I rarely touch on the issues that I want to address in this note. Our desire, in working with children in our homes, is that they would be transformed from the inside out. We want them to learn manners, to study in school, to be kind to others, and the list goes on. However, beyond these good habits that we want to instill in our children, there is a much deeper level that we have to address in their lives. Our kids come to us from situations of serious neglect and most come from cases of sexual and physical abuse. It is hard to describe the effect that these drastic and violent abuses have on a little boy or girl of four or eight years old. We have children in the home that go into fits of rage, kicking their teachers, throwing knives, displaying superhuman strength in their destruction, screaming profanity, and even abusing other children. I do not generally write public notes about these challenges that we face, but I want to share with each of you a little more in-depth glimpse of the challenges that these precious children face every day.
Some of our children suffer from nightmares, reliving their past abuses night after night, afraid and trembling in their bed. Other children hear voices telling them to harm others and themselves. We are so grateful to have a male and female counselor on staff at the home that are working in the process of recovery and healing for each child. As a Christian, I understand that many times our struggle with the children in our care is not really with them but with the darkness and spirits that have taken a hold of their little hearts and lives. In some sense our job is a spiritual war, battling for the soul of every child. The house parents live in this battle day in and day out and pray and fast so that the children in their houses can be free of their pasts. Currently, all of our children are going through a lengthy program focused on forgiving those that have harmed them, asking forgiveness from those they have harmed, and freeing their hearts from their pasts.
I know that liberation for these children may not happen all at once and that recovery for them will in many ways be a process. Several of our children, as you saw in the last post, have already been transformed and are completely “new creations” in the Lord, displaying a joy and strength that comes from their salvation. However, with many of the children in our care, we have arrived at a point of desperation, begging the Lord to intervene and deliver them from their own suffering and harmful and compulsive behaviors. I cannot imagine being a child of 12 years old, not being able to lay down at night and sleep, without having to relive the most traumatic and painful moments of my life in my dreams. Nor can I understand the deep struggle that is happening in a 9-year old boy’s head when he hears voices demanding him to abuse a younger child.
I know that these descriptions are not cheerful or pretty and honestly, I don’t even like to write them down. But, we desperately want the Lord to work in the heart and mind of every child living in our care. We want them to find freedom in coming to know Jesus as their savior, being able to overcome the fears and burdens of their pasts. We want each of our three houses to be totally filled with the peace and joy of the Lord.
We feel that the Lord is leading us to invite our staff and church family here in Paraguay and our friends there in the United States to fast and pray with us, specifically for deliverance and freedom for our children in Hogar GANAR. Please keep these needs in your mind and pray for us, pray for our house parents, pray for the children in our homes and the thousands like them suffering on the streets around this nation. If you feel led, also consider joining us in fasting once a week. At this link you can see pictures and first names of each of our 30 children, which may help you to be able to pray for each one.