I Want “A Family”

 

Diego and Rafael are brothers who have attended Kids Klub off-and-on for about 8 years. As brothers often will be, they are complete opposites. Diego is a loud, impulsive but loveable fourteen year old while his younger brother, thirteen year old Rafael, is a quiet and contemplative kid who keeps to himself.

 

Diego and Rafael’s parents have both been in and out of prison ever since the boys were very young.  They have had a difficult time keeping jobs, so their family has been shuttled back and forth between living in affordable housing and living at their grandmother’s house. Although their grandmother has been the most “stable” person in their lives full-time, she is a struggling alcoholic.  This gives the word “stability” an entirely different meaning to these boys.

 

As the years have gone by, Diego seems to have become more compulsive and aggressive, whereas Rafael has tucked himself away even deeper inside. Our staff members have tried, time and time again, to speak love and wisdom into their hearts and it has always been received with humility — but between their home life and their friends, who also come from a similar background, those words get easily overwritten and quickly forgotten.

 

Last month, Diego was caught fighting at school again. Because of his record, he was removed from the school district and placed into Adult Studies. This means that his educational future lies completely in his own hands without any teachers encouraging him on a regular basis.

 

Pastor Rob took Diego to lunch a few weeks ago to talk to him about where he sees himself heading in life. As he drove up to their house, Diego’s dad, Marco, was sitting out front.  He waved from the porch and said, “Work with that boy! Get him straightened out!” Pastor Rob waved back and said, “You got it!” Then he thought to himself, “You’re next, Marco!” Diego’s mother was not around because she is serving a prison sentence for “breaking and entering” and will not be released until next year.

 

A few days ago, Pastor Rob dropped by Diego’s house again, hoping to talk with Marco this time.  He was nowhere to be found.  Diego told him that his dad was arrested again just a few days earlier.  He then told Pastor Rob that he (Diego) was hanging out with some of his friends near a local festival event when an officer asked to speak to them.  Diego and his friends disrespected the officer and it ended with Diego pushing the officer physically.  That did not go well for him.  As Diego recounted the story, Pastor Rob could see the embarrassment on his face because he knew his foolishness was all in the name of “looking cool” in front of his friends.

 

Diego started meeting with a drug and alcohol counselor last week as well as a therapist for help with anger management.  All on his own, he asked his counselor if he could give him a ride to the church where one of our staff members attends—and that was really encouraging to hear.   A short while later, when asked by one of our Kids Klub assistants what the boys really wanted in life, Diego didn’t have an answer but Rafael said, “A family”.

 

We are really hoping and praying that Diego and Rafael surrender their hearts to Jesus and become members of God’s family, while allowing Him to do a transforming work inside of their hearts.  Please stand with us in prayer for these boys and pray that the Lord gives us opportunities to minister the gospel to their parents as well.  We would love nothing more than to see this house full of broken people become a nurturing home where Christ is glorified.

 

God bless you all this month! J