August was an emotionally charged month.
One of the older boys at the home escaped in the middle of the night, which left us profoundly concerned for his safety and quite confused considering that there were no warning signs. After a long search throughout the city of Santa Cruz, we finally located him at his mother’s house and he willingly returned to Talita Cumi.
In the aftermath of his return, we discovered that a group of men from a human trafficking ring were trying to lure him across the Brazilian border with promises that they would cover the costs of his passage from Bolivia to Ukraine so that he could fulfill his dream of fighting in the war. Thank God we found him before they were able to get him across the border or we might never have seen him again.
Please keep this situation in your prayers. An escape creates a lot of emotional turmoil for the entire home. We’re thankful to the Lord that he is safely back with us, but an escape typically awakens false hope in other children that they too might be able to realize their dreams or solve their problems by running away. We certainly don’t want any child to put his or her life at risk in this way.
On a brighter note, we celebrated Yessica’s quinceañera, the most significant birthday for a girl in Latin culture. One of the highlights was hearing Yessica, in her own words, commit to serving the Lord as she grows into a young woman.
Recently I had the pleasure of spending one-on-one time with Lider at a cafe. He is the oldest boy at Talita Cumi, turning 17 years old this month, which means he has about one more year to live at the home. We talked about his life, his studies, and his future aspirations.
Lider is a good kid with a good heart. In addition to his studies at high school, he’s attending an institute at night in order to become a certified electrician. One of his highest priorities upon leaving Talita Cumi is to help take care of his mother who is paralyzed.
This week the children finish their second trimester of school. A number of the children are up to date on their studies and homework, but several are not. This has meant long days and late nights as they scurry to catch up and finish the semester strong.
The past month has not been without some recreation and relaxation. The younger boys love going to the park to play soccer and race bikes.
Thank you for your support and prayers. I’ll have more to say about Nicol at Ruth’s House in my next newsletter. She’s doing fine, advancing in her studies and continuing to work on her art in her spare time.