Tuesday, September 12, 2006

miguel


A few weeks ago now, about two
weeks after I got back to Ecuador, the senior high youth in block 6 went to the beach for the day. Before arriving at camp though, we took a little tour of some big rocks not too far from Playas, "el Morro". Everybody thought it was pretty cool, especially I think, because there was some risk invovled climbing to the top. At the top, the view was awesome, Playas in the distance, the Pacific coastline, the tallest palm tree in the world (the old camp :)...etc. There we prayed a little, sang to the LORD and Daniel gave a short talk about God's purposes in our lives. This is Jorge showing me just how delicious cactus is...

So, I want to tell you about this kid, Miguel. I've wanted to write about him for a long time. Before I went home to Canada this summer I knew him as "Arrozito", one of the "park guys" who came to camp this past March and made a decision to accept Christ. That's really all I knew about him, and that he had been attending the Sunday Bible study (specifically for the park guys) pretty faithfully ever since. I had kinda connected with him before I left for two months, just in a little small talk here and there, and a few smiles. (The truth is, that I have a roomate who is a natural at connecting with all these park guys, and compared to her I feel like God could never use me in their lives. I know I am wrong to think that way, but I just appreciate Beth's heart and the way God has gifted her.) So yeah, I came back from Canada and connected with Miguel (yellow hat) right away. This kid amazes me. And mostly because I can see God so at work, saving His life...
Miguel's mother abandoned the family when he was about six years old. He then lived with his father, who did odd construction jobs to support the 8 or 9 kids left in his care. Miguel told me that he always worked with his Dad to provide for the family. One morning, when Miguel was 11 years old, he woke up and found his father, who had been in the hospital sick, dead, beside him in bed. Since the death of his father, Miguel has lived with his older siblings (who now have families of their own sharing the same space), and continued to struggle to keep at least rice and eggs on the table. Thanks to the income and generosity of his two older brothers, Miguel began to attend school for the first time (grade one) when he was twelve years old. Just last year (17 years) he graduated from elementary and is now studying in his first year of high school, with the help of Timoteo.

I wish that you could sit and listen to him talk like I can. He is one of the most generous, kind and thoughtful kids I have ever met. He is friends with the park guys, but never drinks or smokes up with them anymore...usually only plays futbol with them on the weekends. And Miguel played circles around the guys in the beach futbol game, the weekend we all went to the camp. :) That same day, he and I talked all the way home on the bus. He gave me a friendship bracelet and later that week he gave me some of his drawings. I have been so thankful that he considers me a friend. He really struggles with loneliness, and seems to fight feelings of guilt and self-worthlessness constantly. So needy for affection, and just to have someone to talk to. He has also really connected with William (leader of the guys bible study) since camp, and talks easily with Bethany, so I am so thankful for that. :) He confessed to me the other night when we were chatting outside of the church after prayer meeting, how many times he thought of suicide when he was a kid. He said he used to plan to tie up a rope, write a letter to his brothers and sisters, and just end it all. He said, "janna, God has saved me so many times." And it is so true. Beth bought him a Bible last week, because he was getting frustrated at bible study that his little New Testament didn't have Psalms or Genesis. When I gave him the Bible, he didn't say much but the smile on his face... made my month. It's not fair what Miguel has had to live through, but God is in the middle of a resue operation that is so wonderful to stand by and witness.


This is Janina. A story for another day.

6 comments:

jennspencer said...

Janna,
wow. I am so thankful that you both can be friends....seriously, God brings these blessings outta no where and blesses us deeper than we could have imagined! Just how does He do that? :-) Talk to you soon J.
Love jenn

Tara and Aaron Spencer said...

Hey janna
I don't know if you remeber me but we had met a few years ago at Graeme and Diana's. I have recently become good friends with your cousin Steph and have heard a bit about your adventures but thought that I would check it out myself. I hope that you are enjoying being back in Ecuador:)

Me said...

haja.

julia said...

Janna. I'm so thankful that the LORD has put you in Ecuador. I love reading and hearing about how He's using you, and also how He's working in the lives of the kids and youth. I cry everytime I read those things. I'm praying for you, girl, and also for Miguel and the others down there. Love you.

mattandsteph said...

hey janna -great to hear your news! we're praying!
love, steph

B├ęthany said...

aw shucks, janna :) that is a nice story. I think you are connecting with the park guys, with different ones in different ways, maybe, than me, but its really neat that way.