Don’t believe in angels? Try this one on for size.
This past weekend, Studhubs and I ventured to the dusty plains of Amarillo, Texas. I’d been brought in to speak and sing at a benefit for an ministry called Streams of Water that rescues and houses Mexican orphans in Juarez. (http://streamsofwaterministry.org/)
The first night there we had dinner with our hosts, hearing their stories and their hearts for rescuing these forgotten children.
Most people look the other way.
Most people don’t take on the call, becoming the hands and feet of change.
But Jeff and Patty Graham were different.
Sitting in front of us were just two ordinary people. They were West Texans, he was a contractor and she was a mother of 3. Year ago they had ventured down and crossed the border on a mission trip to help out—to do the good ‘Christian thing—to do their duty. But where most people come back, pat themselves on the back for doing a good deed, then moving back into their normal oblivious lives, the Graham’s chose not to do that. They chose to take the hard road. They chose to be responsible. They chose to do something permanent.
They now have an orphanage with 6 beautiful boys, most of whose parents were killed by drug cartels. But through the trauma, these boys don’t act like orphans anymore. They have found one another. They have found a family. They have found love.
Here’s my favorite story from the weekend.
So the orphanage in Juarez is beautiful. Jeff is a contractor, so it must have seemed like Extreme Makeover Home Edition had moved in over the weekend when he brought his expert team down to build. It has a state of the art kitchen, beautiful bathrooms, computers, and bedrooms for the boys. And since the land that they obtained was in one of the worst parts of Juarez, the building is a fortress to protect the precious cargo inside. There are high walls, barbed wire, and a security system keeping the kids safe.
However, right outside the gates displays the reality of another life. Drug dealers, prostitutes, violence—you name it. Just steps away from these little boys.
They knew better than to confront the drug dealers, and for years the police have written off this section of town as a lawless land. So what did they do? They began to pray. They began to pray for the drug dealers, for the boys, for protection around their new home. Miraculously (and at their own whim), the Mexican police began patrolling this section of town, making arrests and bringing law to the streets.
Now here’s the really cool part. People living around the orphanage began to ask, “Who is that giant black man who walks the perimeter of the orphanage?” No one would come near. No one would approach him. They were afraid.
Upon hearing this, Jeff and Patty knew. God had heard their prayer, and his heart to protect and keep these boys was far greater than theirs would ever be. He had sent one of his best—he had sent an angel to protect them.
The big black man can still be seen patrolling the gates in front of this beautiful home in the midst of devastation. He’s a beacon of light—a source of hope. And he’s on guard.
Tears filled my eyes as I heard the story of God’s answered prayer. I wondered how many times I had been protected and hadn’t known it. I wondered how many protectors there are, standing guard around the world, as the helpless, the orphans, the least of these need protecting.
I guess in this life we’ll never know, but I can’t wait to find out in the next.