Well this week has been like every other full of ups and downs!
First off, i would like to explain a little about Pedro the young man that we were helpping. Pedro is a young man very special to us, he is not completly mentally capable of understanding the consequenses of his actions and what he does due to his disability. This week we encountered Pedro sitting on the corner of the street crying. We approached him and asked him what had happened and he related a story that he had had a fight with the family that was helpping to take care of him. As a result of sed argument the family had kicked him out and was no longer willing to take care of him. The family with whom Pedro was living is not the best example. The brother was recently released from prison and he and the father are members of the local gang here, envolved in robbing, assault and other crimes. We were very worried for Pedro and his well being, we took him to the house of a member and got him something to eat, because he had not eaten that day. We left immediatley and went to the house of Julio which is the father with whom pedro was living, it was late and everyone in the family was heavliy drunk. We could not find a better solution, so we took the few clothes that Pedro posses and left without having the chance to speak with the family.
We got pedro settled in with a Sister in the ward who has 2 specail children and was willing to take him in and give him a home. One of her kids is a very specail young lady named stacy, stacy is 13 years old and can not really speak and is partly deaf, but she has a great spirit and everyone in the ward including us as missionaries love her to death!
About an hour later we deceided that we could not help Pedro leave without speaking with the family. After kneeling and offering a prayer of protection we left to confront the father of the family, who unfortunatley was a bit intoxicated. We conversed with him keeping our distance and being aware of what could happen. He told us a completely different story than that which Pedro had told us. He told us that Pedro was a misbehaved young man, he couldnt control his sexual desires, and was very violent at times. My companion and i couldnt beleive and didnt beleive what he had told us, judging him to be and angry drunk. He told us that because Pedro left from an orphanage we would have to go there and speak with the director to let them know pedro was in our care.
We had gotten to the home at about 8 pm and met with the director, he informed us all about Pedros past, why he was in the home and what things had happened while in the home. Sadly we had Judged Julio without taking the time to fully learn each and every side of the story and we had acted very swiftly when we shouldnt have done so! the Director confirmed that as part of his problem Pedro can not control his desires and had attacked 2 workers while in the home, also he is a habitual liar and is very convincing.
All at once it hit me like a train! my own self pitty and guilt for what i had done. We had removed Pedro from a family, although corrupt as they may be, a family who was willing to put up with him and take care of him! We had put him in a home where he was able to put at risk a family that we love and care about and had made a complete full of ourselves thinking that we were doing whats right for him, and him knowing this entire time that he was lying to us and fooling us.
as hard as it was to do, we swallowed our pride and immediatley returned to Julio and his family, who at this point were all drunk and all furious! Where they live is called an invasion, where people just build shaks and there is no light and its in the middle of nowhere. We were worried that things were going to become violent with this family and kept a prayer with in our hearts!
We went and asked forgivness and told them that we were wrong and that we owed them an apology and did all we could to bare out our hearts and ask forgivness. IN the drunkest state that he was, Julio forgave us, just like that and told us that he was willing to do what he could to help. We RAN to the sisters house in the ward with whom pedro was living and pulled him out of there! we had him confess it all and had to have him be removed from the house because he had thoughts about stacy, and if anything happened to her i would kill Pedro! Anyway... we gathered all together the two families us and pedro at about 9:30 at night when we should have been in our room, we didnt know what to do with Pedro and niether one of the families would take him in knowing of his past....
Pedro was furious with everyone and wouldnt talk to anyone, he just got really quite and said he was fine and wanted to leave and live in the street, we did all we could to try and convince him to come with us and we would take him back to the orphanage... he wouldnt go. he was mad, he had been found out and he had been thrown out again....
At this point my heart was breaking to see him like this, but he would no longer accept our help. IT was very late and we needed to get home and eat dinner and plan, we had no other chice but to give him his clothes and let him go.... i will NEVER forget the image of him walking alone in the dark down the street as we walk in the opposite direction, and then turning back to see him sit on the corner and cry... i could do nothing to help him, i had done all i could and more, and he yet lied, deceived and put at risk the ones i love..... i wanted to turn back but my comp kept me strong and we pressed on.
We got the the pension very late and we hadnt said a word since we left pedro, she asked what had happened why we were late and told us we looked like a train wreck. i sat down at the table and my comp offered the blessing on the food and then i lost all sense of self control and just cried...... my pension realiezed what was going on and asked my comp for an explaination.
i couldnt help it, i felt so terrible for having to leave him and yet i knew i had done all i could do within my power to help this poor young man.... that night i didnt sleep much.. to this day i do not know what has become of pedro but i know he is out there and i keep him close in my thoughts and prayers.... he needs help more than we could offer but mentally, so that he can straighten out his life....
i learned a great deal from this and 2 things stick out to me.... as a missionary you have so much love for the people you serve you are willing to do anything for them.... and to see them fail, or fall, or be let go breaks your heart. But more importantly, i learned to never judge.... i took Julio, a drunk, rough gang member to be someone he wasnt, when all reality he was giving of his house, food, time and clothing to help a poor young man. And i took pedro a poor homeless 19 year old boy for just that, when in all reality he had played me and everyone else like a deck of cards.
The week didnt end on that sad note though, we did have an amazing baptism yesterday and are being very blessed here in our area! we have been really focusing on Preisthood holders and are preparing 5 young men for the mission! Andy Inga is the younger brother of another recent convert Darwin, who was baptised 2 weeks ago. Andy was never interested too much in the church and only recently started to attend church, he was very unsure about baptism when we extended the invitation to be baptised, we knelt in that same moment with him and he offered a pray, and received his answer. Yesterday i had the amazing blessing to preform the service and i will never forget after leaving the water, they shut the doors to the font and andy hugged me and thanked me for not giving up on him, when he had given up on himself we didnt and that made all the difference in the world to him.
The mission is truely the greatest and shortest 2 years that you will ever experience in your entire life, and you learn more about people and yourself with each and everyday! i know that the lord is walking where i have walked and inspiring me to say the things that he would have me say! this work is real and i can not and will not and never will deny that i have a father in heaven who is there for me and my lord and savior Jesus Christ knows me and loves me, and my job know is to show that same love to the people here in Piura Peru... its a great task, but with God nothing is impossible!
i love you all!