There is little that touches my heart more than a child. I’ve known since I was a child – 13 years old – that God has called me to work with children. That’s one of the main reasons we were so enthusiastic about joining Bible Centered Ministries International – because their goal is to “Reach Children and Plant Churches Worldwide.”
When we were still in South Dakota, there were two organizations that I wanted to get involved with. Unfortunately, we weren’t there long enough for that to come to pass.
The first was an organization that works with the police. That area of South Dakota (or, the mid-West, actually) is known for high rates of meth abuse. So, there’s an organization that was developed that worked with the police. When the police knew they were about to bust a home that had meth inside and there were children known to be present, they contacted this organization that would bring in volunteers to go with the police and take care of the children who would be removed from the home.
The second organization I wanted to volunteer with was a Christian Pregnancy Center. They not only helped out the women, but they also spoke in schools about abstinence. The best thing I think they did, on top of the free ultrasounds, was that when a girl came and said they wanted help, they had them come for classes every month until the baby was born. The things they gave the girls weren’t necessarily “free”; the girls had to sit through classes on how to raise the child and Bible studies. I loved what they were doing!
Before moving to Peru, we learned that Peru has the highest number of illegal abortions… in the world. Part of that is because abortion IS illegal here in Peru, so any abortion adds to that percentage. However, still. That’s a high number. I can’t remember the exact number, but trust me, it was high. I was talking with a friend this week and I mentioned this to her and she agreed that that fact was probably true. She told me that there are signs everywhere that say, “Atraso Mensual?” with a phone number underneath. Those are all advertising illegal abortion clinics. (The sign means “Miss Your Period?”)
Yesterday, on the way to a nearby town, about a 20 minute drive, I counted 85. We were only halfway there. I quit counting.
85 signs advertising an illegal abortion clinic. To be fair, the phone number on each of them was the same, so it was advertising the same clinic. BUT ~ either business is really poor and they need a lot of advertising, OR there’s just such a high clientel, they want to advertise everywhere.
Either way, it’s distressing.
The other issue Peru faces is people trafficking. Prostitution is legal… kidnapping and trafficking people are not. A large number of women are taken every year from Iquitos (the jungle city we spend a lot of time in) and trafficked down to Lima (where we live). One report said that the majority of “street kids” that beg for money, sell stuff, etc, right here in our area are trafficked children from either the mountains or jungles. That’s scary to me. We see literally hundreds of children on the streets every time we go out. I wonder how many of them are not supposed to be here?
So, I’ve thinking about what we, as BCM Peru, can do. I have so many ideas. But, I know that none of them can come to pass without a few more workers, better Spanish, and a lot of prayer. Issues like this have been on my mind and heart for years. I’m in a country that needs much more help than anywhere I’ve ever lived before. I wonder what this could mean? And I wonder how it will come to pass?
Will you pray with me – just right now, wherever you’re at – for the children of Peru, the ones that are begging on the streets and the ones that are yet unborn? Pray for wisdom for us here at BCM as we figure out how we fit into this picture. And pray for us to get the license needed to build our own “Casa Hogar” (Children’s Home/Orphanage) within the next year.