PRAY FOR THE STREET CHILDREN!
This city has over 700,000 children and teenagers and that number grows by over 113,000 a year. Many are driven from their homes by the violence that they experience. They live in train stations, in the basements of old buildings, basically anywhere they can find a place. Winter here lasts for six months. Can you imagine how they suffer?
Many have aids, almost 40% by official government figures. Most cannot read and many will die as young people. They become drug addicted and alcoholics as small children. Stealing is a life style. They experiment with sex at an early age. No one wanted these children and so they get by as best they can. Many left the orphanages because they were being beat every day and said that on the street, it only happens once a week.
Some of the girls get pregnant and continue to use drugs and alcohol. They often deliver on the streets. Children grow up on the streets. We met a sweet lady yesterday who lived on the streets for 12 years, until our friends at church found her and her teenage son and took them to their home. He was 3 years old. When they began to live outside, escaping a violent home. Look at your 3 year old children and grandchildren and picture them in this life. This lady and her son have come to faith, they have a home, but will happen to these other children?
Our friends met Tanya when she was 13 years old and living in a training station. She begged them to take her from that place. She dreamed about going to school and having family. Our friends offered her their home, but she struggled to trust them after a lifetime of broken promises. She could not believe that God loved her and would not trust in Jesus.
Before they could persuade her to come with them, she was killed. A group of men attacked her. She was sexually abused with a stick then killed. What is life like for your 13 year old children and grandchildren?
I AM NOT WORTHY
Stas was found living on the streets by our friends. Our friends took him into their home. He learned to read, do math, and began to excel in school. Best of all, he came to faith in Jesus! He was doing fantastic, but one day, he ran away.
Two young women went and searched for him. The places where the children live are very dangerous. They literally risked their lives to find him. Finally, after a long night, they found him. When they asked him why he had run away, he said, “I am not worthy.” Stas was overwhelmed by all the love and kindness that had been showered on him. He did not know how to react. He did return with our friends. Praise God!
Lena had lived most of her live on the street. Twice our friends took her into their homes. She stopped using drugs and discovered a new life. She even got a job. Everyone who saw her was amazed at the change. Though she attended church, she never trusted Jesus.
Each time she left, she wanted to see her mother. The last time she left, they searched for her for months. Finally, they found her on the floor of an apartment building lying in her own filth.
They took her to the hospital and the Doctor said to take her back to where they had found her. She died two days later of complications from AIDS only after her death they found out that her mother had abandoned her as a little child. She never knew her. As I heard this story, I wept, we all did.
A BROKEN PLACE
This place is very broken! After 70 years of the government denying even the existence of God, intact families are now very rare. They are 2,176 orphanages here. Many of the children who live there have parents, but they can not or will not care for them. This country cries out for the love of Jesus.
We have worked with 2 incredible men, both national Baptist pastors, who run summer camps for orphans and street children. This camp experience often opens the door for them to leave the orphanages or the streets. Best of all, they hear about Jesus. Last year 11 of 18 orphans trusted in Jesus at a camp.
It costs $300 to send an orphan or a street child to camp. If you want to help, contact them directly. I’ll leave for Peru one week after I return home. Here is the information:
– FOR AN ORPHAN: firstname.lastname@example.org
– FOR A STREET CHILD: email@example.com
Tomorrow, Tuesday morning, we start flying home. Please pray for us!
Linda for the team
Sam Shaw – Assistant Director