Bearing Witness – Tim Rivers

Some stories just need to be told. No logical beginning, no happy ending, nothing neat and tidy. But they need to be told. This story needs to be told.

For months Stan Schulz has been telling me I need to understand the plight of special needs children in this place, my place, the San Quintin Valley, Baja, Mexico. Today he took me to see the daycare run by Eternal Anchor, a ministry that is less than one year old, but somehow, only power-of-God how, seems years older in what they are accomplishing. Today I ran full tilt into the power of the cross, into unbelievable suffering colliding with a more unbelievable love, and transformation that can only come from Someone who can create a universe out of nothing.

This morning I was made aware of how many mothers end up totally neglecting their children with special needs, not because they’re bad parents, but because there were no resources and no one to show them how to nurture those who should have been their joy. Today, because of the dedication of the Eternal Anchor staff and volunteers, some of these same mothers have not only learned to nurture and give therapy to their own children, but they are also giving therapy to other children and teaching other parents to do the same, and both the children and the parents are thriving. This makes my heart soar!

But I also heard the before stories. Precious in God’s sight, the one tied to his bed with open soars from scratching; with a burlap bag tied over her head to keep her from hurting herself; laying on the floor in a corner soaked in days of her own urine; beaten every night by his drunken father; sexually abused at an age where she should be learning to ride a bicycle. Some of these stories have redemptive endings thanks to love, understanding, and education. Some of them are still as horrific as life gets. All of them involve defenceless, vulnerable children who crave love, want to be cherished, and deserve the joy of living. And for every story I heard, there are thousands more in this community of so little, some that will be reached and some that won’t.

The work that Eternal Anchor is doing here in the Baja is a blinding, brilliant light of God’s love and grace shining into some of the darkest corners, and I am forever changed from having seen it this day. What this means for One Life One Chance I cannot yet say. God will write that chapter. But I do know this: I cannot un-know what I have learned. And now, neither can you.

With this testimony you’ve been given a glimpse into the daily reality for so many in San Quintin who have no options, no resources, no support. Don’t forget about what you’ve read. Think on it, pray on it and ask God how he wants you to respond to stand in the gap for those who have no voice in San Quintin, Baja.

For Love of the Broken

Tim Rivers

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