a post by Lauren
We all make mistakes. There are, and always will be moments that we look back on wishing we had made a different decision. The boys we work with make bad decisions all the time. For most of them deciding to live on the streets was their first one of many.
The streets breathe pride and hardness into these boys lives. Their bad decisions are often made worse by their inability to accept their wrong doings or to apologise. Often to say sorry or to ask for forgiveness is a weakness not a strength as we want them to see it.
I have mentioned before that the Lord as placed a particular love and burden on my heart for the younger boys at Masana. I spend a fair amount of time reminding them to brush their teeth, talk with respect and apologise to each other when they fight over silly things. I feel like those small things are little ways that I can make a difference in their lives. Small ways that make them less like street kids.
A few weeks ago two of the little ones that I am closest to made a bad decision. They were asked by a neighbour to carry some bottles of cold drink or beer that she wanted to sell. Instead of taking it to her stall, they ran away and sold them. Splitting their money they were satisfied for a little while. The next morning, they were caught. Thank goodness the lady who they stole from was full of love and grace. She agreed that all would be fine if they could go back to where they sold it and get her money or bottles back.
When I arrived at Masana my two little boys would not even look at me. They knew that I was sad and disappointed. I didn’t even have to say that to them. Later on in the morning I went over to them and told them that I loved them and knew that they had made a bad decision. My little Alex collapsed in a heap in my arms. Crying. Junior was next. Tears running down his face he hugged me and said he was sorry. I sat with them a while and reminded them that when the lady came to fetch them that they needed to say sorry. That they had to face the consequences but still needed to ask for forgiveness.
The boys did manage to get the ladies things back. They were very blessed that she did not take them to the police station. When the boys got back I sat back with Ian and watched as one of the boys broke down in tears. Going to each staff member asking for forgiveness. It was one of the most beautiful moments I have had at Masana. He reminded me what it was to repent. To really say sorry. To really ask for forgiveness and to know that although there are consequences we are truly forgiven.
These boys teach us new things every day. But a message of repentance and forgiveness was a particularly strong one for me. I pray that my heart will be ready to ask for forgiveness like his was. We all make bad decisions. Its how we deal with them afterwards that important. At Masana we see even the most proud of hearts broken and in need of forgiveness. It’s not about the decisions we make. It’s about the moment of repentance afterwards. And more importantly it’s about the moment where we realise that we are forgiven.