Isn't this little guy the cutest thing? His name is Juanito and we met him in Colombia. He eagerly greeted us and then accompanied us through the village of La Playita. Most of the homes in the village are simple, made with cement blocks and are able to withstand the cyclic flooding, if they can quickly move their belongings to a higher place. Juanito's home was of the poorest that we had seen, made of wood scraps, tin roof and a dirt floor. His mother Jennifer, standing in the doorway welcomed us in to meet her baby. Inside were two rooms separated by a sheet and a lone plastic chair. My heart was heavy when we entered, yet I knew that we had gifts to share with her and her family.
We had heard about Juanito's story from the Pastors. Martha and Jose spoke with his mother and encouraged her to allow Juanito to attend their school. She openly shared that she did not want him and was not concerned about his schooling. After convincing her, Juanito began school. On his first day of school, they realized that this child had more hurdles than most students. He was lacking in the following skills;
A recognizable language
Where to go the bathroom
Day after day, the teachers at the school bathed, clothed and patiently taught him. The child that stood in front of us seemed so different from the child we had heard about. I was saddened to hear that a child could so easily be discarded, left to care for himself, abandoned to the streets. My sadness turned to anger when I first met this beautiful, cheerful child of God. How could a mother cast aside her child?, I contemplated as we rode through La Playita.
Now as we stood face to face with his mother and looked into his bright eyes, it was difficult to reconcile all of the emotions.
All I wanted to do was pick him up and tell him that he was not forgotten, not abandoned, and that there was a love that would never leave him!
Then Jennifer and her new baby caught my eye and I was reminded that we were there on a mission of love, of hope and to bring the good news to everyone. Gently I embraced her and prayed that God would fill her with His hope, His joy and His provision, that she would come to understand fully God's promise to be with us.
Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you. Hebrews 13:5
Pray for Juanito, his mother Jennifer and her baby that they would all come to a loving relationship with Jesus! Pray also for the ministry of Martha and Jose at the Rose of Sharon school
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