Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”-Matthew 19:14
A couple days ago we met a girl whom we thought was the youngest homeless child we met so far until we met her mother nursing her three week old twin baby sisters. The young girl’s name is Jennifer and she is five years old.
It is impossible not be impressed with Jennifer. She is such a beautiful and lively child who is extremely extroverted. She engaged with us immediately and wanted to show us some tricks she learned using the pole of street sign. Unfortunately she was showing us what appears to be pole dancing. I chose not to be distracted by this disturbing aspect but instead I focused my attention on this child. It was amazing to see the joy and innocence of this child despite her circumstances and influences.
Jennifer wanted to play checkers with me. She had no idea how to play the game and not much aptitude for the game. However, she wanted the attention. We then decided to play a game that would involve everyone and Uno was suggested by Jonas, another homeless boy whom I have written about in my previous postings. We were quite surprised that Jennifer was able to play without any help and she even knew how to lose gracefully. She was definitely an extremely intelligent for a five year old.
Throughout our time with Jennifer, our hearts fluctuated between the joy of knowing such a wonderful girl and the sadness of her reality. At the end of our time together, Jennifer wanted to kiss us on the cheeks and thank us for our time together. We approached her mother to chat with her but she was rather reserved and suspicious of our intentions. At first we thought that she was afraid that we might take her children from her. We decided the poor woman alone but I managed to whisper a short blessing for the infants before leaving.
Later in the evening, we met up with our fellow missionary, Caetano who wasn’t with us during the day. We told him about Jennifer and her mother. He knew the family and informed us that Jennifer’s mother was indeed a drug dealer. She occasionally sleeps in the street to manage her drug business. We were sad to know that Jennifer and her two sisters are born into a family that is steeped into the drug culture. We don’t know what the future holds for Jennifer and her twin sisters. However, God gave us a day to spend with this beautiful child. We hope that we planted a mustard seed of faith in her heart.
I would like to end with these hopeful words of another young girl, Veronica*, who was once born into self-destructive family like this one. Veronica told us that no action and words spoken to her when she was in the streets were in vain. They gave her the strength to make the right decision when the time came. She articulated it perfectly in these words which are my personal treasure:
“I met many people whose names I do not remember but their acts of kindness are permanently imprinted in my soul”
We pray that our time with Jennifer would help her in some small way to make the right decisions for her life. Please pray for Jennifer and her siblings.
* I wrote about Veronica in my first posting Introductions which can be found using the search engine of the blog.