Thursday, November 20, 2008

Tears on my pillow . . .

I love to share with you the fun and exciting side of missions among the refugee community in Atlanta. But sometimes it's not so joyous.
Last Tuesday, my missions partner, Kelly, and I dropped in on a home to relay a message to the mother. We found her sleeping on the floor after a night of drinking. Her four young children were trying to supervise themselves without success. The baby was wet and had a full diaper. She had no socks on her tiny frozen feet. The two boys got into a violent fistfight, so Kelly and I had to each grab one boy to pry them apart.

I finally got the mother awake, but she was not capable of managing the children. With the older family members away at work in the chicken factory, I knew I could not leave the children in this condition. I called the wonderful psychologist who runs the Attachment and Bonding Center. He has been working hard to help this family. He called the Department of Family and Children's Services. He also contacted a caseworker with Refugee Family Services.

About two hours into the ordeal, the police had arrived along with all the other support people. I was never so relieved to see anyone in my life! Soon papers were signed, reports were complete, photos had been taken, car seats had been brought, and the four children were taken to the DFACS office. Kelly and I went there, too, transporting some of the kids. Believe it or not, these children were thrilled to leave their mother. They had been in foster care once before and could hardly wait to get back. Eventually, the children hugged and kissed each other and us -- and they were driven away to safe, warm homes.

I haven't slept well since this event. Tomorrow, Kelly and I will go before a judge to give testimony about what we found in the home. Please pray for us.More important, pray for this family. They have all the problems of a severly dysfunctional home -- along with refugee post-traumatic stress, language barriers, illiteracy, and many other problems from their past.

Our ministry will continue in the home of this woman, her husband, and the older children. Pray that God will use us to accomplish His perfect will in this situation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, I have seen similar situations in some of the families that we work with. It is certainly a sad thought when you realize children will probably be better off in foster care for the time being. I also know how impossible it can feel to find linguistically and culturally appropriate alcohol treatment, so I hope the agencies will be able to be creative in helping her.