Greetings back home to all our friends and family. We trust you are all well and that you are all adjusting to the unusually warm weather that you are experiencing. We are doing well.
Clarissa and I want to take the time to share the story of Victor with you. Victor is the young man in the photo above on the right side. This is the only picture that I have of him. He wears a pretty tough shell but it sure doesn't take much to make him smile. From the first time that I saw him I could see that he has had it rough. He was a bit apprehensive about me at first but I walked up to him, gave him a shoulder to shoulder hug, and a smile, and it was all it took to gain his friendship. Like so many young men he has grown up without a father, and like so many he is just longing for someone to fill the gap so when I gave him a hug that is all it took for his shell to come off and for his heart to soften up. I have to admit, I almost turned the other way when I first saw him, I'm so glad that I didn't.
Victor has grown up without a father his whole life so he has always had to fend for himself. In his home there have been ongoing issues between him and his mother and so she has now kicked him out on his own. For the time being he is living with a relative but we know that there are family problems their as well so we sense that he will not be there long either. We have huge concerns for him. He is 15 years old, turning 16 next week. Absolon sat him down on Saturday to see how he is doing and we sensed that he is at a cross roads. He has been abandoned and rejected time and time again and is now on his own to fend for himself. He has accepted Christ through the programs here but he is struggling with having no self worth and has told us that he has nothing to offer God, this world or anyone else. He is down and tends to be off on his own quite a bit. (unless we get a game of soccer going. :) When the Pastor and Absolon shared his story and his feelings with me I told them that I sensed Victor was either going to look for friends and companionship in the drug world/night life or that he was a prime candidate for suicide unless we make big efforts to get involved in his life. (I didn't know it at the time but the City of Guaymas is ranked #1 for suicide in the state of Senora and is ranked # 3 in all of Mexico.) We all agreed that we needed to come up with a plan to build him up and to teach him that he is important and that he is loved and has purpose. Each of us agreed that we were dealing with the likelihood of suicide being a reality we are dealing with in Victor.
We approached him yesterday about becoming involved in the food program. We have a very low number of youth that attend so he is one of the oldest young men that we have. Our vision is that he would assist in serving the children and help fill any gaps where we need a set of hands. We basically want him to be part of our team so that we can have as much influence on him as we can and we want him to feel that he is valuable. We are also in progress of starting an additional food program in another community so in time extra support with us there will be necessary. Victor showed some signs of being interested however he was apprehensive. It will take us some time to work things through with him so pray that he will start to come around with the idea. Right now we have shared with him the simple task of helping us serve the children their plates and that even seems a bit overwhelming for him. Life here is about survival so taking things come more naturally than giving or serving.
I believe in Victor and feel he has allot of potential and that he has purpose in our program but the next few months are going to be critical in helping him make good decisions. He indicated that he trusts Pastor Raphael and that he is a great friend and father figure so we have that going for us.
Please keep Victor in mind as pray for this ministry.