In August, we shared the story of Joselito, a boy who had been living on the streets of Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Today, we want to tell you about two other boys who have chosen to start new lives: Fernando and Rodrigo. Rick Lampen tells their story:
“Thank you for praying for the street kids’ ministry! Life on the streets is dangerous and unpredictable. Fernando, who we have been working with for about six months, was hanging out with us one day and listening in on our conversation with 13-year-old Rodrigo, who was scheduled to leave the streets that week.
Fernando is 14 and has lived on the streets for several years. The more we talked with Rodrigo, the more encouraged Fernando became to take a step to change his life. Finally, he interrupted and said he wanted to leave the streets! We wanted him to be sure of his decision, so we told him we would check back with him the next morning.
At 7:35 AM, before we could get to him, he called us to make sure we were coming! José Ernesto and I picked him up at the Internet place where he had spent the night. Over breakfast, we learned he was even more convinced to change his life; he went to the Reception Home (similar to a halfway house, for the week immediately after leaving the streets) that very day.
Near the end of the week in the Reception Home, the kids who leave the streets participate in a ceremony of burning their street clothes. This is symbolic of them making a turn in their lives and a decision to only move forward. This is usually an emotional and difficult time for the kids since all they possess are the clothes on their back. After the burning ceremony, the First Contact ministry team provides them with brand new clothes to mark the entrance into a new stage of their life.
On arrival at the boys’ home on Saturday morning, Fernando teamed up with Joselito – his former buddy from the streets. Joselito is the last boy we rescued and whose story we presented to you in our last prayer letter. Both boys are adjusting well now in the boys’ home called appropriately “El Camino” – the Road or Path.
It’s a good reminder. Sometimes, we have our sights on preparing one person to leave the streets, yet we learn the Lord has been working in another’s heart.”
Rick and José Ernesto are working to rescue other boys, including a teen named Alexander. He is interested in leaving his life on the streets – but it is all he has ever known, and a change this drastic is scary. Pray that the Lord would work in his heart to bring him to place of restoration and renewal.