However- I don’t want to do that anymore. Avoidance is not healthy & honestly – if you & I are friends, you probably have a decent idea of what’s been going on in my life of late.
I would, though, love to have this blog as a creative outlet in my work down here – using it less as a constant, detailed update & more for highlighting certain situations, people & things that grab hold of my heart. Because my heart is tugged at often in my work here & I’d love to share with anyone who cares to read how God is working in our community - & in me – as I continue to serve at Door of Faith Orphanage & in the surrounding community of La Mision.
One such experience occurred within the last couple of weeks & has been heavily on my heart ever since. I was able to accompany a visiting church group to a community situated in the retired trash dumps of Tijuana – about an hour North of La Mision. Over the years, I’ve spent a good deal of time in this community, as there are some ministries functioning there that we work very closely with. However – this was the first time I had the opportunity to walk throughout the surrounding canyon, visiting various families along the way.
I already knew, on different levels, many of the families we came into contact with – some from Baja Family Outreach & even a few that I have gone on missions trips with into Mainland Mexico in the past few years. It was such a joy to be able to visit with them & be humbly received into their own homes & to see them in the context of their everyday lives – truly a beautiful experience.
One such family that God had divinely appointed for us to encounter was Ana & her baby boy. I’ve known Ana & her family for 3+ years & at one time we would chat every once in a while via text messages. Though she & I had been out of contact for a while, I had heard that before the birth of this baby boy, she had another very young baby who had died. This day in the dumps, Ana happened to be accompanied by a friend of hers, Sarai, who had also lost a 3 month old baby in the past year. The grief that was emanating from both of these young women as we talked & prayed together was so thick & tangible & heavy that I couldn’t help but just weep right there with them – not being able to imagine the pain they felt at loosing their precious children, but being able live in that pain with them, if only for a brief time, laying it down at the feet of Jesus.
Living & working in a place that exists to take care of children who can’t be with their parents - & even many of whom were just not wanted by their parents – is often heartbreaking work on many different levels. But we rarely have contact with the parents of the children we take care of (& from the things I hear about some of these families & the ways they have treated many of our kids, it's probably best that I don't have contact with them, because I'd be tempted to do them physical harm :/). And so - the aftermath of our kids' parents losing custody of their children is not something that I've witnessed.
That said - this grief I was seeing in the lives of Ana & Sarai was new for me - one I can't even imagine & pray that I'll never have to experience. And even as I stood on the dusty streets of TJ praying with these two young women, my mind couldn't help but think of some of our babies at DOFO, & how their parents abandoned them at the hospital at birth, & then return again to these women who would give anything to have their babies back with them.
As the 'life-is-unfair' theme began to take over my thoughts, I heard Ana whisper "Pero mi esperanza esta en el Señor..." ("My hope is in the Lord") & I realized instantly that she, the one I came to minister to, had just given me the sermon of my lifetime... It is the Lord who gives and the Lord who takes away - & blessed be His name. In whatever circumstance or situation we find ourselves in, however broken are our hearts, we can hope in the Lord because our time on this earth is short & it's what comes next that we are living & struggling here for. And as I continue to lift up Ana & Sarai & pray for restoration & healing for both of their lives & hearts, I thank God for His light in the darkness & the amazing example of faith & hope I was given that day from a broken heart.....
Aún así - Te adoro ~~~~ Even still, I will praise You