A few weeks ago I was doing a worksheet in my Wednesday night class at church and one of the questions was: “If you could ask God one question, what would it be?” I was trying to be wise about this question, knowing from experience that God always answers our questions, because he’s not a God of confusion. So I wrote, “In times of extreme crisis, why doesn’t God intervene?” And it was no surprise that God answered my question this week.
When children are being sexually abused in the middle of the jungle, he intervenes with a young married couple willing to take in more children and build a school for them. When children are kicked out of their homes and get involved in gangs, he intervenes with a missionary couple willing to parent the world’s most difficult child. And when young girls are impregnated by rape or their lives of prostitution, he intervenes with a young family willing to give up their plans to take care of the girls and help them to make a living.
Early this morning we left to go to our new friend Boris’s emerging ministry. He pulls prostitutes off the streets, helps them to take care of their children, teaches them how to make jewelry, and (most importantly) tries to lead them to Christ. The women were beautiful, strong, and committed to turning their lives around. The youngest, 15, stood with her 2-month-old baby, Samantha, as Boris told us her story. Cynthia was raped and forced to leave her home after she refused to kill her baby. She was about to lose the baby to malnutrition when Boris found her. She now lives with another girl from the program, attends vocational school to learn to sew, and is raising a healthy baby girl. Each of the girls in the program (7 currently) have made incredible strides toward creating a new life for themselves and their children.
I couldn’t help but think of Hosea & Gomer from the Old Testament. I can’t imagine the look on Gomer’s face when she found out that Hosea was buying her out of prostitution again. That’s exactly what God does for us. We mess up time after time, we cheat on him with the world, but he says, “I love you. I bought you just as you are. As a matter of fact, I paid significantly more than you are actually worth, but I wanted you too desperately to let someone else have you.”
But God didn’t buy us as fixer-uppers. He bought us so that he could tear down everything we built, and rebuild something better. The transformation from lost sinner to saved sinner is a painful one. When the girls make their beautiful jewelry, they start out with something similar to a walnut. They clean it, sand it down, polish it, boil it, paint it, carve it, and create the jewelry. As Boris said, “These girls are just like these nuts. It takes a lot of effort and pain to make this look like it does, but it’s well worth the finished product.” We left the ministry after a teary-eyed prayer, knowing that God is doing something powerful there.
After some delicious empanadas, we went to Montebello, where my teacher was conducting an in service to discuss new teaching techniques with the Montebello teachers. We hung out for a few hours, working on our lesson plans for the next day and talking to whoever walked through the doors.We had enchiladas for dinner and played card games with the Coyles until we couldn’t hold our eyes open anymore.