus. And we’d remember why God brought us here.

Today we can say with complete certainty “We fought the good fight.” We fought for the lives of every girl that crossed our path! There were times I ran like crazy, chasing after girls who ran away, through the fields around the ranch—not so our numbers would go up or not go down, but so lives wouldn’t be lost. At other times, we rescued girls just by sharing about our family and our love for one another. Sometimes that was enough to make the girls desire a life like ours and accept Jesus.

This is why I say we fought the good fight. We never once stopped fighting the enemy, the principalities and powers, defending the precious lives the Lord Jesus entrusted to our care.
I also have peace in saying “We have finished the race.” We did what we were sent to do: to share the unconditional love of Christ for the wounded, lost and sick. Not for our glory, but so that the girls would become women committed to the Gospel and to the Lord Jesus Christ.
It was God who brought us to the City of Youth. And though we are sad, we know it is God who is closing this door. Today, with all the love Christ put in our hearts, we say goodbye to you. And we say this: the distance will not bring the love we have for you to an end, but only make it increase.”
We prayed for the Lord to raise up house parents for our kids, and He answered with Henrique and Simone. Today Henrique has graduated with a law degree and fights for Children’s Rights, but we still consider them a part of our extended family. Even more beautiful than their goodbye speech is the welcome speech they will hear one day: “Well done, good and faithful servants.”

Father, continue to provide couples with a special calling to this ministry, who are willing to be loving parents to our not always lovable children. Our prayer extends to encompass heroic house parents and foster parents serving in every corner of the globe. Encourage them during tough times, and give them the extra strength they need.