The weather is getting warmer, the mosquito bites are becoming more plentiful and our days are starting to fall into a steady rhythm. We are spending more and more time in Urias – visiting families, playing with the children, and listening to women open up and begin to share bits of their lives.
We are happy to share that Nita and London have made it to Mazatlan. Nita will be joining us indefinitely as we discover what God has planned for this ministry. She has jumped right into the thick of it with us and we are overjoyed to have her.
We are still in the process of looking for a house and a car. We thank God for his provision and the people he has placed in our path. We have been staying with our friend, Hannah, and are so grateful for her hospitality and general awesomeness. We are also grateful to our friends Tom & Heidi – they have been super generous in allowing us to borrow their car for part of each week as we run errands and scour the city for possible homes.
Each time we head out to Urias the feeling of urgency in establishing a daycare grows within us. This Tuesday after our weekly outreach we were once again confronted with the harsh reality that is these children’s daily lives. Our ministry event was over, the kids were heading home to get ready for school and we were lingering about speaking with some moms. The happy atmosphere that had been surrounding us was suddenly shattered as a commotion broke out on the far side of the property.
From our vantage point all we could see was one child pinning another child to the ground, hands around his throat in a choking grip. As my mind was still trying to reconcile what I saw before me, my body snapped into action when I saw the first fist fly. No matter how loud we yelled for them to stop, or how fast our feet carried us towards the fray, it felt like an eternity before we finally reached the boys. I was still running, urging my feet to carry me just a bit faster, when I saw the older boy’s dirt covered foot connect with the face of the younger one as he tried to stand.
From there everything went in quick succession. The boys were separated; the rest of the children split into two distinct groups; and another fight broke out. I found my arms surrounding a young boy as he struggled to break free and rejoin the fight, profanity flowing from his young lips. We felt helpless as the situation escalated. One child retreated, only to reemerge brandishing a rusty old kitchen knife. Soon large rocks were flying back and forth between the two groups. I grabbed one young boy, sheltering him with my body and praying that no rocks would hit any of the other children while Rochelle tried to drag kids away, pulling them towards what we hoped was safety.
Minutes earlier these children had been the closest of friends and I imagine that today they are playing together quite harmoniously. It is insane to see how these children switch between comradery and violence so quickly. No desire or knowledge of how to control their tempers. No adults around to break up these fights or teach the children how to handle disagreements. These are the kids who need structure, boundaries, encouragement… love. These are the children who need the daycare the most.
We ask you to join us in thanking the Lord for the blessings we have already received. To pray for the community of Urias, specifically it’s children. And in continuing to pray for His provision, protection and will to be done.