Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Horrific News

Our team was told yesterday when we went down to Purral to hold the small group for prostitutes that Jovana, the young woman who hosted the study, had been killed over he weekend.

Please join us in praying for her three children and for the rest of the girls down there.

We are grieving as a team and yet this will continue to strengthen our resolve and our committment to making certain that these young women and kids downtown make it out and into the healthy lives they were created for.

Working to Help Working Girls in San Jose, Costa Rica

“Can you take me to Pueblo de Purral de Guadalupe?”
“No way, man. They kill taxi drivers down there. “

In the movies, the hero always faces a horrific challenge, makes a dramatic difference in the world and then the story resolves. The hurting are healed completely. The endangered are saved. The crowd roars. The photo bulbs flash. And they live happily ever after.

In real life, it is never so clear. The movie never ends and the credits never roll.

Today is Tuesday (as I write this) and Tuesday is the day we hold a small group meeting for prostitutes we have met downtown who are now looking for help in leaving the streets. The existence of this group is a miracle in itself. It took us almost three years to actually get it going. Three years of having to pass by these young women with coffee and cookies every week to get to know them only to be ignored or rejected. Three years of staying out late in downtown San Jose, Costa Rica. Three years of wanting so very badly to be able to help these girls (several of which are between 15 and 20 years old) while having to face the terrible reality that making a difference isn’t as easy as it’s cracked up to be.

You see, in real life, there is no director. No one has hired these girls to respond perfectly and humbly when you first meet them. No one has done anyone’s makeup or given anyone dramatic lines to say. The people who are being hurt and victimized don’t run into your arms and cry as you tell them, “It’s going to be okay. You’re safe now.”

It took three years of uncomfortable moments that exposed every weakness we have. Three years that made us think about quitting almost every night. The need was certainly there. We were there. The movie-like story though was not.

What We are Doing

Today, we will head down to the very small house of one of these girls. The house is in Pueblo de Purral de Guadalupe. Many taxi drivers won’t even drive us into the neighborhood. We will find one that will. We will take the twenty minute drive northeast of San Jose and we will be let out in a very poor and very dangerous street in front of a butcher shop. The people will all look scared to be outside and scared for us to be there. We will walk quickly to go down a side street and then down an alley to get to the young lady’s house. We will talk about what job she could find to cover her expenses and those of her three children.

She wants to stop having sex with men for money. She doesn’t want her children to know she has been forced into this life since she was 14. She is 27 now.
She has also asked us to talk to her about the Bible because her heart is empty, she says. She is scared but wonderfully sincere. Her life is changing but she is in no way now safe.

The good news is that others are starting to come. The dam has broken. The moment we dreamed of is now happening before our eyes.

Looking Ahead

This is the kind of work Boy With a Ball was created to do. We work to build teams that can see small groups and mentoring relationships begun. In the absence of positive gardens of healthy families, neighborhoods and communities, we work to build development gardens that can reach in and save young people and their families from dying and then, hopefully and by God’s grace, equip them to live.

It is worth every moment of the work and pain.

These young women are only one facet of the work Boy With a Ball is doing here in Costa Rica but it is enough to tell you about for today.

We are so thankful that so many of you continue to take the initiative to be involved in what we do through your financial support, your friendship and your prayers. In this way, we are a true multi-national team, working together to make a dramatically real difference in the very real lives of flesh and blood young people.