If you read number two of this previous post, you'll get a small glimpse of what it is like to be raised in the midst of poverty. It has a lot to do with not having the money for other forms of entertainment, especially vacationing, as well as the way that poor education can impede creativity.
The kids stay out in the streets all day out of boredom. Or suffocation. So many living in a house, sharing a room, means that home is not a haven, but a havoc.
Yesterday, I made one of the "never-ending" cards with Gabriel. He's one of the most well-behaved, sweetest kids in the group, and he talks often about his family and passions. When we made the card, we asked if he wanted to make it for his mom. He began to write about how much he loves and misses them.
"Even though we are separated, we are always together in our hearts."
I wanted to cry. Imagine living in a home when you know there's someone out there who does want to take care of you. The other day Gabriel walked for six straight hours to visit with his mom.
Then there's Santi of Las Violetas. Another great kid. Unfortunately, many of the others pick on him and call him gay. Just this past week one of his cousins died. The child of 7 or 8 years drowned in the canal that borders the neighborhood, while his dad was there, not paying attention.
How do you explain to Santi that death is a part of life? How do you explain to Gabriel that his mom just economically can't keep him in the house right now?
They have to grow up quick, so to speak, in order to cope with these daunting stressors. It is unjust, to put it simply, that anyone their age should have to deal with these things in the first place. We have had it so good.
Please pray for Santi and Gabriel. Pray for their broken hearts to be filled by the love of Jesus, who hurts and cries with them. The same Jesus who hears the prayers of the downtrodden. Thanks and chau.