17 Oct Day 7: Cristian

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”
James 1:27


It seems like Cristian has been with us forever. He’s a cute, spunky kid with a bit of a Napoleon complex and a charming smile; but he has a huge chip on his shoulder. At 14, Cristian left us to be adopted by a well-to-do Christian family. Even their children loved him and wanted him as a brother! But after a few months, Cristian decided he didn’t want to stay with them. He couldn’t articulate his feelings. He just didn’t feel it was a fit. He felt like an outsider.

He found solace in flying his homemade kites—a competitive sport in Brazil. Which kite will be able to zig-zag, then cut up and down to sever the string of the opponent? (On the streets, it’s common for kids to lace their string with a mixture of glue and tiny glass shavings. The practice is illegal and dangerous).   

Rodolpho, only 10, was new and still jockeying for respect among his newfound “brothers.” Two weekends in a row he messed with Cristian’s safe space: his kites. When Bella and I heard the commotion, Cristian was already in one squad car and Rodolpho in the other, clutching his leg. Apparently, Rodolpho had taken Cristian’s kite and ran.
In the process, he ripped the kite. Cristian caught up with him and took matters into his own hands, giving him a tremendous kick. Now the police were taking Cristian to file a police report with a possible overnight stay in jail, and Rodolpho was headed for a mandatory forensic exam. It sounds grave, but if this had been two brothers in their backyard, things would have been handled differently. At Hope, we have laws we have to follow, and any act of physical violence has to be reported.
To his credit, when Cristian came back he immediately apologized to Rodolpho, who continued to limp but had trouble remembering which leg was hurt.
Cristian, now 16, has about a year and a half left with us. I worry about him. While he’s matured in some ways, he’s still smoldering beneath the surface. He needs Jesus.

Today, please pray for those kids who are getting close to launch but aren’t quite ready. Pray for the Holy Spirit to invade their hearts and influence their decisions. Help Cristian to know that in Jesus, he will always have a place where he belongs.


Father, only You can break through the walls of anger and resentment our kids have erected. May your Holy Spirit work in us and through us to point them to You.