Monday, September 1, 2014

May 2014

I am actually writing this update sitting next to two of my dedicated teenage boys who are up past midnight still doing homework. We actually just got back from our final for the soccer league we play in and were able to beat the other team tonight which landed us with a large plastic trophy that will now garnish our house. It was a special moment with the boys especially as one of my littlest guys even played and was able to outplay grown men who are twice his size (literally...).

In December and January I shared with you all a need in the lives of one of the boys who was acting out in very destructive ways. I wanted to share with you all that looking back over the past five months, God has truly transformed his heart. The other day he actually broke his arm playing soccer which gave us a solid eight hours of quality time as we sat waiting to get an x-ray and cast put on (God bless the Guatemalan health care "system"). After the cast was in place, we went to get something to eat and he began reminiscing about the difficult times we had experienced together. Listening to his story after shocking story, I remembered that he had told me at one point that he actually had an elaborate plan that was panning out exactly as he hoped. I finally asked him what his plan was in all of the time while he was rebelling and acting out in hurtful ways. He then told me something that took me by surprise. His whole plan hinged on a desire to see just how far we were willing to go with him. We were transitioning into becoming his house parents and he wanted to put us to the test pushing us to a limit where we would potentially give up on him. He had even written out elaborate plans of puncturing the tires on our car, flooding our room with a hose and treating Andrea badly in attempts us to bring us to a place of desperation. He said that he finally had to put an end to it all and actually repent because he just couldn't take himself anymore. While we were angered by his rebellion and attitudes, I know now that it was all an attempt to see how much we really loved him. 

Reflecting on this conversation I was thinking about babies and how they cry when they need something and we somehow are able to decipher what that need is, whether it is to be changed or to eat. With adolescents their cries are a little bit more sophisticated and harder to understand involving elaborate plans, but they are crying out all the same because a need is not being met. With Raul, it was his need of being accepted and loved unconditionally. When he found that need met, the crying stopped. Now, we have a straight-A student with an excellent attitude on our hands compared to the rebellious teenager who we were ready to give up on just a few months ago. 

More than anything, the thing that speaks the strongest to my heart is the power that love has in this world. The only thing strong enough to break through the rebellion, confusion and destruction was love. It is equally intriguing that after arriving at this conclusion, that the God we serve has told us that He IS love. 

We appreciate your prayers for us as we love these boys that God has entrusted us with. We know that as we love them, we are actually loving God himself and it is a privilege to be able to serve Him in such a tangible and practical way. Thank you for your continued support and prayers. 

David McCormick


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