This was probably one of the toughest weeks Streetwise has faced to date.
We lost our first student and it was a blow! He was doing SO WELL! Then, all of a sudden he came in angry and defensive and unwilling to hear us. It was so awful.
(A little praise report……I wanted so badly to say “LISTEN YOU LITTLE UNGRATEFUL NERD!!!!! If you only knew what we have gone through to help you!!!!!” But God, in his infinite grace and mercy kept my mouth shut! PRAISE THE LORD! )
It just so happened to be Wednesday, outreach day. (of course!) I wasn’t feeling very “outreachy” but thank God we walk by faith and not by sight!
As some of you may remember me writing about Joe Chibanza. He was saved from a life of 10 years on the streets and Jesus has RADICALLY transformed him!!!!!
|When Joe started at teen challenge 3 years ago.|
Joe always comes on Wednesdays and stays the night with us so he can participate in the outreach and help out around the outreach center. He has also started another outreach Thursday morning. It was going on for a month before we knew about it. He just wanders the city looking for pockets of kids to talk to.
WELL!!! Thursday morning dawned bright and beautiful and I woke up feeling beat up and completely defeated. Luis was feeling the same way. The first thought that entered my mind was “I don’t need all this mess!! I just want a nice drama free office job and get my kids through to adulthood!” In the middle of my mental tirade Joe said that he wanted to speak to us. I will confess my thought was “NO LORD!!! PLEASE!!!! I CAN’T HANDLE THIS AGAIN!!!”
So, with a sigh and a determination to just get it over with we went and sat with Joe.
He opened his mouth and out came words straight from God’s heart. He said that he had been up early praying for us and God told him to encourage us. He saw that we were pretty discouraged. Honestly, I don’t remember what he said specifically. While he spoke I kept remembering him 3 years ago smelling like a distillery, barely able to hold his head up and comparing that image to this strong, healthy, capable, handsome, whole and set free young man sitting in my living room.
|Joe, leading an outreach about a month ago|
I did my best not to ugly cry all over the place. Zambians don’t take well to public displays of emotion.
God told me in that moment “Just keep pressing forward. Never give up! (cue Ben Crandall voice for all you TSC’rs reading this)”
THEN! The team from the Thursday morning outreach came in and gave their update. You guys my heart was full! Eva told us how a boy pulled her aside to thank her for the food we brought the night before! Alex told how a boy was so thrilled that he remembered his name! Moses! He said his little face lit up with such joy that he was remembered. All day God just kept bringing little treasures to find along the path that pushed us forward.
My conclusion is this! WE NEED YOU!!!! We need prayer!!! This isn't easy what God has asked of us. These precious boys have issues and needs that are way beyond us! We need prayer!!!! We need you to help stand in the gap for the lives of these precious babies!! The word of God is clear on this point........"I am fearfully and wonderfully well and that my soul knows VERY well!" I pray that verse over my own children and the lives of the kids on the streets all the time! They are fearfully and wonderfully made and the Devil has done his level best to convince them otherwise.
Would you pray for Jason? He is the student that booked out on us last week. PLEASE pray that his heart is open to hear the voice of God! Please pray that he stops fighting God and recognizes that the only way for a hope and a future is in Jesus and Jesus alone! Please pray that Jason finds the rest of Jesus for his weary soul. I was trying to find a picture of him in my files but unfortunately I don't have one. But Jesus knows who he is and what he looks like!