The Love of the FatherRich Stigall
Ricardo (in the red and black shirt above) was one of my favorites at Casa Amor, our partner in the Dominican Republic. CONANI (DR’s child welfare) brought him into care because his dad was no longer in the picture, and his mom was sick and unable to care for him. Month after month, we saw Ricardo revive. His smile emerged. He played basketball. He even shared from the Word of God one night at the children’s service when I was visiting. Ricardo was getting his childhood back, until one day when his siblings showed up.
When Ricardo’s little brother and sister arrived, he immediately seemed older and concerned. We asked him what was wrong?
“I’m worried about my mom,” he shared. “She’s alone now.”
Like many oldest children in broken families, Ricardo had become the parent, not just to his younger siblings, but to his mom as well. That was the role he fell into, because someone had to. A few weeks later, CONANI came to take Ricardo and his siblings. Ricardo was able to get a job at a local supermarket to help support his family, and he has been in touch with the Casa Amor family for support.
We do not need a guarantee of a Hollywood ending to step into the lives of children at risk. And, we rest in what and who we do know. We do know the One, Jesus, who cares for Ricardo even more than we do. We trust the love of the Father that Ricardo experienced at Casa Amor will go with him, and we give thanks for the opportunity to give him a little of his childhood back for as long as we could.
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