The Other Side of the Canal
In the middle of the intersection by one of the markets there is a circle of grass with a sewage canal running through it. It is generally filled with trash and when it rains it fills up quickly with dark, dirty water. There is a small concrete hole or gutter alongside the canal. Several young street children ages 10-13 call this hole their home.
Recently, as we walked through the market, I saw six of our kids sitting alongside the canal with their bottles pressed against their noses. A lady stood next to them talking. As we approached the kids, they turned and smiled. “Hermana Lily!” They shouted and a small 10 year old wrapped his arms around me in a bear hug. We greeted all the kids and I turned my attention to the lady who had been talking to the kids. She pointed to a small hole leading into a concrete pipe in the canal, “There is a cat with kittens in that hole,” she explained. “I have been coming every day to check on them and bring them food and I want to take them home and rescue them.” She looked at the six dirty little children who call this canal their home, “Keep an eye on the cats for me, please.” She told them as she left.
My heart hurt at the reality of that moment. On one side of the canal, in a small hole was a cat with her kittens. On the other side of the canal, in a small concrete space were six children. This lady was more worried about cats than these beautiful kids. She had been coming to check on the cats every day while ignoring the fact that two feet away, sat children with bottles of glue held to their noses to escape the hunger and loneliness of their daily lives.
It’s easy to see these kids and look away. It’s easy to feel sorry for them yet do nothing. It’s easier to save a cat and her kittens. Because stopping to help these kids, sitting and listening to them and walking alongside them is hard. It’s messy. It’s complicated.
But we know that God loves these children and that they are valued.
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound…” Isaiah 61:1
We want the good news of the gospel to be heard. We want to see God’s love heal broken hearts. We want to see God’s power free these kids from the chains of sin and addiction. We want to be the hands and feet of God and bring His love into these dark places no matter how hard or messy or complicated it feels.
We cannot do this alone. Would you join our prayer team and join us in praying for these precious lives? Would you pray about partnering with us and supporting our ministry financially? Become a monthly supporter and help us make a lasting impact in the lives of these kids! We want to see Jesus set the captives free!