Thursday, July 23, 2009

Police Search And A Knife Wound

The first boys to arrive at the project this morning were Abrantis, Ernesto, Naldo, and Mario. Right away, Abrantis and Naldo gave me some money to hold for them in my pocket. I am always leery of guarding their money because usually its earned by stealing lights from cars and selling them on the black market. But I took the money and was quickly distracted by Abrantis, who we jokingly refer to as "Malouco" which means crazy person. He gave me some folded up newspaper and told me to open it. As I did, whatever was inside of it started to move so i screamed and threw it at him as all the boys laughed at me. It was some contraption they had made with paperclips, a rubber band, and the tab off a can of coke.

Their joke was interrupted by an undercover police officer entering the project and asking to search all of the boys. He had followed them from the black market where he had watched them selling stolen lights. He asked that we gather all of the boys. Two of them quickly went to the wash basin where I heard the clanging of metal. I went and peeked inside the basin and saw that they had discarded the "keys" that they use to steal lights from cars which is actually a flat piece of metal.

The police officer searched 8 or 9 of the boys. He found 2 lights in Mario's pocket. Surprisingly, the police officer was not there to punish the boys though. He is working in the black market to try and arrest the adults who use the street boys to steal things for them. So Pastor Paulo, our director, Mario, and 2 other boys accompanied the police officer to the black market to point out the people they sold stolen lights to. It's so encouraging to see the police targeting the adults who benefit from the kids stealing. If we see the day when the black market no longer exists, then maybe the kids will no longer steal.

The rest of the day continued as normal.....we went to play soccer, had our church service, and ate lunch all together. A group of 10 or so of the boys walked me home so that they could get a soccer ball from my house. I gave them the ball and off they went to play at a court here in the city. An hour later, my doorbell rang. It was Naldo, Mario, and Jito. Naldo had a piece of scrap paper stuck just above his eye and it was soaked in blood. He had gotten into a fight with one of the other boys, Luis, while playing soccer and Luis cut him with one of the "keys" they use to steal lights.

Thankfully, I live right across the street from central hospital. So i grabbed a washcloth to replace the bloody scrap of paper and off we went to the emergency room. After accounting the story of what happened to the worker at the front desk, a police officer, the doctor, and 2 nurses, we left the hospital with 8 stitches. And it took less than 2 hours which is pretty fast for an ER in any country!!!

An eventful day to say the least. I love the boys I work with and I so desperately want to see transformation in their lives. We talk to them so much about stealing and fighting. They are such huge problems to tackle and I know that it is only God that can cause the change in their hearts. If they could only grasp His love for them and learn to love other people with this same love.


Sebren said...

That sounds like some of the things I would have gotten into while I was growing up. That God for the "Sarah Olds" in my life while I was so lost.

skoots1mom said...

so thankful no one was seriously hurt...thank you for what you're accomplishing through Him :)

Holly said...

you're a good example of that love friend! They get to see it every day in you!

skoots1mom said...

my great niece, 2 1/2 yo Katie, needs extra prayers ... she's going to the OR today @ 2PM (cleaning infection from her heart-surgery chest incision)
Thanks for keeping her in your prayers...