This moment

Every once in awhile there is a moment that has it all.  In the last week, I experienced two of these moments.  That is an incredible richness, unexpected, undeserved, given by our Gracious God.

The first was last Monday night.  We had a medical brigade in house. They


spend their days holding clinics in locations outside of our ministry.  630 people touched, healed, loved in 3 days of clinics.  The brigades are so busy, they don’t really get to know the rest our of programs, except for the Sunday afternoon they spend grilling hot dogs and playing with our kids at the Children’s Home.  So, on their last evening, after a very long day of clinic, we got back in the vans and joined the Alonzo Movement kids for their club meeting.  It was a typical club meeting.  The boys ranged from 8 – 14 years old.  This is a big club, maybe 25 – 30 boys.  Dr. Jim and Don each gave a short testimony, encouraging the boys, urging them to shoot for the stars.  A 12 year old boy, Isaac, spoke to the group, thanking them for being there.  “People in other countries, they don’t know Honduras exists.”  That night, 17 people from the United States knew Honduras and these kids exist.  Then, the team surrounded the circle of boys and prayed for them.  It was beautiful but that wasn’t the moment.  The moment came later.  All the boys and the young people on the brigade team lined up to form soccer teams.  There were several captains choosing their teams.  Finally, two teams took their places on the soccer court while the rest moved to the stands.  Except for one small boy, the smallest boy who had been forgotten by everyone, even the leaders.  He had been in the corner, they didn’t see him.  “Hey!  Where do I go?”  The leader pointed to a team and then the game started.  The teams rotated in and out when a goal was scored or time was up.  After 3 or 4 rotations, the smallest boy was out on the court.  GOAL!!! A shout rang out and all the boys, big and small,
cheered when they realized the smallest boy had scored a goal.  They all ran onto the court, shouting, patting him on the back, dog piling him!  That was the moment.  Isn’t that what the Alonzo Movement is all about?   Mutual love and support, community, celebration…  For the unlikeliest boy,
a triumph.  This moment is for all the boys and girls – violence, heartache, despair fall away.  Instead they find renewed hope, shared joy, a bright future.  They don’t just exist, they are treasured.

The other moment happened just last night.  I got a text from Suzy in the late afternoon.  “Got a call about a baby.  Going to see him.”  “I want to go!” I replied.  Suzy stopped by Casa LAMB and picked me up.  “There is something wrong with him,” Suzy reported.  Sallie, Elsa and Leyla were in the car. We drove to DINAF (social services, formerly known as INHFA,) walked down dark steps into  basement offices.  Some DINAF employees met us and pointed to a portable crib.  Under a filthy, very stinky blanket was the baby.  There was another boy, 3 years old, playing with a car on the floor.  They had just been removed from neglectful foster care.  They would stay in that dank office until someone picked them up. “He has had no stimulation,” explained the DINAF person.  Suzy picked him up and he started to cry.  After a few minutes, Sallie took him.  She and I sang to him while she gently rocked him.  The DINAF staff was getting a form together for Suzy to sign.  “Are you going to take him,” they asked, expecting equivocation or even abrupt departure.  “I wouldn’t have come if I weren’t,” Suzy replied.  That was the moment.  In that moment I could see how LAMB started.  How LAMB continues to grow.  God called, Suzy answered.  No dithering around.  Get in the car and go.  Something is wrong with the baby. OK, we’ll figure it out.  He won’t be the first we have pulled from the jaws of death or a diagnosis of hopelessness.   She gazed down on him with love.  Just love, pure love.  God is with us, God is with him.  God will provide.   God does provide.

What will happen next for these two small boys?  God knows.  Isn’t that wonderful?

Normal, everyday extraordinary kids

I often explain to teams on the first day here that our children are normal, everyday kids.  I am reminding them that if they let the kids use their cameras it is at their own risk.  “They won’t try to damage your camera but they are normal, everyday kids.”  In other words, things happen.  

Being normal, everyday kids is what makes them so extraordinary given their backgrounds and the environment in which they live.  Take 13 year old Yessenia, for example. She, along with her sister and brother, suffered greatly before coming to our Children’s Home.  Last month, during her confirmation, she said, “The reason I want to be confirmed is so I can put my past behind me and look towards the future following Jesus.”  During the same service, 4 other previously confirmed kids were recognized for their leadership in church.  Julio for co-leading the praise band, Daniel for being head usher and Sunday School teacher, Mirza for co-leading the praise band.  Silvia, 14, answered a call from the Lord and started an intercessory group with other kids at the Children’s Home.  During communion, she prayed for anyone requesting prayers.  Extraordinary!

Julio, Daniel, Silvia, Mirza
At our safe house, the girls have started a choreography group led by the newest girl, D, 16.  These girls were rescued from a living hell, some just a few months ago.  I am breathless as they dance to a song that includes,

With my life I want to worship
With all that I have and what I am
All I’ve been I give you
May my life be to you as a perfume at your feet

They leave behind the horrors of the past and focus on the promise of God’s love. Extraordinary!

In our new transition home, N is making the transition from the safe house to independence.  She is working as a baker so she can support herself and her family. A child who came to us angry, hardened and suspicious is now filled with joy, love and a huge smile for all.  Extraordinary!

In Flor del Campo, Mikey is a walking, talking miracle.  He has a heart defect that should have killed him as a baby. Instead, he joined the Alonzo Movement as a young teen and now is a leader.  Just last Friday, we watched as he taught older teen boys how to pray and how to be responsible members of the club.  He reminded them that God is always faithful, through good times and bad.  “Trust in God!  He walks every step with you!”  Extraordinary!

In our school, children leave impoverished, often violent homes, to dream of their futures as doctors, teachers, astronauts, mechanics, business owners, etc. They come together to worship each Wednesday morning, often giving extra love and support to a classmate who has suffered a recent loss.  Extraordinary!
Our children are, indeed, normal everyday kids who are doing extraordinary things.  In other words, “God happens!”