Between now and the 31st May (when we are leaving Mexico to return to the the UK) we are focussing on what we need to do here to finish well. One of the things that Nisha and Anya said they would like to do before we leave was to visit the streets with us to see where the street people actually live. We too felt this was a really important experience for the girls to have in order to understand a bit more about why Steve and I felt called by God to come to Mexico in the first place and why MEFI came in to existence. We felt God would use this experience to open their eyes to how other children/young people live and give them a greater passion to pray for them and to share with others about the work MEFI does here.
So we arranged to go to visit one of the groups during the Easter holidays. We gave the girls an orientation session, which included praying on the 'armour of God', and then we set out with Alex and Paty to visit the group at Indios Verdes (which was actually one of the very first groups I visited with Fidel way back in 1998! In fact some of the 'kids' I met then were sadly still there, and although they were really excited to see me, Steve and the kids, it broke my heart to see them in the same place, only now older, more rugged and looking tired and worn out from the life they have lived. One of the boys whom I knew from 18 years ago was Marcos. He was only about 10 years old then, and he lived on the street with his brother Oscar. His eyes revealed the deep sadness that he still carries in his heart after his brother was killed on the streets about 3 years ago.
However, it did encourage me that some of the guys have now broken free of the drugs, and most of them were working - washing windscreens at the traffic lights. God also enabled us to see José Luis again with his two adopted kids Samantha and Adan. We had met up with Jose Luis and his partner Sandra each week to do some marriage preparation with them. Sandra had two children from another partner, and had lived on the streets most of her life. In fact I met her with her baby Samantha on the streets. José Luis had also spent most of his life on the streets, but Sandra and he had a very strong relationship and he had taken on Sandra's two kids as his own. Although they were both living off the streets, and were both drug free, whilst we were doing marriage preparation with them, José Luis still struggled with breaking free from the life and the group that he had become part of on the streets. They got married in 2013, and have been living in various places, but have recently separated because of the ongoing problems they were having. Thankfully they are still in contact, and the kids still see José Luis. We were able to talk with him and pray with him before we left, but the whole family would really appreciate your prayers.
It was also very strange to see one of the guys I knew - Antonio - who was around 12 years old when I first met him, now with a wife and three kids of similar age to our 3 kids. Only their lifestyle and situation is a completely different story. Nisha and Anya chatted quite a bit to those kids, and it made a huge impact on them. We were so proud of their attitude towards all the street people we met, despite how dirty many of them were and how bad they smelled, they shook hands with them all and served them food and drinks and gave out little party bags they had prepared plus the blankets that they had received at their birthday party which they had requested instead of presents. It gave them great joy to see the huge smiles on the faces of the guys as they gave them out.
Nisha wrote in her journal afterwards:
"On Tuesday 29th April we went to see the children on the streets. I helped by giving out the food and the spoons. I felt sorry that they didn't have many toys. I pray that good will happen and that You will be near to them and when we go to England that You will give them a home. God also made me think of the bit in the Bible that talks about not worrying. It says that God feeds the birds and clothes the flowers, and says "are you not much more valuable than they are?" (Matthew 6:26). I think God wants to say this to the street children."
Please pray with Nisha that God would speak this truth in to the lives of the young people on the streets - that they would trust in God and would know just how valuable they really are.
Antonio with his three boys
Praying with the group.
Nisha giving one of the blankets she received for her birthday
Anya serving one of the lads a plate of food
Giving out the party bags containing some fruit and sweets.
With Marcos (Oscar's brother)
With José Luis and his adopted daughter Samantha.