Leaving the 99
We had just finished restocking medical supplies at the local pharmacy. As we walked outside we ran into one of our boys we work closely with. We were chatting, laughing, and joking around. Ellie started humming the song “Reckless Love” and he says “Hermana I know that song I’ve heard it before and I like it.” He asked if we could sing it in Spanish to him. So we looked up the lyrics and sang the song together. We probably sand the song at least five times that day.
The way the words to this song had touched this boy’s life was truly beautiful. Later that night I looked up the lyrics and read them over and over again.
“Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God Oh, it chases me down, fights 'til I'm found, leaves the ninety-nine.”
These lyrics were imprinted in my thoughts for entirety of my trip.
You have probably read or heard of Matthew 18:10-14 talking about the parable of the Lost Sheep. In verses 12-13 it states, “If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them went astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly I say to you he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray.”
Jesus is always in search of His lost sheep. He spent His life with the “The Lost Sheep” The sick, the poor, prostitutes, addicts, widows, drunkards and all the people who are easily overlooked.
We are called to live like Jesus. The majority of the kids we work with are addicted to some kind of substance. Most of them have experienced abuse on many levels. These children cling to the “comforts” of the world that leave them empty, lonely, and broken. These kids who call the streets their home are hurting and lost. We have a flock of sheep that have gone astray and don’t know where to turn.
God has graciously opened many doors and allowed us to be in these kids lives. We want to lead them to the Shepard who will never lead them astray. We want to show them the God that always looks for His lost sheep with a “never-ending” kind of love.
Fast forward a month and a half and this same boy who has been in a constant battle of worldly desires and wanting to know more about God is making the most important decision of his life. We were at church on a Thursday evening and they did an alter call at the end. He slipped in the back of the church half way through so we didn’t even know he was there. Sure enough the pastor calls all the people who want Jesus to come into their life to walk forward. He walks forward and chooses Jesus as His personal Lord as Savior. That night we celebrated his decision to follow Jesus
As we go through life with him we see him fighting. We see him wanting God but the desires of the world come flooding in daily. But one thing he is learning is that it doesn’t matter how many sins or mistakes or times he walks away. Jesus will always be there welcoming him with open arms and a never ending love.
Pray as we walk through life with these kids that we would be able to lead them to the ultimate Shepard. Pray that God would grasp hold of their hearts and they would know how loved they truly are. We pray the love of God would transform each individual. Pray the lost would be found.