Wednesday, October 27, 2010

tuff, but worth it

Last week was really hard for me. Much harder than I imagined it would have been. Monday Edwardo went to work for the first time. We had set up a brick layers position for him, and he was excited to be starting a new life! His job site is in our neighborhood, so we imagined he would be home soon after the site closed. He never showed up.

About 3AM Edwardo came home. He had been drinking, but his biggest change was in his resolve - to not stay clean anymore. He insisted that this was in his blood, and that nothing could change that.

Tuesday was a sad and difficult day for me. I met up with Edwardo at the local soup kitchen and we talked. He was done trying. I knew from the beginning that this was a possible, and not unlikely outcome, but living through it knocked me down hard. I really really wanted to see Edwardo make it. All seven of us in the house had pulled out all the stops to try and help make it possible... but in the end he made a different choice.

I feel like I learned a lot about being a living sacrifice. There is an advantage to not being a living sacrifice, in that you don't have to see your self-sacrifice going to waste. But we weren't called to die for Jesus, we were called to live for Him. I am learning to have peace in this tension. My sacrifice is my worship - and as much as my heart will long to see it bring about new life for those around me, it is a life worth living regardless of the immediate consequences.

I knew all of this in my head, now God is helping me to have peace in the practice. And we would, and undoubtably will, do it all again as we are led. The good thing about giving of yourself is that it gets easier each time. This experience kicked my butt... but I am thankful for it. I know that for the difficulty, we are stronger today.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Edwardo is back!

Saturday I left with Barbra (my much loved 25 year old daughter) and Brandon (our 6 month intern) for BeloHorizonte, a town 8 hours to the north of Itu. There we spent the night with Barbra's family - who I was amazed to find are even crazier than she is! I loved them. And on the return trip Sunday we picked up Edwardo up from Ele Clama. Ele Clama is a drug rehab program where he has just completed his treatment.

For the last three years Edwardo, or Du as we call him, has been homeless and addicted to drugs and alcohol. In these pictures, the guys from our homeless lunch were talking to him while he was still in rehab. They emphaticly insisted that when he comes back he not hang around them, because they don't want him to fall back into their lives of addiction.

Now he is takeing on an entirely new life. We will be going to meet with his family tonight. Du is pretty anxious about this. They haven't known him to be anything but trouble for years, so he has a lot of history to disprove now.

After meeting with his fam, we will come back here again. Du will spend one week at my house under my supervision before moving back in with his fam. I am helping him to make the transition from work being something he does for therapy, like he did in rehab, to just flat out having to work. His brother is going to set up a construction job for him, tonight I will find out the hours he will be working so that this week I can keep him working a comparitive schedule and giving him council as he does it. So far he has been doing yard work and fixing the fence around our garden.

Pray for all of us this week. For Du that he would take this new opportunity and run with it, and understand that it is the work of a God who loves him. For me that God would give me the wisdome to prepare him well for returning to an skeptical home. For his family that they would see the light of Jesus through the renewal of one of their own.