“In my distress I called upon the LORD; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears.” – 2 Samuel 22:7
“And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.” -1 John 5:14-15
First off, thank you all so much for your love, support, tears, and mostly prayers for Cristian. We as a team have received so many messages from people all around the world saying they were praying for him. I am so excited to tell you that the Lord has been so faithful, and so good, and has heard the cries of His people as He has promised in His Word.
During our time with the kids, we noticed that Cristian was different from the rest…quiet and a bit disconnected. We also knew that he had been living with his grandma since his dad had been killed and his mom had abandoned him. Rachel, who had met him the previous year on her first trip with Servants’ Heart Ministry, said that he was wearing the same clothes he had been wearing then. Being the amazing and compassionate family they are, the Dyers bought clothes for him while we were in town. The next day, Cristian fell asleep in my arms and spent the afternoon there. A couple of girls who I had spent a lot of the week with began telling me about how sad the situation was for him and how glad they were that he was being loved and able to sleep. They then began to tell me (all in Spanish) that his grandma wanted him to go with us to the United States, and how he was beaten with switches made from the trees. You can imagine at this point just how many times I asked in different ways to make sure I was getting the right translation, and how my heart was breaking. I told the Dyer girls and our hearts broke together. That night was when I wrote the blog. In the morning, I awoke exhausted, and feeling terrible. I went out to my balcony to spend some time with the Lord, desperate for a word from Him. I have been reading through 1 Samuel, and what do you know the chapter I was set to read was the story of David and Goliath.
Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the LORD saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give you into our hand.” -1 Samuel 17:45-47
During this time, God was telling me, “Kendra, this battle is in my hands. Even though Cristian looks so small in comparison to these circumstances and his loss seems inevitable, I am His God who saves.”
Throughout the day we witnessed a number of these victories, and they continue today:
– The day after hearing more about Cristian’s situation, Ramón, the pastor on staff with Servants’ Heart Ministry, was able to talk to some of the women in the village. He was able to find out that one of the ladies was Cristian’s aunt and spent some time talking with her. We found out through their conversation, that Cristian’s grandma does in fact love him, she just doesn’t have the resources to take care of him. She is discouraged over the situation and may at times take it out on him, resulting in the things the girls were talking about. His grandma despite everything really does want the best for him. She also shared that at times when not as many people are around he does break out of his shell, laugh and enjoy life.
– The beautiful Dyers family decided during the trip that they want to sponsor Cristian through the Servants’ Heart Ministry’s Child Sponsorship Program. As Cristian’s sponsor, not only will they financially be supporting him, but they will bring accountability alongside of Cristian fighting for him to have the best life possible.
– Moved by Cristian’s story, Rex (Chief Executive Officer / Vice-Chairman of the Board at Servants’ Heart) and his wife flew down this weekend to learn more about his circumstances and what ways we can best help him. They are also hoping to spend some time talking with his grandma and bring in some medical aid. We should hear an update from them today.
As you can see from these few stories, the Lord is so faithful to hear our prayers. Thank you for interceding for Cristian. Many of you have asked if there is anything you could do apart from praying, and I want to encourage you to begin to ask God where He is stirring your heart. Perhaps you are supposed to go on a trip and love on these kids first hand. Maybe God is asking you to sponsor one of the other kids in the village of Valla Hondito or in Las Conoas. The more I learn about the world, the more I realize Cristian’s story is the same for so many of the kids around the world. They are desperate for people like you to step in and fight for them. If you want to know more about Servants’ Heart, you can check out their website or message me, and I can get you in contact with them.
Again, thank you. You all have taught me so much about what it looks like to be the church and to share each others’ burdens in a way that I have never experienced before.