Saturday, March 6, 2010
How Long Will the Cycle Continue?
Children roam the streets near the port. A bench, a street curb, a small hideaway on the sidewalk is their home. Their childhood playtime, their young and passionate dreams, and their freedom are replaced with begging; They are replaced with drugs; They are even replaced with attempt after attempt of escaping to a nearby country.
It is common to see young hands stretched out. Yet, it is not to take the hand of his mother or father, but rather to ask for any spare change you may have. The sound of children's voices is not always the sound of friends bonding over laughter and the sharing of future ambitions, but rather a discussion on where they will sleep that night.
These children are losing hope. They are losing hope in society, in their country, and in themselves. Many are looking for ways to improve their lives. Yet, many feel the way to accomplish that is to escape to a nearby country. This is referred to as “burns” and will be attempted as many times as it takes to be successful. The cost to be smuggled by sea is 1,000 euros. Begging, gambling, stealing, are the means to acquire the payment, which is assumed will lead to a better life and is rationalized by survival. But even the dream of freedom in another country is quickly shattered with abuse from police, inadequate child protection services, or immediate deportation.
And the cycle continues...
I've absolutely had enough. Children continually trying to find refuge, life, in the streets. I can't help but think of my niece Grace, and my nephew Tyler praising GOD they are in a loving home, cared for, nurtured, and encouraged in absolute Love. And I desire to be a refuge for those in need of just that. That they will no longer be lost, but be seen. This vision will take investment, time, and the building of many relationships, but it will happen.
The cycle will be broken, and their dreams, their hope, their identity be restored.