"How many times have you been encouraged by reading a story in the Scriptures or hearing a story of how God has been faithful in someone's life? Doesn't that kind of confession move your heart along to search for the same kind of hope?"
I immediately put the book down so I could share my stories with you because man do I have some stories of hope. Sometimes it feels like feast or famine. Sometimes it seems like nothing is working out for these kids and I feel so overwhelmed (last week). Other times the joy just keeps building as I hear one thing after the other that makes my heart want to burst with happiness. I have three for you today.
#1 WILMER'S BACK!!! Kevin found him on Wednesday. I figured when Kevin found him it would go something like this: Wilmer sees Kevin and hangs his head sheepishly. Kevin says "Come on, man, I've been looking for you everywhere. Everyone's worried about you and they all want you to come back." Wilmer says "Really? [Because the only reason that made sense to me for him still being on the street was that he must feel like he's messed up too bad to be let back in the center.] And with a huge smile plastered on his face he skips over to Kevin's truck and they happily drive back to Proniño. Here's what actually happened. He was found in a sewage canal, high as a kite on glue and belligerent. Kevin, 2 older boys from Proniño and a helpful homeless man each grabbed an arm or a leg and carried the struggling and furious Wilmer to the truck. He didn't calm down once he was in the truck so they headed for a police station to see if they could put him in a holding cell until some of the drugs had gotten through his system and he wasn't a danger to any of the other kids. Thankfully, it ended up not being necessary. He calmed down at the police station. Still fuming, but calmer. Then Kevin, the 2 older Proniño boys, Wilmer and the 4 other kids they found on the street headed back to the center. 24 hours later Wilmer was asking Kevin when he was going to be able to move back to his old room and if Kevin could get him some drawing materials. He's back. I'm sad that he apparently had no intention of coming back on his own and I'm sad that he went back to drugs so quickly. This has blown a lot of my theories about why the kids do what they do and I'm dying to have have a long conversation with him in May about what was going through his head. But at this point the important thing is that I CAN have that conversation with him, because we know where he is. And we know that he's safe.
#2 One of the other kids that Kevin found on Wednesday is my friend Edgar. I knew him when he lived in Nueva Esperanza, found him on the street a few weeks after he escaped from NE and brought him to Proniño. Then he ran away in December. And was found 2 weeks later. Then he ran away 3 days before I got there in March. When I was there in January I told him that I was planning on selling our truck in December, but decided to wait because if he and Richar were still on the street in January I was going to need a vehicle to look for them. He spent much of that day asking me over and over "Why didn't you sell your truck?" (So I could look for you.) "Tell me again why you didn't sell you truck?" I sent him a letter telling him when I was coming in March, so when he ran away 3 days before I arrived I had a hopeful theory that he wanted to be looked for. But Jen and I went to the gas station where he usually begs at least 20 times. No Edgar. It was so weird being in Honduras and not seeing him. When I opened my computer on Wednesday afternoon I had an email from Kevin and all it said was "Got Edgar". Woohoo! I called him to get more info but by that point he had also found Wilmer, and things were pretty chaotic, so one of the kids answered. Once he figured out it was me he said "Jenny, I've got a friend of yours here." And he passed the phone to Edgar. It was so, so good to hear his little voice! I told him how happy I was and how worried I had been. I asked him why he ran - "Because of some boys." I thought that meant that some kids had been picking on him and I asked him who it was and he said "Robert wanted to run away so I left with him." That's kinda the problem with Edgar. He's always up for an adventure. If only someone could figure out a way to make him always be up for being safe and cared for then it would be great to stop these little adventures every 2 months!
#3 Final awesome story of this blog. (Keep in mind that I found out about these 3 things in a 20 minute window. Again I say, feast or famine.) I started chatting with a guy on Facebook as soon as I got off the phone with Edgar. He said that he had sent a picture of Richar to me from when he visited Proniño last week. After a few minutes I went to my hotmail account to check it out, saw this and gasped:
That's Richar and that's definitely Proniño, but do you recognize the other kid from my last post. It's Moises!!! He's been transferred from Nueva Esperanza!!! I couldn't believe no one had told me. But I was happy that at least I knew! I talked to Kevin about it on Friday and he didn't know the details of how he got there but he said that Nelson was grinning ear to ear and the two of them walked all over the center with their arms around each other all day long. My heart has been hurting so much for Moises, just thinking about what he's going through every day at Nueva. I'm so so thankful to know that he's finally reunited with his brother and that he's in a place where he can learn and grow as a kid and not have to live in survival mode.
I still don't understand why it didn't work out for me to bring him to Proniño 3 weeks ago, but it feels like maybe that wall in front of my face is crumbling a little bit...
Only 53 more days til I get to see them! Ugh, way too long. Now back to Permission to Speak Freely. Seriously, I highly recommend it.