I learned two things this morning that give me a clearer sense of urgency and value with regard to this ministry.
First, Olga told me that one of the girls in the class of 11- and 12-year-olds we taught last week is a client of the Latidos de Esperanza (Heartbeats of Hope) Prenatal Center. After she was abused and impregnated by an uncle, the family took her to an illegal abortion clinic hidden in a motel. She's recently been in counseling at Latidos about all that she's been through.
Take a look at these kids in their sweet school uniforms. They're young and need our protection. We can't be in their homes or choose their friends, but we can talk frankly about sexuality, choices and self-respect. I hope it will give some the courage to speak out and stand up for themselves. There is a training conference in Lima in November for people working with this far-too-prevalent issue. I would like to be able to attend.
Second, I found out that one of the girls in the high school class we were going to teach today was found in a similar motel abortion clinic this weekend. I didn't get the whole story, but I know that she and her boyfriend had sought out the abortion without the families' knowledge. I think the police were involved in a sting. Abortion here is illegal, after all.
How much information did she have about sex before she wound up pregnant and in this sketchy "clinic"? How much information did she have about abortion and some of the alternatives? I hope we can give our workshop to her class soon and give these kids the information they need to make healthy, responsible choices.
In the meantime, I'm asking the Lord to soften my heart and give me a love for these kids and this ministry. I know in my head that it's important, and I think I can do a good job with it. Nonetheless, I want it to go past my head to my heart, to become work that I long for and love to do.