Heroes of the Faith
We’d like to introduce you to Charity Graff, who works with kids up in Manila. She’s a “real deal.” I love having others who I call “Hero’s of the Faith” that work from the heart of Christ. It’s wonderful to hear their testimonies. You may want to connect with her and get her e-mail updates.
Below is a recent e-mail update we received.
June 14th, 2009
June 1 -8, 2009 A clown and puppet team from Texas came to help us do our summer outreaches into local depressed areas. The two professional clowns had been to GH for several years in a row starting in 1997. We held an evening program in Escopa, the community we have worked in for 9 years. The clowns remembered this place very well.
I remember the boy they are looking for but only from a picture and only because I remember there was something wrong with him. He would faint or fall for no reason at all. He was slow. I remember the team feeling deeply for him. But to my knowledge, I had never encountered him in the nine years I had worked in Escopa.
At the end of the crusade, a nice looking young man approached me. "Ate (sister), you are looking for me? I'm JR." I didn't know him but I called the clowns over and left them to hug and reminisce.
He was tall, 5'10" maybe. His voice gentle but he was tall and his body built strong. He carried an air about him, almost of authority. He was very sure of himself.
As we shook hands to say goodbye, I noticed an ulcer looking wound on his hand and I asked what happened. He shook his head and covered his hand.
"I have medicine at the house. Come over tomorrow and I'll wrap that. You're going to get sick from the infection."
He came the next evening with fever and explained he had a wound on his shoulder that was giving him great pain. I was shocked to see the 3rd degree burn on his arm. He had poured acid on a fraternity tattoo because he was about to leave for Armed Forces Training. It was raw, oozing with black dead skin and infection.
I cleaned and wrapped it and prayed for God to heal him. With tears in his eyes, he took the Bible I gave him and said he would be back tomorrow.
I ended up in the hospital with our little baby Edu, on Monday night and JR came to visit. He talked about his childhood, his growing up, his sickness when he was younger and his family. He told me of finding his little brother on the ground, his eyes and nose gone, just gaping holes left. He told me how he picked his brother up and ran to the hospital a mile away with his brain coming out the back of his head. He had grabbed onto a live wire after climbing on the roof to get a stray kite.
A year later his dad died and along with that went his hope, his protector, his hero, and best friend. For three years he has felt alone and drifting. He joined the marines and became a soldier to be reckoned with, following in his dad's footsteps.
He wept quietly as he poured out his heart. The drinking of his older brother, the failures of his family, his aching heart for his brother and father. His dreams, his goals, his upcoming military training. He just talked and talked and talked.
A few days later, after he had spent the day helping at Gentle Hands playing with the kids and ordering the boys around, he came upstairs very serious. He had already cleaned my house, monitored the boys, made them clean their rooms, fold their towels, take a bath (and not waste water), do the dishes, clean the bathroom, and use respect when they spoke. They listened and responded to him.
I wondered what he needed to say. He looked at me and said, "Ate, I'm not alone anymore. I will just live at your house and you can take care of me. When I have time off from school (he is taking welding), I have a place to go now. You can be my second mom. Is that okay?" He was serious. My heart moved. Tears shimmered in his eyes. What could I say?
Somehow in the next few days, during a worship time, JR accepted Jesus as his personal Savior. His wounds continue to heal and his desire to grow in the Lord is evident.
Over and over I think how thankful I am to have caught a glimpse of his wound. I am so thankful the clowns remembered him and called for him. I am so thankful to see another boy's life saved by God's grace.
Life has been so busy the past few weeks. I have many stories to tell. Thank you for your prayers and support of our work among the children and boys of the Philippines. We have been trying to downsize and minimize our DAVID Boys but God must have a different plan...
For love of the poor,