We love serving the Lord here in Nicaragua and we love sharing about the exciting days that we have and the fun things that we get to do in ministry. But, as it goes in life, there are certainly plenty of days that we have that are tough, hard to explain, discouraging, sad, etc… the entire gambit of negative emotions. This weekend was a very tough weekend.
Marcos has decided to leave Casa Robles. Marcos has lived at Robles for almost nine years. He was with us when we started and if you remember well he could easily have been the poster child for what was wrong with La Chureca. An eight year old school aged kid, half naked, covered in dirt, hanging off the back of trash trucks and rummaging through the garbage looking for stuff. Ah man it was such a joy to see the changes in his life as we invested greatly in him knowing that the Lord didn’t want Marcos or any child to live like that. We took the resources God has given us and put them to the plow. Angelica and Yuri being excellent parents to him and so many people loved on him over the years.
Last Friday he left a note on his bed just before lunch and slipped out the front door. His note was so thankful and he said he is making the most “triste y stupido” decision but he was leaving Robles. It was hard not to worry and be panicked but Marcos is very savvy so we knew he would make his way to a family member’s home. He made his way back to the La Chureca neighborhood and was with one of his aunts. Yesterday we met with him for the last time and formally returned him to his grandmother’s care.
It is a tear jerking moment when you see something so bad happening. We got to pray for him and tell him that we love him. But still, it was so very tough. Feelings of sadness, of failure, of disbelief. The truth is Marcos’s situation is no better today than 9 years ago, his family is an utter mess and the faint whisper of the filth and anarchy and evil of La Chureca is still calling him back. So this is very hard. It hurts so much, because after just three days he looked horrible and his countenance had changed entirely. As an adult, knowing all that he is walking into and how unforgiving and unrelenting the world is, it is very very hard.
Marcos is about to turn 17 and he wanted “freedom”. It is the difficulty of adolescence and anyone with teenagers knows how quickly things can get crazy. I wish he would have stuck with us and had those “i want to be able to do this this and this” conversations, because I am 1000% sure that he would be better off. But we trust in a sovereign God and we cannot grasp and try to control everything. Believe me we would have gone to the ends of the earth for this young man. But now, we have to let him go.
This is definitely not the way we plan for things to end. It is not the ideal ending for his time with us at Casa Robles. He is part of our family and we would have seen him through high school, college and into whatever life he could have dreamed of. We aren’t going to give up on him entirely, hopefully the Lord will still allow us to impact his life in some way.
So, please pray for Marcos. Life is going to be a harder road for him now. But, I do not believe it is beyond our loving and gracious Savior’s reach to keep him safe, to lead him away from temptation and still to grow Marcos into an Oak of Righteous. Even if we don’t get to see it for a number of years our hope is that we will see it. We hope that Marcos will have a good life and he will grow into an honorable Man of God and have a great impact on Nicaragua. So please please please pray for him, if you wouldn’t mind writing his name down and praying for him everyday.