There is a young boy about 5 years old who practically lives in the market across the street from our church. His mom has a store that sells videos and music, and he's there from really early in the morning until about 10 at night every day except Sunday. On Sunday they only come from about 9 till 8 at night. His name is Angelo.
He's a really funny kid, but easily distracted. He loves practical jokes, and hates wearing shirts. I have really only seen him with a shirt on a couple of times. I guess he saves it for special occasions. He has the cutest smile, that's just nice enough to make you love him, but has a hint of mischief in it too. He is the little boy in the picture above.
This Sunday, about 15 minutes before church started, Angelo walked in and said his normal greeting, "Hola profe" I never taught the kids what to call me, but I guess since I was teaching them, they all adopted "professora" as my name. He came in and sat down with a big bag of purple flour. He proudly held up his flour and said "Look profe, it only cost me 50 centimos (about 15 cents)!" I asked what he was going to use it for. He explained that since it was the month of "carnival," you use the flour to throw on other kids. "But you don't throw it at adults. Only at other kids" he told me.
But he looked a little sad, and when I asked him what was wrong he said, "My dad beat my mom yesterday because he doesn't like it when she goes to her friend Paula's house." I asked if he loved his dad. "No. I don't love him. He is a bad man. But he does give me money sometimes." Usually Angelo would not just sit and listen to me without being goofy, but he sat and listened while I talked. "Angelo, if you stay angry at your dad and don't forgive him, you will start to get angry with everyone, then you will grow up to be an angry person. God can teach you to love your dad." I also asked if he'd been taking care of his mom and younger siblings. He is the oldest of 3. He said he had been, but he still looked very weighed down.
"You know what else we can do, Angelo? Right now we can pray." He nodded his head, and then waited for me to pray. But I asked him to pray first and then I would. He said,"I don't know the words to pray." I said, "Jesus is your friend. He is right here with us, and he wants to hear you talk. You talk to your friends right? You just have to talk to him the same way. Tell him what is going on, and then ask for help." So he bowed and started.
"Jesus, please help my mom. Please help my grandma and grandpa. Please help my dad. Please help my brother and sister. Please help me. Thank you Jesus for my little brother. Thank you for today. Amen."
This was such a breakthrough for me to see. All the kids we work with do not come from Christian homes. Most don't have any religious background. When you ask them to pray, they just shake their heads. But he's learned.
I prayed after that, and as I was praying for God to help him, this little boy took a deep, long breath. I could feel him relaxing. When I finished, I told him he could always talk to Jesus. He didn't have to be with me to be able to pray. Then he said thanks and smiled and got up and left. After church I went to see him, and he had purple flour in his hair. I believe he experience the peace of God that night.
I was so blessed by God's faithfulness that I wanted to share with all our blog readers.