Something is breaking in his life… Just the past 2 weeks. For the first time since he came to us a year ago, he has changed. His smiles catch us off guard, his contagious laugh that we have never heard before, rings through the house. He is like a flower before our eyes, opening its petals to the sun…

He has always hid downstairs in his room. Quiet, never rude, always obedient, but somehow a sadness lurking around his eyes.

Abandoned by his mother, he had been brought to a Christian orphanage at 10 years old by his father’s sister. His dad, unable to work, was sick with tuberculosis and the family simply could not care for him. One year ago, that program closed and we accepted him to our DAVID Boys program.

I remember the day we met. He didn’t even make eye contact. He had one small bag of clothes and moved silently through the halls, not mixing with the other boys. His father had just died and he had nowhere to go. So deep within himself, it seemed he was unreachable.

As the Christmas season is here, if our boys have extended family, they are allowed to go “home” for a few days. Jomar happens to have one aunt. As we were making the travel plans, he suddenly blurted out, “But I don’t want to go,” then he turned his head but between the tears and his mumbling I didn’t understand the rest. I begged him to repeat what he said. I sat quietly by his side knowing it would take much coaxing to get an honest answer. He held his head in his hands. Finally, two hours later, with tear filled eyes, he looked up at me and said, “I don’t want to leave here. For the first time in my life, I have tasted what a family feels like. I can see what it would be like to have a mom and dad who love me… I don’t want to go to my aunt’s… she doesn’t love me like you.”

Picture 18

My own eyes filled with tears and I hugged him. His body heaved with sobs that lasted for a long time. “You don’t have to go away for Christmas. You can stay with us. We would love to have you.”

I watched him as my husband sat down and swallowed him up in his arms. My own tears flowed…

I can’t imagine at 15 years old never having felt safe. Never feeling love or that your life has value. Never knowing you were special to someone.

We all love the babies and the toddlers that we rescue but on the inside, our boys are no different than those little ones.  They are lost, some of them orphans, and almost all of them have never been loved and accepted for who they are. None of them have been held and cooed to. None of them have ever felt safe and wanted… not one.

We have 20 boys with us this Christmas.  Oh yes, they make a lot of noise. Yes, they are messy and they sure eat a lot. We do not have a lot of money to spend on elaborate gifts this year but I cannot think of a better present to give someone at Jesus’ birthday, than the gift of love, acceptance, and a family.

May you be encouraged to open your home, your heart, your family and share with someone who has not… this Christmas.

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