Nicholas is a street kid that has been in our lives for 7 years. We met him when we first arrived in Zambia. He is a good guy! Funny, athletic, has a generous open heart and is easy to be around.
Luis and I both felt a leading from God to bring him to work with us three days a week in Streetwise. So, while our girls are in school Nicholas comes and we sand, nail, paint and generally work him HARD!
It hasn’t been an easy process AT ALL! He comes with a magnitude of issues and pain. Some days he comes and all he can do is sleep, other days he comes and wants to work. One day in particular he came in with boils and malaria. So, I told him to lay on the couch so I could dress the boils and he feel asleep HARD and snored HARD for 6 hours. He probably would have slept longer but my kids needed to do their homework. Bless him!!!! (remember the Streetwise Global headquarters is our dining room)
His life is bouncing from place to place, living from moment to moment, hoping to find a safe place to be himself. How can a body find true rest living that way? When he comes to us, we believe that this is the only place where he doesn’t feel threatened or scared so he lets his guard down and he rests.
Last week it was just Nick and myself working, Luis had to be somewhere else. He came in EXHAUSTED and smelling like the raw end of a distillers back side. Not only that, his face looked war weary and simply tired of life. As I sat and prayed while he was eating God told me to tell him this “If you don’t get off the streets you will be dead with in two years”. That simple statement, potent though it was, was like opening up a damn inside of him. He began to talk.....he talked about his fears, he talked about his past pain and he talked about what he wants to do with his future. I got the sense that he shared things with me that he has never shared with any one before. It was a holy precious moment.
I won’t go into details about what he shared because I don’t want to abuse his trust that way, but I would like to make this point.....When God brings people into our lives who are living in such pain and dire need it is important that we remain prayerful and available. We don’t always have to have the answers or the solutions, but we do have to have a listening ear and a prayerful heart. Sometime there are no words and we just need to listen and let the hurt unburden the pain they have been carrying for so long. Sometimes we have to say hard things laced with the grace and love of Jesus. Sometimes we have to take action. All that is required of us is that we stay in tuned to the voice of God for what He wants us to do or say. SIMPLE!
I will tell you this....I got him to promise me that he would commit to one month at the Teen Challenge facility. My argument being this “Nick! You will be shocked at how good you feel when you get to sleep in the SAME bed every night and get to eat regularly!” It wasn’t “You suck and are broken and we need to fix you”
Will you pray for Nicholas? There is a war going on for his soul right now. Pray that he has the courage to step out in faith and let God heal his broken battered soul and restore him to the beautiful person God has created him to be! Pray that he has the faith for one moment at a time......Cause sometimes when we are scared that is all we can handle! AMEN!? Pray that after one month he will want to stay and finish the program.
Would you also pray for us? It isn’t easy going into the trenches the way we do to work with these guys. We are often on the Devils target list. We need wisdom! We need understanding! We need to stay hidden behind the cross of Jesus at ALL time!