Fourteen-year-old Yorleny knew a lot about loneliness from surviving early childhood abandonment. As she met with staff at Back2Back’s community center and learned more about God- as always being there as her Father, caregiver and friend- Yorleny began to wonder if a relationship with God was the missing piece in her life.
BlogBe inspired by stories of reckless faith from around the world. These stories encourage us to keep going, to never give up, until every child is known and loved.
Birthdays had always been painful for 11-year old Blanca, a difficult reminder of the family she missed. This year, Blanca’s 12th birthday arrived with a bang when Back2Back staff and friends gathered to celebrate her in a big way, reminding her she is valued and loved.
Courage is not the opposite of fear. Courage is the byproduct of faith. It’s surrender and forward motion. It’s a release of control and a holy confidence in a plan bigger than the page you are on. It announces to those paying attention, you are a citizen of another place.
Providing family-style care means Israel can confide in his house mom, Marlin, after a friend at school hurt his feelings. It means house parents, Joel and Viviana, can lead evening devotionals and pray with each boy before heading off to bed. Family-style care means dinners are no longer around a plastic table in a noisy cafeteria. Instead, the children gather around a wooden dinner table as a family and share about their day. Family-style care allows house parents to provide deeper care for each child as they navigate life’s challenges.
One morning, my friend was leading an orphan care training session. “You can lay down your weapons,” she urged us to tell the children. Children from difficult pasts use control and aggression as weapons to protect themselves, she explained. But when we care for children in a way that encourages healing, we are giving them new tools to navigate the world around them.
There was complete silence as the children swirled paint brushes over paper, pouring out their feelings in vibrant yellows, purples and blues. It was a typical day at the Back2Back Community Center of Tres Reyes – where given the choice between play and paint – the children choose art every time. For children who struggle to express their feelings, art can be a beautiful tool to help them grow and heal.