I can’t believe that it’s practically October and I haven’t written since the 9th. I guess I’ve been a bit distracted/busy. Forgive my neglectfulness. I will do the best I can to catch every one up to date.
First to share fantastic news with all of you that I have been accepted to the ECHO internship that will be for the year 2010. I am stoked. Sometime soon they will let me know if I will be starting in Jan or April and what my concentration/job will actually be.
However, as I have mentioned to a few of you already, I am still very much focused on the here and now. Yet, that has meant a lot more office time and a HUGE learning curve. So as of now I am doing research on grants and searching for benefactors by way of Colombian foundations and businesses. All of which I have never done before. I am also negotiating a new work schedule that ends with less immediately rewarding results as I found while working with the children. When I am with the children I can give hugs, break-up a fight and have heart-to-heart talks with the children. So I would end a day feeling as though I accomplished something. Office life is not so cut and dry.
As of two weeks ago it became frustrating to be at the mission. I was at the mission and Sandra was setting up to prepare the lunch when we realized we had $3,000 pesos ($1.50) and a cupboard practically bare and I was told that even more children were being pulled out. I was completely overwhelmed and felt terribly helpless. I sank into a self-pitty party for a bit as my mind raced with the question...”what do I do?”. I was given some great perspective that this is a situation that many business owners go through when they struggle to pay there employees (whole families depend on this income). I also was advised to figure out what I could do that very day. I realized to do anything to change this situation I would have to leave early and get to my computer. That very evening I sent out the SOS Operation Rescue letter.
Father Alberto called a
meeting for all of the parents of the children to discuss the Operation Rescate. At that time we had some 20 children. Four mothers representing 9 children showed up, we were grateful for these four. The meet
ing went well, all had only positive stories to report. One family said that her son was much more calm, less aggressive, and helping out around the house. Another mother said her daughter had improved 100% in school and she had just received a call of congratulations from her teacher. Yet another mother said that her son was actually sitting down to talk with her, sharing what was going on in his life, which had not been the case before. My heart was overwhelmed with such wonderful news. All were enthusiastic to encourage Father Alberto to keep the mission operating. Yet not a week later all but three of the children were taken out, either for lack of money or lack of children. It is such a disheartening way to return to work with few and fewer children to tend.
As children are being pulled out because their parents can’t pay and we don’t even have money to serve a proper lunch I realized my time and energy are more valuable seeking out the $, resources and know-how. This is a hard decision and makes for more tiresome frustrating days (although I don’t have to wake up as early hehehehe). I have only been with the children three times in the past two + weeks. One of the days I was there, one of the boys who was so attached to me, said to me, ‘you don’t help me, only Estefania helps me’.... and he didn’t approach me the rest of the day. It broke my heart. I understand that he feels that I have abandoned him, but how do I explain to a 9 year old what I am doing to really help him; well, I don’t and just pray that God blesses this effort.
I have A LOT to learn and it will take time. Time is such a luxury. I am staring down the barrel of my last few months here. I wonder what expectations can I hold for myself and the mission; how do I get myself out of the position of being depended upon; even the simple mystery of how to prioritize my day to get the most out of each hour (don’t feel I have figured that out yet).
Everything in God's perfect timing
we are praying hard with pray-full fasting.
As we waite for what God is working on to become clear
Please pray with us...we need help
I am energized to work harder for Operation Rescue when I travel to the mission. I see children who’s parents can’t afford breakfast. As I ride to Bosa I see the homeless and the prostitutes along the streets. I think that if there is anything that can be done to improve these children’s quality of life, preventing them from ending up on the streets or in the same situation as their parents, it must be done and done well.
One early evening as I was returning from Bosa I took note of a roundabout sculpture park. It is a circle where there are some 12 sets of nude greek-like female statues each with four women facing out and some sort of light post coming up from their midst. There beautiful statues. As I was pondering greek sculpture just about 10 minuets latter we were driving through the sector that seems to be the red-light district, there is a prostitute house on every corner. All of my senses were interrupted when I saw a woman dressed in black mesh, a thong and nothing else calling attention to a man passing on the side walk, she went so far as to give a how-to example. She was terribly beautiful and a vulgar site. She was like a vulgar greek sculpture. For the rest of the ride I prayed for her and the prostitutes I saw and wondered what she must have been like as a little girl, what lead to her life-style and what could have been done to have prevented this. I also remembered a sting song that always caught my attention that tells of the life of a prostitute ...“don’t judge me, you could be me in another life, in another set of circumstances. Don’t judge me, I just have to take my chances”