It has been a rough couple of weeks for the PDE ministry (Puerta de Esperanza; single mom's home). Two weeks ago I received a call from Alma, the director, asking if she could come talk. Short end, she had to make the decision to tell one of the girls she had to leave the home. Many disciplines later for behavior, attitude, lake of responsibility - the final straw was some aggressive behavior toward another girl in the home. A few days later I went to PDE with Alma to inform the girls of the decision. The harshness, the coldness, broke my heart. This girl who had lived in the home for over a year, with a shrug of her shoulder, "no se preocupe, Kathy." (don't worry, Kathy).
How can we not worry? Sending a young mom and her 1 year old daughter out into the world. She does have a mama in town who is willing to help care for the granddaughter, and she has a friend who is willing to let her live with her. But, my real worry is not her physical needs of shelter and food. My worry is the harshness that I saw and felt from her. My heart breaks for her heart. My heart breaks for Alma and the weight of the decision she had to make. My heart breaks for the house mom and the other girls and babies in the home who have been affected by the consequences of the poor choices that were made by a young mom.
Just one day later, on an early cold Sunday morning (cold being relative - but yes, it was cold!), Alma and I sat across the table from a grandmother who is probably the same age as I am, if not younger. She started out very defensive and then as Alma so loving explained to her the reasons why her daughter was no longer allowed in the home, we slowly saw a softening - or maybe she just ran out of things to be defensive about. Alma handled the situation with amazing grace, yet sternness. I am so proud to serve by her side.
Not just with PDE, but over the past several weeks I have watched so many tender hearts have to suffer the consequences of the poor choices, sin choices, of others. But, I have also seen those same people extend such grace and love, while still holding the sin accountable to discipline. So while my heart breaks for the suffering due to sin; I have to give thanks to our heavenly Father that there are His sons and daughters who are choosing to extend His grace and love to others.
It makes me stop and evaluate my own choices and actions. First: am I striving to have good actions, have the right attitude, say the right things -- so that others don't have to suffer for my poor choices? Two: when I do fail and I am confronted with my sin, do I humble myself and ask for forgiveness and seek restoration? Third: when others around me fall, do I extend the grace and the love of the ONE who has extended His grace and love to me so abundantly.
Please pray for Alma and her very difficult role as director of PDE. Pray for the house moms and the other girls and babies in the home. Pray for the future girls that God will send to the home.