Since I was raised in a pastor’s home, I realize there is no such thing as a normal day in ministry. There is not an 8 hour shift. There is not an uninterrupted day off. There is not a phone call to be returned during normal office hours. Thankfully, God has always prepared us to be flexible with our time.
This is our “normalcy”….
We had just spent a week going 90 to nothing with Teddy and Eddie. A million things to do all crammed into 3 days. As my dad walked out the door, he handed me some money. He told me that someone had given it to him to be used however I chose to use it. I placed it in a drawer and made a mental note to use it if I see a special need. After my dad said good-bye on Friday morning, I looked at Soy and said, “After work we are going to cook dinner and watch movies with our girls. We are going to do nothing tonight!”
Our Friday was spent in a whirlwind of things to accomplish–redesigning websites, blogs that are magically erased, reading evaluations, analyzing math tests, planning the Christmas program, planning activities for Independence Day, etc. I was counting down the hours for it to be quiet on the mountain.
After the children left, Daisy and Chino and 2 students invited me to eat pupusas (stuffed tortillas) in the El Tejar park. I never encourage eating in the street, but they promised this one person is very clean. I reluctantly agreed only if we could return home quickly. We sat on the steps of El Tejar park and waited for the vendor to start cooking. We entertained ourselves by people-watching and eating typical candy. As we were finally eating pupusas, the temperature began to drop and it started to rain. Chino said, “Did you ever think you would be sitting in El Tejar park on a Friday night?” No! Absolutely Not!
While we were eating, Shadya called my phone. She explained that the local firemen and police contacted her to see if we could help them with a problem. In the past, they have called us only if a family needs food. We always have food bags ready, and this need is very easy to meet. I was prepared to give them another bag of food.
Shadya says, “There are 3 young boys who have been living on the streets for the past couple of days. They need a safe place to sleep tonight. Can you help?”
We were sitting outside in the cold temperatures. The rain was beginning to fall even harder. I usually have a lot of questions before making a decision. Where is the family? What are the plans for the children tomorrow? Is there a children’s home as an option? Are the teenage boys dangerous? Am I overstepping my boundaries?
It was 6:30pm and I needed to make a fast decision. The verses in Matthew 25:40-45 immediately came to my mind–“The least of these…” The image of an empty mission house with 40 beds came to my mind. The image of my personal children came to my mind. The image of the children in our school came to my mind.
“Yes Shadya. Tell the firemen to bring the children to the mission house. We will be waiting.”
And so our night began…