The Little Book of Help was perfect for this, and our prayers are that these teenagers are impacted by the life-changing word of God.
Rodrigo* seemed to go from one crisis to another. He had lived on the streets for a long time before coming to the project, and his own mother had plied him with alcohol, which had caused serious neurological problems. He was sent to me because he was unable to control his anger. He’d have fits of rage where he broke things in the home, and was disobedient to his foster mother. He walked in hanging his head, ready for a telling-off. I calmly reached for the green bag.
Little by little, as I began to tell him stories, he began to share his. He told me how, in the orphanage where he lived before coming to our project, the children had been tied to their beds while fire was held to their feet. He could not forget the screams of his friends, locked up in their rooms, and his feeling of powerlessness because there was nothing he could do to help them. When Rodrigo left, having told his story, he was very calm, and relieved. He asked me to pray for his behaviour to change.
Slowly but surely, it did. But one day I arrived at the project to find him being physically held down by four people. He seemed like an animal trying to escape captivity. I asked them to let him go, but as soon as he was let loose, he ran out to the street. I knew I had to deal with the situation, but I had no idea what might happen. As I searched for him, I begged God to keep him safe. I felt very discouraged that Pavement Project had not helped him enough, and that he was suffering so much again.
At last I spotted him, arms outstretched, hanging onto the bars of the gate of a house, as if he were glued in place. I went to him and hugged him. I noticed that there were welts on his arms and neck. He seemed to be having a rage attack. Gently, I began to speak to him, reminding him of the lost lamb in the story I had told him. I reminded him that Jesus would always go looking for him, and that no matter what he did, he would always be loved and cared for. I assured him that the horrible things he had endured need not happen ever again. Rodrigo let go of the bars, turned to me and hugged me, and cried for a long time.
The bond created in a counselling relationship is unique. Pavement Project is not a quick fix solution to a child’s problems, and where follow-up is needed, the trust that builds between worker and child means that they can receive ongoing support, and as many counselling sessions as are necessary.
“Through Pavement Project, they have discovered in Jesus a friend who is always available and willing to carry their heavy load.”
*Rodrigo’s name has been changed according to our SGM Lifewords‘ child protection policy
Fourteen-year-old Vanessa* was rescued from the streets aged just nine, and had been living in a foster home ever since. But despite receiving love and care from the workers there, Vanessa’s self-esteem was at rock bottom. She despised herself, refused to study, and found it impossible to form healthy relationships with other children or with staff.
Vanessa’s encounter with Pavement Project was to change all that. During a counselling session, she told her story for the very first time, sharing a secret which she had never felt able to reveal before. When she was just five years old, her mother had left her alone at home to care for her baby brother. He fell from his stroller and was killed, and Vanessa had been carrying the guilt with her ever since. Pavement Project allowed her to break the silence and to receive the comfort, support and reassurance she so badly needed.
“Vanessa had been carrying the guilt with her … Pavement Project allowed her to break the silence.”
I was overjoyed when this previously withdrawn teenage girl sought me out at church, beaming with pleasure, to show me that she was wearing a dress for the very first time, and was going to have her hair done. Small but significant outward signs of inner transformation, as Vanessa’s encounter with God began to change the course of her life in a beautiful way.
*Vanessa’s name was changed in line with SGM Lifewords’ child protection policy
Every year, we have a great opportunity to bless people with a Biblical picture of Christmas. We have all seen the Christmas message get watered down and lost among the craziness of Santa, shopping, holidays, presents, and feasts.
What if we could remind family and friends of the real meaning of Christmas? What if they opened their card on Christmas morning to find A Little Story About Something Big, and the penny dropped that this year, Christmas is about Christ who was born to us this day..?! Or your congregation each got a Christmas booklet that they could give to their family and friends?
A Little Story About Something Big is a fun and creative booklet about the real story of Christmas. It’s now available in Australia and can be ordered in bulk through our distributor, HSM Resources. Ask them for a bulk order discount and you could get them for as little as 80c each!
In 2008, we trained 15 Bible College Graduates to use The Visible Story in their unique context.
- Amon uses it as an evangelistic resource in his home village in Kalimantan;
- Midun is a pastor to 13 small rural congregations in West Java;
- Paulus works with children in the outskirts of Tangerang