Tuesday, January 23, 2007

More tough decisions

I'm back in the states for a few days for a doctors appointment. The night before I left to come back, I ran into a few of my students in the streets. "Whatever you do, PLEASE come back!" she pleaded. I wouldn't dream of abandoning these kids, but hard times breed harder questions. I am living with a level of stress and poverty that are taking a bigger toll every day on my health, my family, and my future ability to continue with this work. Bottom line, I can't keep going like this. Something has to change and very very soon or I will be forced to make that decision, to be yet another person who walked out of their lives, leaving them empty handed.

I don't want to think it. Its hurts too bad, but I've got to face all eventualities. If things don't change, this is one of them. I talked with my Mom for a good long time tonight, and she made a valid point. For every child that throws their arms around me on the streets of Mazamitla, and begs me not to leave them, there are a hundred more someplace else in this world, that need me just as much. There is a school in Peru that "would give their right arm for someone like me" or so I'm told. But I don't want to think it.

I can't just walk away. I can't. My heart and soul belong to these kids on that mountain. Do I want to help elsewhere in the world, absolutely! But right now, it's these kids, these families and communities. I can't walk away and I can't keep living like this.

I don't know what to do. Why must my souls needs and my physical needs be at such odds? Why would God allow me to invest all of my heart and soul into a place and a people that I would only have to leave? So much doesn't make sense. It doens't feel right to leave, it doesn't sit well with any part of my being. There must be another answer. What is it?

****updated to say

Through the miracle of myspace I have a rare glimpse into the heart of the teenage soul. These kids have been through so much, they are hurting so deeply. I can't leave them, not for any reason.

A note to parents. I'm not a parent myself. I've never brought life into this world. I've never had the pressures of clothing and feeding and housing and educating a child. But I have been a child. I know the crushing pain of feeling rejected, unloved and unwanted by my parent. I see children, everyday, who feel the same way. So a word of advice to you. What your kids need from you, more than anything, is your time. Tell your kids you love them. Let them know you care. Get to know them, they are growing up, becoming fascinating, wonderful, inspiring individuals. They didn't ask to be born. Whatever stresses that have been brought into your life is not their fault. The way you treat your children affects them for the rest of their life. Where are your kids? What are they doing? How are they feeling? Find out, care, love them. Every child is a blessing from God. The parents of my students are so amazingly blessed, and they don't even KNOW IT!

1 comment:

Debra Kay said...

What would make your current situation better and allow you to stay where your heart is? It is OK to spend some effort thinking of ways to make yourself more at ease-you are no good to anyone if you are not good to yourself.