Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Repentance and Confession

The last month has been especially difficult in our home and in our ministry.  Actually, I guess we could say that the home and ministry are one and the same.  Right now, God has us ministering to young men in our home.  We have encountered battles on every front; in our finances, in our living conditions and most destructive - in the behavior of the boys.  

Recently, I (Sandra) have been asking God a lot as to why He called us to this ministry and to this country.  I never received the answers to the questions I had been asking.  And just when the pressure, disappointment and pain were getting to be too much to bear, God gave His answer in the most unexpected way.  He spoke through one of our boys.

We have known all the boys who live with us prior to their residency in our home.  They were former students in our vocational school.  We did not solicit them to leave the institution where they once had lived.  Each one had personal reasons for leaving the facility and finding their way to our doorstep.  The fact that we did not turn any one of them away has created division in our relationship with the institution.  

The boys are not addicts, they are either abandoned, rejected or orphaned youth.  Some of them have lived on the streets for a time.  Some of them have suffered extreme physical and sexual abuse at a very young age.  Some of them have behavior that is learned only by living on the streets.   They know how to manipulate and lie to get what they need or want, that is essential to the survival of a street kid.

We did not come here prepared to raise these boys.  We came here to teach vocational skills to young men of this nation who otherwise would not have the opportunity to learn a trade in order to become self-sufficient.  We are not psychologists or social workers.  We are two people who have a supernatural love for boys that society has neglected or forgotten.   We came here to start a school, God brought us here to parent this "forgotten generation".

After supper each night, the boys take turns preparing for a devotional teaching.  Each boy is assigned a night.  Tonight, was different however.   The boy whose turn it was to deliver the teaching said he was not going to teach from the bible because  "He had something to say".  

He started by saying that he had been thinking a lot about his behavior.  He talked about the thoughts that come into his mind and how they prompt him to do bad things.  He said he did not want to lie or deceive us any more.  He wanted to change, he wanted the strength to change.  And he wanted to be forgiven.

Yes, God answered my questions and my prayers tonight.  Through the confession of a child and his deep repentance, God told me what I needed to hear.   We are being used to make a difference, the boys are listening to us, our efforts and our words are not in vain.   I cried through the entire confession and I know that none of the boys had a clue as to why.   They have no idea how low my spirit had been sinking in these last few days.  They have no idea that God threw me a "lifeline" through one of them.  

I went to the dinner table with misty eyes from earlier tears and left with tears of relief and gladness.  I went to my "son" after his confession, hugged him and told him how much I loved him.  I received the same words back.   I thank God for his love and faithfulness to work all things for good.