Today we spent most of the day at the two drop in center's for Hope for the Hopeless. I don't know any other way to explain it but these young kids have just captured our hearts in an unreal way. There is something truly special about H4H and the work they do with these kids!
The first home we visited is their in take center. This is where the kids first arrive when they are found on the streets. The workers there said they have to spend a lot of time earning these kids trust back and what they do different than most centers is they give them Jesus. Once Jesus is in these kids, they transform into something wonderful! Once the kids are at a good place, they send them out into the countryside to attend boarding school with the other kids who are fully rehabilitated.
Today, a few of the boys chose to get up and tell us their stories. Oh my goodness. I can't even put into words what these boys have gone through in their lives. Some spent many years (and most of their childhood) fending for themselves on the streets. The sweet boy in the orange shirt cried as he told his story for the first time (and he has been there many years). Like Kelly said, telling your story for the first time (and she said it always includes tears) is a huge step forward in the healing process. But it just broke our hearts for him and the injustice he has endured in his life.
At the in take center, there is only one girl right now. So we had the opportunity to surprise her and girl up her bedroom just a little bit.
After our time with those kids, we were off to lunch. After lunch we made a stop at Fashionable to witness how all the beautiful scarves are made! Very cool and a wonderful organization to support!
We also drove back by Korah which we will be spending a lot more time at tomorrow.
Then we made a stop at the third Hope for the Hopeless Center. This is a really nice facility with a lot of room to grow that Ordinary Hero has opened and help cover for the first year. It is so hard because there are several organizations that need help and the needs were still apparent at even H4H. For example, they have this huge building now but are at capacity until they can afford to get more beds. They can fit about 6 more bunk beds but to cover the cost of the bed, mattress, and bedding it is about $400 for each bed. I have so much respect for what they are doing and wish there was a way to get them so they can accept more children.
This sweet kid pretty much stole my heart from me the second we walked in to the center. His name is Dani and he insisted that I shouldn't have to carry my own backpack and walked with me the entire time we were there. He sat by me with his arm around me. When it was time to leave he walked us out to the van and stood right by our window saying he would miss me. Sigh...
This is what you get when you look at your camera, when you give a group of boys your camera to play with for awhile:
This very handsome young man in the green below is named Asfaw. He is actually going to be coming home with Kelly very soon. He is 17 years old and is a very sweet and shy guy. She shared with us how he was a really difficult kid for H4H to "break". He was aggressive and angry. but she is so thankful that they stuck it out with him and never gave up on him. It took them 3 years to get him in a good place but he got there and now he is an incredible young man! Thankful for people that never give up!
Peter really connected with this sweet young girl. A lot of the girls are very standoffish and it's hard for me to imagine what their stories of life on the streets were like. It's really just not fair and our hearts are in ruins for these kids. So, so much for us to process and determine our roles as God opens our eyes more and more.