Thursday, October 29, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
His mom runs a little racket with plastic recyclables, collecting them off the trucks that come into the community, sorting them, weighing them and then selling them to the recyclers. He's almost never in school and almost always helping his mom and brothers sort and weigh plastic bottles. We noticed though that when he did come around it was to play soccer, and man can he play; the kid is little, tiny, even by Honduran standards but he just dances with the ball around his opponents...he has to be one of my favorite kids to watch play.
Our relationship with Chamu began to grow back in September, if you remember we had a community-wide Futbol Tournament complete with trophies and medals. We billed the event as open to all kids between the ages of 9 and 14 in the hopes that it would attract some kids who normally don't interact with us and we allowed some of the older kids to form the whole rabble into four teams. Sergio was one of the captains and very wisely asked Chamu to play on his squad and as providence would have it, that team ended up winning the tournament with each member of the team winning a medal. From then on we began to see more of Chamu, very gradually he began to come around more, to greet us when he saw us, to actually speak, to respond verbally to our questions and to attend our weekly devotionals until one day he accepted an invitation to come to the church with us to help sort clothing for the community. That was a big step...it was just clothes sorting I know (with a little fried chicken in there too) but up until that time he had flatly refused - without even considering. This time he struggled and considered and I could tell he wanted to but was afraid to say yes...so I gave him the answer for him, I said "the answer is yes, go change and put on some sandals and I'll be back in 10 minutes".
That was just a few weeks ago, this past Tuesday was Chamu's birthday and we celebrated as we always do with a cake in the home of the birthday-boy. For us it's become a bit of a routine; we show up with cake, we light the candles, we pray for the kid, we sing, hand out cake to it seems like 10's of children that are just coming out of the woodwork, we hand over what's left to the responsible adult of the household and we slip away...this time it was different. We did the showing up, gathering the family and praying and singing thing just fine but when it came to time for Chamu to blow out the candles we ran into a hitch. We finished singing Happy Birthday and said "Blow Out the Candles!!!!" but Chamu had his head in his shirt and was sobbing, Josue had to lift him up a little so that he could be coaxed into blowing out the candles. We thought that with that the crying was over but as we were cutting the cake he started crying very softly again, what struck as so strange was that no one seemed to notice, they were too interested in the cake to even question why the person we were celebrating was inconsolable. We handed off the cake-cutting responsibilities to some aunt and as best we could in a room full of nosy children and loud aunts, tried to console him and assure him that we cared about him, that we would be there for him and that God loved him. It broke my heart, Josue was almost in tears himself - we left him there, we had to, we couldn't stay forever, that was hard to do - that takes faith in the love and providence of God.
I went back the next day and he was fine, kids are resilient and forgetful, we gathered a group together to play soccer and he played as well as ever. I'm not sure what else to relay other than to be in prayer for him; it strikes us that there is a lot of hurt and mistrust in this kid's life - pray that we can be instruments of love for him and that we go about it wisely. Blessings to you. Peace!
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Friday, October 9, 2009
In other exciting news, Cristian, the boy in the blue shirt that is in the background of Jorge Duenas' head is blossiming and maturing before our eyes. He readily agreed to lead the group in prayer and was actively engaged in the discussion while most of the kids were just a little too embarrassed to become involved. Continue praying for both him and Sergio, another one we see maturing rapidly. Blessings to you this week. Peace!
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
Just the dude's nickname is awesome. How many kids do you know named Duke? But it fits him so well; he's laid back, calm, cool and collected. He's a goof but in a quiet, curious sort of way. He does what he pleases but not in a bad way...it's more of in an 'out of the bounds of normal inhibitions' sort of way. Good grief the kid proudly wears pink crocs, rolls his dress pants up to play soccer everyday during recess (the only one that does so) and in his spare time he works on a farm tractor collecting garbage. I've failed miserably I know to get my impression of Duke across but just so you know he's one of the cooler kids I've met and if you ever have the pleasure to meet him I hope you feel the same way about him as well.
This is Duke's house and he's looking at us through his bedroom window. If you'll notice he wrote his name above his own bedroom window...it strikes me as hilarious and ridiculous all at once and reminds a little of Lucy from the Peanuts and her advice booth.
The other day I took a few of the kids to see some friends play soccer. The others that I brought sat quietly along sidelines while the teams strectched...
Duke however walked right up to the players to get a closer look...
He stood like that for 10 minutes - we counted.
This is a unique and strange kid and he's great fun to have around.
Blessings this week. Peace!