And here is how it all went down . . .
Three nights ago, I received an urgent text from Arjay's father. He lives and works far from the rest of the family and his text was begging us to go pick up Arjay from the family home and bring him into Mercy House. Arjay had been fighting with his mother, calling her awful names, pushing her in the heat of anger and threatening the other children in the family.
The mother packed up four of her other children and left the home, leaving Arjay there alone.
We texted the mother and father back and forth and agreed to go and counsel with Arjay. We informed the parents that we are not a jail and if he refuses to come into shelter, we will leave him right where we found him. We don't "snatch" kids off the street. Ever.
The following day, my social worker went to the home and nobody was there. She searched the "normal" places the street kids congregate and, no Arjay. So she came back feeling a little defeated.
Today, we decided to go together back to the family home and have one last counseling session with Arjay if we could find him and with his mother if we could not. After that, his case would be closed for us unless the city task force rounded him up and called us to fetch him.
As we got nearer to the shanty where Arjay's family lives, we could see it was empty. But right out front stood Arjay!!!! He came running when we called him. He was absolutely filthy.
He told us he has been sleeping in the back of a truck at the gas station because he's scared to be home alone and he's been parking cars for money in the evenings.
Until last night.
He got into an argument with an older street boy last night and that boy tried to stab him! Arjay ran, terrified, to the Barangay Hall and they took a report from him. They also informed him that if he continues to live as a street child, he will eventually be killed or jailed.
And then we came . . .
But sitting in the back of our white "Mercy House" truck, he confessed that he misses all of us and he really and truly wants to come back.
That's all we needed to hear!
We counseled with all of the kids, reminding them that everyone needs second chances.
And now, he's here.
We have no idea what the Lord will have us do and for how long but we are praying for clear guidance and that we will be able to serve this child in every way that he needs.
What a privilege to get to pick up where we left off.
What a gift!
Don't stop praying for this boy. When God puts a child this heavily on our hearts and troubles us about him long after he's gone, we can be pretty sure that he has a BIG purpose.
So, it is with GREAT joy, gratitude to the Lord, and a little bit of "pinching myself" that I type these words just one more time . . . HE'S BACK!
|He cleans up well|