Thank you from Blackbox International
(The following is short piece about a remarkable experience, which I wrote for Blackbox International.)
On Saturday morning, he was enslaved – a victim of the horrors of sex trafficking. No other options existed. Without being rescued, the horrible abuses would have continued. What a difference a day makes.
On that same Saturday morning, I was playing keep-away with a group of boys who live in the Dominican Blackbox home. I came to encourage the staff, learn with our team and help in any way possible. My heart leapt with joy as I saw the health in the home. The way the staff and boys interacted with each other attested to the love, security and boundaries needed to help these wounded boys become courageous men of God.
We thought the day had drawn to a close, but then our Country Director walked through the office building with a boy we didn’t recognize. I don’t know much about his story, but I do know that a heroic woman had intervened on his behalf and arranged for him to be brought to us. His story took a dramatic turn. The chapter entitled “Trafficked” came to an abrupt halt.
When we arrived at the home, the boys and the abuela (an amazing staff member who cares for the boys as a grandmother would) came outside to see who had arrived. The eyes of the new boy never left the ground. The eyes of the other boys were filled with both curiosity and concern. An awkward silence fell, but then one of our boys recognized him. He’d known the other boy when they were both being trafficked. He hollered the boy’s name, grinned from ear to ear and ran to hug him.
The two of them made their way inside the house. I looked to make sure the new boy hadn’t left any luggage by the gate, but then I remembered he had none.
The boy’s gaze had returned to the ground. I could tell he wanted to crawl in a hole, but he’d have no such luck. Abuela swooped in and gave him a hug he couldn’t escape. His shoulders relaxed. She then gently but firmly placed her hands on both sides of his face, looked him in the eyes and spoke to him.
And just like that, he was home. There’s no better place on the entire planet for him to be. I believe that with all my heart.
I’ll never forget that Saturday, but Sunday brought even more joy. Three of our boys, after a season of conversation and study with our staff, were baptized into Christ. They were very serious about their pledge of allegiance to Christ. We celebrated around the pool. God celebrated in heaven.
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I want to thank you with all of my heart for partnering with us. Every boy still faces enormous challenges – emotionally, physically, spiritually and academically. Our board, staff and leaders still face enormous challenges. But IT is happening – with God’s grace, stories are changing!
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