Monday was Three Kings Day and together with some amazing, hardworking, patient, and oh-so-kind friends, we threw a small celebration for the families in the garbage dump area.
I’m not going to lie. I was a little stressed about it. We had a large number of donated items such as shoes, clothes and socks to give to both children and adults. Which meant that not only would our regular crowd of 70-100 children be there, many of their mothers and possibly fathers (aunts, uncles, grandparents, nosy neighbors, etc.) would be there as well.
It’s been with tough determination and consistency that we are slowly earning the respect of the children in the community. They have learned our rules; learned our boundaries; and learned that while we love them unconditionally, there is certain behavior that we will not tolerate.
We have not won that same respect from their parents. And in a community where disagreements are handled through violence, where discipline and respect are unheard of principles, families are marred with brokenness, abuse, addiction, anger and a million and one other problems.
And we were going to be opening the doors to all of them. Not just on Three King’s Day; but every single day at Roots & Wings.
It is generally easy to love a child; it is so much harder to love a family. But the two are inseparable. You can’t love and care for one fully without loving and caring for the other.
So as families come to Roots & Wings, broken, troubled, and difficult, we want to remember one thing:
Keep trying, because family matters.
Keep trying, because poverty should not separate a child from their family.
Keep trying, because no child should go to bed night after night in an orphanage or alone instead of with their family.
Keep trying, because parents living in poverty should not be written off as incapable of raising their child.
Keep trying, because Jesus loves them. ALL of them.
Families are hard. They’re messy. They’re hardly ever pretty on the surface. And they’re never easy to work with. But relationships are what’s most important and family is a foundation that each and every child needs and deserves. So if we can keep the children we meet with their families and help them as a unit get healthy and happy, all the stress and the mess is worth it.