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Reality On the Street

By Kate deFuniak, Jul 31, 2014
It isn't fair. 

It isn’t fair that when it rains, our kids sleep with rain falling on them through the cracks in the ceiling. It isn’t fair that an 11-year-old gets to decide whether he wants to go to school or not, or that K and E’s father just left the family high and dry. It isn’t fair that K’s sister got pregnant and left her mom with her baby, so now Mom has her own baby and her daughter’s baby, both the same age. It isn’t fair that M is being severely abused at home or that C would prefer begging on the streets to coming to our project. And we tell them all, “Think about your future.” But why should boys that age think about their future? They’re supposed to be thinking about video games and soccer.

It just isn’t fair.

Our boys face danger and violence. Every day.

This week we learned that one of our boys had been beaten up. We’ve heard various versions of the story. All include a knife and the threat that this boy will be killed. Some versions involve our very own boys smoking marijuana and possibly other drugs.

After we found out about this, I sobbed. Right there in the car. You know, those gut-wrenching sobs that make you shake when you try to breathe in? Yeah, that kind.

I cried for our boys. I cried over the bruises and swelling that surround this precious boy’s eyes. I cried over the reality that is their lives. So many of them are desperately trying to blaze their way into a better future, but the elements that surround them on a daily basis get the best of them. We tell them to stay away from bad influences. We tell them about Jesus, His love for them, and how much He longs for them to know Him intimately. But there are some who just can’t resist the influences that drag them down.

As I cried over our boys, I felt the urgency stronger than ever for a permanent home for them. If only we could scoop that child up and take him to a place where he is safe. But we can’t. We don’t have that place. Yet. But we’re actively looking for property to build a permanent facility.

Now the boys can at least come to our drop-in center where they are fed, hear the gospel, and spend their time in a clean space with lots of toys and games. But what they go home to. Oh, what they go home to.

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