Archive for November 2010
Maybe this isn’t the most sensitive or politically correct title, but it is my fairy tale. I could pull some comparisons between myself and Snow White, but that would be a stretch. I COULD say that my 20 dwarfs are saving me from an evil queen, king, thing, or whatever. I guess the only similarity to the princess and myself is that the dwarfs ( her 7 or my 20 boys) are doing the life saving in the story.
I like reading books, watching movies, getting to know folks, but I can’t say I have ever enjoyed the character developments more than now. What I mean is, watching each of the 20 unique personalities grow, develop in front of my eyes is pretty entertaining! We have an angry dwarf, we have a joyful dwarf, we have a cunning dwarfs (well maybe 15 cunning dwarfs, we have a couple sleepy dwarfs, we have noble dwarfs, funny dwarfs, strong dwarfs, small dwarfs, you get the point.
Going from single life in a great city to a father figure to 20 boys is quite a shocking change and learning experience. It makes me really appreciate the family structure and the love parents have for their children. It’s like my heart going from 0 to 60 in a very fast car.
There are patterns that run through the characters of our 20 boys. Overall they can amaze you, but after the honeymoon period wears off there is work to be done. I hate the street life; I hate the circumstances that force young boys to form defense mechanisms just to survive. I am fortunate to have learned of and started working in my passion in a place like Ethiopia though. It has to be one of the easiest places to do this kind of work in terms of reaching the boys. I’ll leave the bureaucracy, cultural stigmas of street children off the “making this easy list” but I imagine our boys to be some of the easiest former street boys to work with, ever!
It makes me thankful to God for allowing me to start here. I know there will be different frustrations at each place I end up in the future, but having the boys be so great makes this so much more manageable. I am reading about street boys in South Africa where the addictions are much stronger, the violence is much greater, and the other forms of defense mechanisms or habits are much more horrific.
I went from coming on my third mission’s trip through NCC in March of 2009 to formally and completely hosting my first team from NCC a year and a half later. Talk about a topsy turvey transformed life. OF course there are countless steps I can calculate that got me to these boys and where I am today. I must give NCC a huge piece of that credit. It is where I found my faith, grew in that faith, and quickly became bold who I know Christ to be.
The trip was awesome. NCC simply does it right. They came over here without agendas, too many expectations and just asked “ how can we serve you”. THAT is how all “mission trips” should be. Our team and the boys had a blast. They taught, the laughed, they play fought, and best of all they treated all of us(kids included) to a trip outside of the city. Oh and they never complained about the lack of water or electricity. That was our first overnight trip with our boys and it went wonderfully. We shared life stories, swam, ate, played soccer and had a great time. Thanks to NCC and all those that had a piece of them getting over here accompanied with so many blessings!