I feel like I am a person who loves a good adventure. Hike to a waterfall, give surfing a try, go on a sporadic road trip, hop on the motorcycle and see where we wind up, crawl & climb through a cave, go snorkeling or scuba diving, jump in a raft & navigate down the rapids, repel down the side of a mountain. I am game for all of these things.
However, there is one adventure I am not a fan of, rollercoasters. The suspense, the free falling, the hanging in mid-air waiting for your stomach to drop feeling…I don’t want to be a part of any of it!
This is exactly how life feels right now.
I knew when I told God yes, when I said I was willing to commit my life to these street kids here in the Philippines that every day wouldn’t be easy. I knew I would face challenges. I knew I wouldn’t have all the answers. I knew I would have to rely on God more than ever before in my life.
But knowing these things ahead of time doesn’t make the day to day life any easier.
I never know when I come home at night and lay my head down if I will feel a peace and at ease with our kids or if I will question everything we are doing.
Some days I live on a high where I can see the light. Where I can see the kids beginning to open up their lives to us. Nights where I feel like soon they will want to give up the life they have on the streets for a family who loves them. Days when I believe they have seen a glimpse of who Jesus is and one day soon they will want to know more.
And then there are other nights where I think instead of making any progress at all we have taken three steps back. Nights where I feel we are just an enabler for these kids. Times when I think the kids will always be addicted to sniffing rugby and nothing will ever be worth it to them to quit. Days when I believe they see no value or hope in themselves or their future.
I don’t know what the pattern is. I don’t know when I wake up if that night will be the peak of the rollercoaster or if I will come home with the pain in the pit of my stomach as we are about to free fall.
The truth of our ministry is there are good nights & there are bad nights. And we never know which it will be for the night until we go out to spend time with our kids.
The possibility is high that it will be a night like Tuesday night where we went out and found four of our kids. Having not seen them over the weekend I was eager & ready to play. They were on quite the other end of the spectrum. That night they wanted nothing to do with me. I greeted them with a cheerful “Hi” & my hand raised for a high five. I got nothing. No smile. No hey. No high five. I tried small talk and still got nothing. Matter of fact instead of small talk they just decided to move to the other side of the park away from me. Later on that night a couple of them were sitting on the bench so I tried to sit with them and talk. As soon as I went to sit down they got up and went to a different bench. They were angry. No one was smiling. No one was getting along. They were arguing over everything. They were picking on a girl who can only see out of one eye.
That night was definitely a defeated night. A night I came home answerless as to how to help these kids. A night where I laid there wondering if they would ever see just how much I love them & want to see them walking in their own Christ-filled identity.
And then you have last night. 24 hours later. Where things seemed to have done a complete 180. A night where we walked up to the kids & they were excited to see us. They began talking right away. Excitement was in their voices over our upcoming weekend activities. They wanted to hang out with us. They didn’t beg for food but waited until we asked to tell us they were hungry. They taught us a new game. That sat and just laughed. They were kids.
These are the nights I am able to come home with the peace in my heart knowing God IS going to do an incredible work in each & every one of their lives.
Here’s to finding out what night tonight will be….here’s to the roller coaster…