Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Flee or stay.

    Today after a good day of building four homes we were able to once again sit down for a delicious meal at Carrie and Stuart's home. As typical, our translators and drivers stayed and ate with us and I was blessed enough to sit by them. While I have talked to Donald (our driver) before and even met his wife (Ellie) before, I was not aware of the things going on in their lives.  Donald spoke to us about his children. Donald and Ellie have two children they can barely afford, but are also caring for two other children who were abandoned by her sister and brother-in-law when they fled for the USA.  This is a similar story to those we have heard before from others, and these stories always move me as I consider the impact on the children. In this situation, the oldest child (10 at the time) pulled back and would not accept any affection or Love from Donald and Ellie for over three years. 
    What was different this time from the other stories I have heard was their description of the missing father. Their father does send some support (it does not cover their costs) and does phone on a regular basis.  Recently, the father paid for a coyote to bring the children to the USA without even letting Donald and Ellie know, so the kids were suddenly gone. However fifteen days later the attempt had failed and they were back and in trouble with the law due to the failed illegal attempt.  What shocked me was that throughout the conversation they had nothing bad to say about the father, and they even admired him for having the courage to make the dangerous journey to the USA. I was overwhelmed and had to express to Donald that we admired him and his wife because I believe it takes more  courage to stay behind and take care of both his family and the additional kids even though it was a struggle. 
    This very choice is what we have been commending this week in our building community, as so far every home built has been for families with both Father and Mother present and signs of strong commitment.  These families need our prayers as the lure of fleeing to a better life in the USA is still alive, even with the broken homes it leaves behind. 
Thank you for your continued prayers for us and these families.



  1. So wonderful you are all able to be such an encouragement!
    Ann B

  2. Thanks guys for all your posts. We've been reading them and praying for you, as have our kids, each day. We pray for the children who we sponsor there, for the children who are waiting each day for a sponsor, and for each of you amid the families who are watching intently for who and what you are and represent. We are praying for strength, for unity, for health, for protection, and for a real sense of purpose there (even if building houses is only part of it.)

    Today I had a few challenges of my own, as part of the basement in our new home flooded with sewage from a sewer backup. Oh my. The frustration of all of my "storage" being soaked in blecht whilst trying to still move in! (Mattresses, suitcases, decorations for various seasons, antique furniture, new flooring all thrown out due to contamination.) At supper we prayed, as I was exhausted by day's end: Thank you, Lord, for this home, for a country where help is a phone call away (and some people actually make their living from cleaning up poop!). Thank you, Lord for a roof that doesn't leak, and doors that lock, and for all the comforts of home which did not get damaged. And then I remember our sponsored kids' homes, where the trough of raw sewage had to be navigated, just to enter their properties or homes. And I can just imagine what the rainy season brings. I know they often slept below a leaky roof. We have been given far more than we can ever fully appreciate!!! I know why the desire to flee to a "better life" must be so strong. I know many generations of my family lived very meager lives, just to survive, and have the privilege of living in this country. I pray that each of, whether given much, little, or something in between will be faithful to use it for furthering His Kingdom... even when surrounded by less than desirable circumstances!

    Hugs to all of you!

  3. Wow - thanks for taking the time to share this, Pat.