Before summer started here at Back2Back Mexico, we hosted a youth retreat for the teens that live on our campus through the Back2Back Hope Education Program.
The theme was “Inner Healing.” Several of our youth started praying and fasting for this event about two months before. The testimonies that flowed from the retreat were incredible. Testimonies of feeling like baggage from the past had dropped off of their shoulders, they felt free, forgiven, and worth something. This retreat culminated in a church service at a local church where our youth gave testimonies in front of a large congregation of people. One young man in particular, got up and yelled into the mike, “YO SOY LIBRE!” (I am free). He then went on to explain how he had made several bad choices in his life, but God had forgiven him and he truly felt free for the first time in his life. That phrase ‘Yo soy libre’ has rattled around in my head these past few weeks.
Lately I have been praying that God would renew my passion for the orphan child. Little did I know how badly it would hurt. At one of our children’s homes we are short a care giver. One of our single staff women has stepped in to be surrogate aunt until we can find a replacement. Others of us, including me, are helping share the load of fourteen little guys between the ages of two and eight.
I have helped bathe them and put them to bed. Bedtime has to be the loneliest time in a children’s home. All those little bodies wanting someone to rub their back and treat them like the children they are. You always have someone crying, throwing things, one with a meltdown, one who has pooped his pants, and the never ending climbers! The first few days I helped out, I would come back to our campus and just cry. I really could not stand the pain that these kids were going through. One morning I was reading my Bible, flipping through the Psalms and I hit upon Psalm 61:1-3:
O God, listen to my cry! Hear my prayer! From the ends of the earth I cry to you for help when my heart is overwhelmed. Lead me to the towering rock of safety, for you are my safe refuge, a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me. Let me live forever in your sanctuary, safe beneath the shelter of your wings.
Then the phrase ‘Yo soy libre’ started rattling around in my brain again. God has done just that through the Hope Education Program. He has heard the cries of the orphan child. He is taking back the ground that the enemy meant to use to destroy them. Through healthy interactions God is restoring them, giving them meaning, purpose, and love. I feel totally humbled to be part of this process. I know that there will always be orphans. There will always be wounds that are seemingly too deep to heal, but our God is a miracle worker. He never sleeps. He never slumbers. He never tires of hearing our prayers. Pray for this large group of kids. The last count I heard was 148 million but that was before the tragedy in Haiti. Pray that God protects and provides for these children. Pray for passion for the orphan child.