I was sitting on the street corner waiting for a friend when I saw them. One ragged little boy dug through a trash bin, found some bread and eagerly shared it with the other boys. I watched with pity, wishing there was something I could do. These little guys who live in the streets have a special place in my heart, but my ability to work with them or help them has been greatly limited by government restrictions and a threat that I would be jailed if caught feeding them or helping them again. This has made anything I do for them more difficult and covert.
So, I prayed, Dear God, help those little boys. Send someone into their lives to show them love, Your love. Let them know they matter, that they are created by You and You have a purpose for their lives. Meet their needs, Dear God; and if there is any way that I can help them, please make a way.
As I prayed, I couldn’t just watch any more. Forget the risks, if I can’t help someone, what is the point of being here? So, I went into the closest store bought each a carton of milk, a yogurt and a couple loaves of bread.
I took it to them and they ate readily and hungrily, though I had to quickly walk away as a crowd was swiftly gathering to see what I was doing.
The next day, one of the boys showed up at my house. Abandoned by both his mother and his father, he has been living in the street for the past year. “Laura, Help me go to school,” he said. He was willing to go with me to the local authorities to get written permission that I could put him in boarding school. I was thrilled that I could help take one little boy off the streets, and that a prayer I’ve had over the past year was in some small way being answered.
That night 8 boys showed up at my house just to come in, talk, have a meal and take a bath (Can you imagine 10 & 12 year old boys who are begging to take a bath?). The next night 10 came, the next night, New Year’s Eve, 12, and we had to cut down on our visits before we got ourselves in a mess!
During the same week, little boys one by one began coming to my door asking for help in going to school. With each boy, I had to get written permission from their local government leaders, verifying that they were without parents, or without anyone to help them, and that I had permission to help them by putting them in a boarding school where they would receive guidance, education, a safe place to sleep at night, meals every day, and the ability to blend in with their peers and be a part of their society.
In one week’s time, we were able to put 3 boys into boarding school. Two others who have a mother, are able to stay at home, while Love Alive has provided their schooling. One young boy, has lost both parents, and most recently, the man with whom he was living died also. We have paid for his schooling, but he is hopeful to begin boarding school soon.
The little boys with no place to call home and no one offering them guidance, education, love or a future are many here. I’m so thankful that we have been able to help a few. The cost to keep a child off the streets for a year, while providing education, meals, lodging, clothing and living necessities is $600.
I have spoken with the 3 boys who are all at the same boarding school. Their teachers tell me that the boys keep asking for more things to study as they are extremely eager to learn. I asked one of the boys on his second day of school, “Are you happy here?” He said, “Oh so very happy, and now I have gotten so smart!”
To all who contribute to Love Alive in prayer or gifts, you are changing these children’s lives. Thank you.
P.S. About Jack: To those who recall and have asked about a young boy in a recent blog “Jack” who was living in the streets with no one willing to care for him, I have an update! Somehow (most likely in answer to your prayers!) Jack’s grandmother conceded to allow Jack to come stay with her and Jack’s 4 siblings. I visit him regularly, and Love Alive provides the family with basic staple foods and toiletries each month and provides sponsorship for Jack and his siblings as without this help, they would often go without food, and eventually the children would either be sent or turn to the streets. Thank you for your continued prayers. We can make a difference in lives showing Christ’s love to one child at a time.