the morning with one way ministries started out much like the ones before it had. children laughed hysterically at adults as adults found a way to act hysterically with the the children they were engaging.
but as the music slowed to the level of a lullaby, a tragic reality crept onto the scene. the narratives weren’t unexpected; in fact, we’d heard countless versions of them during our week there. but if i’m being completely transparent, it was easy to feel disconnected from the horror stories when they were just words floating in the air. that all changed, though, when i stopped and really took the time to study their faces.
a quick google search tells me that diamonds are formed under intense heat and crushing pressures. and like diamonds, these children have been molded and shaped by a crushing pressure that most of us will never be able to comprehend. i’d marveled at their smiles all week long but what i hadn’t fully realized until this moment in that bright, sunlit room is that those smiles, while genuine, only represented one tiny facet in the hearts of these children.
one by one the distant tales i’d heard of took the shape of the very children who sat before my eyes. men who do secret things to little girls under the cover of night, mothers who wish they had a couple of less mouths to feed, and sisters who bury little brothers…the reality forced hot tears to stream from eyes both big and small.
but it was one particular set of two children that pierced my heart above all. it was that of a small black-haired girl with a story of suffering being cradled by an even smaller blonde-haired girl with a broken heart. the tiniest of the girls is mine.
i could feel my heart crumble at the sight of my tender-hearted middle child sharing in the deepest pain of the young girl in her arms and my initial reaction was to swoop her out of that room into a place of happy safety. but then the gentle whisper of the holy spirit spoke to my heart: isn’t this what it’s all about? weeping with those who weep? sharing one another’s burdens? pointing them to the only One who knows our pain, captures our tears, and restores and redeems our weary souls?
so there i left them, crying and wrapped in each other’s small frame, and i prayed. i asked the lord to make himself known in the life of the one, to remind her that he’s so near to her broken heart; and for the other, i asked him to make that moment there on the cold, hard tile be the beginning of a life of ministry, pouring herself out for the sake of the gospel.
“i have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. in this world you will have trouble. but take heart! i have overcome the world.” john 16:33
want to know more about one way ministries and the work they do in guatemala and other areas around the world? check them out HERE.