A Home Heals the Heart
Perhaps you remember our little Matthew? He’s the one with a severe heart condition where it’s actually backwards and flipped upside down. He is deemed inoperable here in Cambodia. Our XP Missions team has been keeping a close watch on him for almost five years now. We have assisted his family in various ways in order to help them stay all together and off the streets. Yet, sadly, little Matthew has experienced ongoing neglect, abuse, and pressure from his guardians to beg on the streets.
At a recent appointment, a pediatric cardiologist gave us shocking news that if his current living conditions continued, he may only expect to live another 10-20 years. And what if he took up glue-sniffing as a large majority of street kids do? This would further exacerbate his lungs that already work overtime for him and cut his life even shorter.
But we know nothing is impossible for God! We know He has created our little Matthew to have long-life and thrive in Him. Our desire is to always champion families, but when one repeatedly shows they are exploitative and unsafe, the XP casework team begins exploring healthier options for children, so we began pursuing the decision of working with the government to place Matthew in a safe home.
After two months awaiting the custody meeting appointment, we finally gathered at a long table at a local government office. Matthew’s family on one side, government officials sitting opposite listening to the circumstances. It was decided and papers were signed by Matthew’s parent giving us legal custody. As we rode away from the family, our little Matthew broke down into tears. I wrapped my arms around him and cried right along with him. What all must he be feeling in that moment? Grief, anger, abandonment, rejection, fear? As our tuk-tuk traveled through bustling traffic, I prayed over little Matthew—“no abandonment, no rejection in Jesus’ Name. Holy Spirit, Comforter is one of your names. Come hold Matthew now. Jesus, you are the Prince of Peace. Come quiet his heart. God, you are the Perfect Father. Thank you that you are Matthew’s good, good Father. You are taking good care of him.” And in that moment, I remembered a dream I had months before.
In the dream, I was visiting Matthew at a small family-style children’s home. Kids were playing around where I sat when Matthew came to kneel beside me. He placed his hand on my shoulder & said “I love you.” God gave this dream for this very moment as a confirmation of His will and also a promise of what is to come. He had already promised Matthew a safe, happy home with a family who can show him what healthy love looks like, and in this home, his heart will be made whole.
Two days later, we picked Matthew up from his new home for a heart checkup. He gave us a big wave hello as we entered the gate, looking quite smart in new clothes with a smile on his face. The long hours in the hospital waiting room went by a bit quicker while giggling over game-after-game of UNO. As we grabbed some lunch after, Matthew requested pizza. Yes, absolutely, the boy would have pizza! Then when he could not finish it all, he said: “It’s ok. I can just take it back home with me to my house.” After living most of his young life on the streets, Matthew can finally say “my house.”
We invite you to pray for Matthew as he continues to settle into his new home, for emotional wounds to be fully healed, a miracle in his heart, and for God to continue to work out redemption in his family.
Written by: Tami Becker
Published on 6/30/2017