He almost lost his life to the vicious twin beasts of drugs and alcoholism. It is an oft-repeated story, one that claims too many souls of these despairing poor. With no options, no opportunity, no hope, no goals...despair settles over them like a suffocating fog. Their only relief? A temporary, life-shattering fix.
And yet, when he held his Bible and spoke to us of how God had intervened in his life, the young staff member from the Colomi ADP explained how the Prince of Peace had saved his life.
"With peace we can do many things," he said. And he smiled. The smile of peace is radiant--like sunshine breaking through the clouds of despair. Here, in the midst of hopelessness, the songs of freedom are pealing.
Peace is his life's work now. And his simple testimony shook me to my core. I have not lived the way of peace because I have looked away from those who need my help.
Violence and addiction wage war on these people. How can we prevent these innocent ones from being sucked into the relentless, ever-hungry mouth of violence? Only by living the way of peace ourselves.
Any fool can wage war--and many do. But true peace happens through inner transformation. We start by changing one life, by offering a different idea, a ray of hope.
Someone at World Vision offered this addicted young man a helping hand and it turned his life around. Now he runs a mentoring program to help endangered youth. He has exchanged the vicious cycle of addiction for the virtuous cycle of peace. He is creating his own safety net.
In Bolivia, there are no safety nets. When a child gets sick, it simply dies. When a special needs child is born, many parents simply abandon it. If the choice is care for the family livestock or care for the sick child--the cows get the aid because the cows provide milk whereas a child is just another hungry mouth.
Did you know that the last group of children to get sponsors are boys over 10 years old? Everyone loves a cute baby girl or sweet toddler (as they should!). But the boys? They wait. And wait. And wait. My Adalid had been waiting for 6 years before I sponsored him.
When you sponsor a boy over 10 today, he'll most likely have been waiting for 6-8 years for you. He's probably given up hope. Like the ADP worker above, the siren call of drugs and alcohol is already sounding in his ears.
Live the way of peace: sponsor a Bolivian boy over 8 years old TODAY.
I did. And when Adalid hugged me, he told me he had been waiting at his house every day (not even going out to play!) because he didn't want to miss my visit!
Now, I'm living the way of peace! JOIN ME by sponsoring an older boy TODAY! (When you sponsor a child today, please email me so I can thank you personally).