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To See Them Flourish: A REACH Update

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By Erica, Team Ecuador

These past few days have offered a lot to think about. One hurdle is learning to love even when some of the kids don’t want to be loved. I wish so badly that I could just hold them and tell them over and over and over how precious they are, how loved they are, how powerful the love of the Father is, and how they can just let go and trust in him. But they don’t let that love happen. Instead, I have to be okay with giving them the touch they need in passing, with looking them in the eyes when they let me and saying, “Listen to me, I love you, my team loves you, the Tia’s all love you, God loves you! Why are being this way?” I don’t know if it gets through to them, but I hope it does.

I was calling home the other day, spilling out my frustrations over the phone when I realized that what I’m doing here is not for here, it’s for eternity. I know that sounds trite and overused, but it’s true. If I were here working week after week with children whose love is so conditional simply to get my self-approval tank filled up, I would’ve gotten on a plane back to the States long ago. Because if there’s anything I’ve learned here, it’s that I’m not as awesome as I’d like to think I am and I don’t have very much approval to give myself. What I do have is love. I can offer them love because I was loved first.

“I look at the way the kids treat me and I see the way I treat him… I wonder how many times I’ve broken his heart by walking away when he’s trying to talk.”I started crying so hard while I was on that phone call because I realized so deeply that I want those kids to pick up that love I have for them; I want so badly to see them flourish and grow. I want to look back and see how they learned to love deeply as well. I want their walls to come down and I want them to see the beauty of living without fear of rejection.

And that’s what the Father wants for me. I look at the way the kids treat me and I see the way I treat him. I hear the things they call me and wonder how many times I’ve smeared his name in the mud. I wonder how many times I’ve broken his heart by walking away when he’s trying to talk.

“Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down!” Isaiah 64:1. That has been my prayer ever since I got here. Show your love, show your power, be bigger than this darkness. But he has rent the heavens, he has come down. And he’s being more powerful than the darkness every time I open my heart to love a child who pretends to not want love. And that’s why I’m here – to love the unloved even when they hurt me with their words and actions. I know the healer so I can take it. Father, let them hear my voice and see my actions so that they can find healing too!

Please pray for this team as they continue to be God’s love at the Shekinah Foundation. Pray that God would continue to pour his love on them, so that they can bring his light and healing to the dark and broken people they come into contact with.