Dante (not his real name) was a good kid, but he was also very angry. For a child to come to us, it means they have been through some tough stuff. If I had seen and experienced what he had, I would be angry too.
He came to us late in the school year and my, was he a handful. He spent about five months with us before he was reunited with his family. He had witnessed a great amount of violence, and that is all he knew. He was mean and bullied the little ones in his home. Really, he was scared and that was how he dealt with his fear.
It was difficult for his houseparents, but they refused to give up on him or turn him away. They tried to love him despite his behavior. There was a point where it became more than they could handle – they simply had no strength left to work with him. They didn’t want to give up on him, but they had nothing left to give. It was at that moment that God gave them just a little more strength to press on. Soon after that a major breakthrough was made. Dante began to change.
During those next few months Dante began a transformation – his anger diminished, he accepted love, he related well with others, and he realized he was safe. He was allowed to be a kid without any of the other junk. And Dante began to care for others. His true self began to shine through. The boy who had been a bully was really a sweet, kind, and gentle young man.
We may never know the impact we had on Dante, but one thing we do know is that when he left; Dante had learned how to pray.
We never know what can happen when we press on past that point where we have nothing left to give! But when we do, true miracles happen.
By Randall Jeffrey