April 12 is the International Day for "Street Children," a day to recognize and advocate for kids who spend the majority of their time on the streets. Street-connected youth often come from difficult, impoverished and/or dangerous homes, pushing them into vulnerable situations on the streets. We've put these graphics together to share more information about the issues street-connected kids face, including ways God calls us to serve and LOVE this vulnerable population.
Before sharing information about the issues street-connected youth face, we first wanted to highlight the most important aspect of our ministry: LOVE. Educating ourselves on what street-connected people go through, working hard to fight for their rights and serving them in the ways God calls is important and necessary. But none of our work will have any eternal value if it is not done with LOVE. As Scripture says, we can have faith so grand "as to remove mountains," but if we don't have LOVE, we are nothing. So today, will you join us in praying for the kids on the streets of Tegucigalpa and around the world? Let's ask God to show His everlasting LOVE to them in powerful ways, and let's offer ourselves in service and in LOVE to this vulnerable population, asking God how He might use us to LOVE those suffering on our streets.
P.S. In this photo, you see Elvin and Gustavo. Just four months ago, these guys were living on the streets of Tegucigalpa. Today, they are safe in the Micah House...praise be to God!
The term "street child" is difficult to define, and it's impossible to know exactly how many children are living on the streets worldwide. What we do know is that there are millions of children around the world who consider the streets their homes. Some of these children spend the majority of their days on the streets—begging for money and food, not attending school, and often finding themselves in dangerous circumstances—while sleeping in a relative's house at night. Others, however, are homeless 24/7, spending both their days and nights on the streets.
Instead of using the term "street child" to label these kids, we prefer to call them "street-connected youth," remembering that they are not "of" the streets and ever clinging to the hope that they will be able to leave the streets some day.
Thankfully, by God’s sweet grace, the two kids in this photo have been off of the streets for years. That is our passion: to introduce street-connected kids to the love of Jesus Christ and help them fight for healthier futures away from the temptations and vulnerabilities connected to life on the streets.
Children shouldn't have to call the streets "home." They should be free to go to school, play, eat nutritious food and have healthy, loving relationships. As the International Day for Street Children approaches, let's educate ourselves about street-connected youth and ask the Lord how He may be calling us to love and serve them.
The Micah Project is dedicated to serving youth who spend the majority of their time on the streets. With a variety of ministries serving those in our community, including three group homes for boys and young men coming from vulnerable situations, we hope to make sustainable positive change in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Our goal is to meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of street-connected youth, helping them find freedom, family and futures in Christ.
The prevalence of substance abuse is a difficult reality for many street-connected youth. These kids start doing drugs with their peers at young ages in order to cope with the struggles they face on the streets. The most popular substance among "street kids" in Tegucigalpa (and in other places around the world) is an industrial-strength glue used to repair shoes. This is an inexpensive drug that kids use to desensitize themselves—helping them forget the pain of hunger and the cold at night as well as emotional distress, loneliness and trauma. Some kids also use harder drugs like cocaine, and many smoke.
Despite this harsh reality, we trust that God loves these kids and wants better for them. That's why we at the Micah Project continue to meet them in their struggles and provide safe spaces in which they can encounter healing. This tough work takes lots of patience, understanding and even training. And we remember that, although we must work our hardest toward positive change, if we were to do these things without the Lord's help, we would not experience true, lasting freedom. For it is God who changes hearts and rescues us from darkness. At times, he does this miraculously quickly. Most of the time, however, healing can be slow and painful, but communing with God in these journeys is beautiful and worth the hardship.
Will you take some time today to pray for these young people struggling with addiction? Pray for those still on the streets who consume drugs every day, and pray for the guys in our homes who are battling to overcome addictions.
As we consider the tough realities facing street-connected youth, we praise God for the opportunity to serve through the Micah Project. This work truly is a blessing!
At a quick glance, Micah 6:8 could appear to be a checklist. If we could act justly, love kindness and mercy, and walk humbly with God, we'd be perfect. But such an understanding would be ripping this verse out of context, and it certainly wouldn't be very humble. Instead, we at the Micah Project ask the Lord daily to strengthen us to do what is right, for we know that without the work of Christ, we are hopeless. In this truth, we find great freedom, strength and hope.
So, today let's ask God to help us be better. As He enables us to live out Micah 6:8, we pray to see justice in this world, we pray for the ability to pass the grace we've received onto others, and we thank Jesus for never leaving our sides—asking him to humble us and work through us to bring heaven to earth.
This is our prayer for every Micah guy, every Micah staff member and for each of you supporters.