If you remember, in one recent post of mine (Noteworthy Experience) I posted about Jean Baptiste, the young street boy I met a few weeks ago. Well, needless to say, I wasn’t too pumped about that interaction. A few days ago, I was reprocessing that event and I prayed to Jesus that He would let me see Jean Baptiste again, so I could love on him a bit more and get him some more food. Wellll…..He answers prayers :)
I was walking around on the street above my house and he came up behind me asking for food. At first I didn’t recognize him, but I beckoned the boy to follow me and started walking towards the same grocery store I had visited last time. I turned and got a better look at him and realized that it was Jean Baptiste! I said his name and he looked up at me and gave me a brilliant smile. He gave me a hug and when the men at the store tried to stop him from coming in, I just put my arm around his shoulders and marched on through. He got a carton of milk and a loaf of bread again and as we walked in separate directions, he kept giving me the thumbs up and smiling really big. It was really really awesome. Jesus really answers prayers. All of his other street boy friends were standing down at the other end of a dirt road branching off the main road and they were all pretty excited to get some food. I am so blessed that God has put me in the position to help. I still wish there was more that I could do. Especially after that poem I put in the last post (check it out if you haven’t already–its mind blowing and convicting and heart wrenching all in one)…I see that street children have super difficult lives and they don’t have anyone to raise them right. They grow up into dangerous men and women because they only know how to live in do-anything-to-survive mode. Whew. These kinds of interactions leave me with a lot of conviction and heaviness of spirit. But I have to trust that God is good and He can protect these boys even if I can’t.
Another story about street kids here in Rwanda: One of our boys from the Center, Idi, a 12-year-old ball of fire, has been missing for the past week. We heard that during holidays he had gone back out to the streets instead of staying at home and had been thrown in jail because he didn’t have an ID card. Some leaders had gone to all the surrounding prisons looking for him, trying to get him out to bring him back to the Center. But he wasn’t to be found anywhere. So people were at a bit of a loss. On Tuesday, his best friend from the Center and one of the leaders went out to Kigali and searched for him. They finally found him (I didn’t hear where or under what circumstances) and he is now safely back at the Center. Everyone was worried that he was in trouble or hurt or something. We are all very relieved that he is taken care of now. Such is the life of many children around the world. I can’t even fathom the magnitude of this injustice.
I am getting ready to come back home and I know that it will be a hard transition. Though I am excited to see everyone that I love and miss, I know that I will have so many questions and challenging questions to wrestle with. Reverse culture shock can really get you, and I just have to be prepared. I will be in Oregon in about 3 days. Wow. I can’t really imagine being back. It’s not real yet…but I guess it will be soon :)