Every single day we watch, we hear, we read the news about crimes, poverty, injustice, and how these are crushing the lives of people — those who were victims of it or those who are directly affected by the wrong decisions and actions made by someone who committed such acts. Sometimes, there is a tendency to just go with the flow of the news as long as it doesn’t concern us — to accept the fact that the world is evil and there are just wicked people around.
The nature of my work is not new to me — I serve in a Christian Development Organization whose mission is to reach the children and youth who belong to the marginalized communities, the street dwellers, the homeless, the poorest among the poor, the unschooled, unloved, unaccepted and untouched. We design programs that will intervene and provide a new beginning in their journey once they were reached and rescued from their past to a journey of transformation. We address their needs, providing access to basic services like food, education, home life, values and spiritual formation, health care and social services to help them live their lives with dignity, purpose and hope.
We operate and run residential facilities where we take care of former street children from different areas. Here, they are given opportunities to grow in a safe environment where love and joy abounds demonstrated by staff who acts as their instant family — accepting, guiding, loving and molding them to be the kind of young man and woman God designed them to be. Each girl and boy have a story to tell how their lives are on the streets — they narrate it as a life they were born into — an environment they just embrace and thought were destined for. I take time to stop and listen when children will come to me asking for my attention because I know they have something to share — be it a happy or sad story. My recent conversation crushed my heart — since that conversation, it made me feel broken. My mind cannot comprehend how cruel and evil the street can be. I cannot also accept the fact how the enemy in the spiritual realm is taking hold the lives of the children without a struggle. This can’t be! To the people on the streets, this is a norm — so children follow what the majority does without any judgment of what is right and wrong. Name it — drugs, sex, vices, violation of human dignity and some other things that other people finds pleasurable in exchange for the lives of the voiceless, the innocent, the helpless all for the cravings of the flesh.
It came to a point that I don’t know what to say —the children are not even looking for comfort as they did not know that what the streets have taught them are wrong. What we see when we pass by them or ignore them on the streets are just the surface. They don’t just live to survive — they live on hell, if I may describe it.
What am I doing about this? For one, I know that as an organization we are doing all we can to eradicate poverty, to share the good news how Jesus Christ our Savior died on the cross for the sins of humankind and how He desires to have a relationship with each person on earth. I know a thousand more NGOs are giving its share to help the street people, the street children… but it seems that it is not enough. We all need to have a share on this — because this is about building or destroying our nation — directly or indirectly no matter how calloused one may be will be affected by this if not today, tomorrow. Your children and future grandchildren will be walking on the same street as them — they will be working in the same company, they might be employed in your homes and live in the community where you are now. EACH ONE CAN REACH ONE.
I choose not to accept this reality — I don’t want to just sit down and wait for the numbers and data to go up — as much as we want to go inside the campus where we see potential leaders, to go to the marketplace and tap the influencers, we cannot ignore the streets — the real battleground is right where they are. I have seen Jesus so much at work in the marginalized communities and I know He will also be at work in the street if more people will care and work hand in hand to do the will of our Heavenly Father. I find strength in the Lord. May He crushed your heart that will lead you to reach them. They need God, they need us, they need you to show them the way. Hope with Us!