Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Dreams on Hold

Aside from injury or death, one of the worst pieces of news parents would hear is,  'I am going to be a dad.'   This bit of news was delivered to us the other day.

Immediately I thought about how all his dreams and hopes were going to be put aside, maybe forever. My next thought was, this boy in a man's body is continuing the cycle that plagues this nation,  "Children giving birth to children".

All the discussions about birth control, abstinence and the desire for their children to not grow up in a home with only one parent seemed to have fallen on deaf ears.  We're familiar with children growing up in fatherless houses, mom's abandoning their children, aunts and grandma's doing the best they can to feed the many mouths in their homes.  And because of all this, children, teens and young adults want so much for someone to love them.

Something we have discovered is that the Nica culture looks at sex differently than Americans or Christians do.   From the time they are born, children have been exposed to sexual relationships. There is no privacy in the typical poor Nica home.  Everyone shares what might be the one and only room in the house.  If they are lucky enough to have a piece of plastic on a line separating beds, little ears hear things.  And it's very common for adults and children to share beds.  Sexuality and nudity are as natural to them as breathing.

Americans are considered uptight because of our biblical views.  In the local churches it is so common to have the young girls pregnant more than once and it is celebrated.  I have yet to hear of a concern for the well being of the young pregnant mom or the future of the unborn child.

Right now, I am not very popular in our home.  I have asked that the young mother-to-be go back to her community and be with her mother.  She is only 16 years old, she needs her mother.  She ran away and she is afraid to return to her family.  I cannot help her, I do not know the language well enough, I do not know the customs well enough.

I have been insistent that as long as our Nica son wants our help, he will need to do as we request to talk his girl friend in to going home.  He will be financially responsible and the time apart will give them both the space they need to decide their future.

Our boy is in shock, he's concerned about the added responsibilities.  He is also determined to be an involved daddy.  He wants more for his child than the circumstances he endured of his own childhood.  Noel has been working hard to have his own business.  He has already purchased his first tricyclo taxi.  His goal is to own three taxis by March.

We too are in shock, but God says his mercies are new every morning.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Trust is Broken

One of the most difficult times we encounter is when the very people we help are the ones who choose to sabotage the relationships.  We deal a lot with dishonesty.  Most of the time it is in the telling lies.  We also have dealt with dishonesty in the form of stealing. But, never have we dealt with dishonesty when it was premeditated by those living in our home.

I will not use names because of the sensitivity of the issues.  One of our boys who has been in and out of our care for a couple of years was again living with us.  He came to us asking if a boy he had known for years who recently left Remar could stay with us for a little while until he could find a job and a place to rent.  We asked that he invite the boy over for us to meet and talk to.

When the young man came to visit, we explained what we were willing to do for him and exactly for how long.  He agreed and immediately moved in.  It's amazing how quickly someone will have amnesia.  After a couple of days we had to remind him that his time with us was limited and needed to find a job.  There are plenty of jobs out there, maybe not what you would prefer to have, but a job is a job right now and you had better have one when you come back this evening for supper.

He came back with a job washing dishes in one of the better restaurants.  His desire was to be a waiter, but I encouraged him with the idea that he has his foot in the door, now he could prove himself to the owner.  He quit the job after 4 days, it was too hard.  Long story short, in three weeks he had 3 jobs and all of them were beneath him.  The second job he was fired from because he wanted to go visit friends in Managua instead of going to work.  The last job was working in the hamburger stands for 16 hour days, now that is hard!

Everyone in our house knew that we were planning to go to Managua for our residency acceptance. When we returned home that evening, Preston saw that the door to our bodega was ajar.  He didn't think much of it, he assumed he had not closed it properly.  A day or two later he needed a power drill and could not find it. Noel had been the last one to put it away and Preston asked him about it.  Noel went into the bodega to look and it was not in its place.  After much search, we just assumed someone else had used it and we needed to wait until they returned home in the evening to ask. When the rest of the household had been questioned, it was the usual story, no one had seen it.

The next day, Preston was working on a project and needed another tool but couldn't find it.  He started taking inventory and discovered several things missing.

When we confronted everyone in the house, they all denied knowing anything about the missing tools. There had been 3 people in the house the day we went to Managua.  Two of the boys tried to convince us that someone came in to the house and stole them.  The house had never been vacant, so they tried to discredit the one person that had been in the house all day.   They said that maybe someone climbed over the wall when the other person was sleeping.  We reminded them that our dog Mordecai would never let a stranger in the house.

We had to ask the new young man to leave our home as well as the boy who brought him into our house.  It was difficult to turn one of our favorite sons away but we were convinced that he was involved.  As we thought about the events leading to the discovery of the robbery, we remembered that our boy had been starting to wear a backpack out of the house every day which he had not done before.  When he returned on one particular day it was not as padded as it had been that morning when he left to go to work.  There had been other telltale signs but we did not piece them all together until afterwards.

It's Christmas and the need for money and things is in great demand.  What is really troubling about this is that good tools were sold or pawned for pennies on the dollar.    Much of  the society here has the same mindset; foreigners, especially Americans are rich.  We can easily replace whatever is lost to us.  Also because of our supposed abundance, they think they can help themselves because we have so much.  We deal with this disrespect all the time.

What is troubling is that it was one of our boys who did not respect us.  But more troubling is that whatever trust we extended toward him, was broken.  We had experiences with him in the past with lies, but never, ever dreamed that stealing would be an issue.

This broken trust hurts!