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Bolivia Church Support Field Story Latin America

From Hopeless to Hopeful

"Milton has dreams, but they seem beyond his reach. Milton has never had anyone to confide in. No one has ever said, “You can do it! Keep on!" Only God has been there to listen to his desperate, silent pleas"

At a very young age Milton's dad abandoned their family and moved to Argentina. Milton's mom and her new boyfriend didn't want to raise another man's kids. As a result, Milton and his three oldest siblings ended up on the streets. When Milton was ten years old, his sister, Vanessa, became the one who "raised" him. On the streets, he was surrounded by drugs and delinquency, but somehow he didn't fall into the same trap of addiction. He basically raised himself by figuring out what to eat, how to get to school, and much more.

When Milton was thirteen years old, his sister left her two-year-old son for Milton to raise. That was 7 years ago. The relationship between David and Milton like father and son, even though they were 11 years apart! They did everything together. Milton took David with him to school, until David was old enough to attend school himself. Milton just graduated from high school last year. While Milton's sister, Vanessa had three additional children, and been in and out of jail twice.

Six years had gone by since I had seen Milton. Then Vanessa asked if I would visit him. Milton had visited his father in Argentina and now all he was doing was crying. He wouldn't talk to anyone, eat, or go anywhere. All he would say is, "I have problems..."

Milton, now twenty years of age, began to fill in the gaps to the rest of his story. He described his life when he was young.  Friends would often invite him to parties or to drink, but Milton would think of David, hungry, waiting at home. Those friends eventually gave up on inviting Milton. Where would Milton be today if he hadn't had his little nephew, who needed him? Milton then told me about his dream of wanting to study computer engineering. He desires to be different than the rest of his family. A university degree takes five years. Each month's fee is 560 Bs ($100). His dream seemed impossible.

Milton's mom is in debt, sick, abandoned, struggling to put food on the table for her own little kids and four grandkids. One of the reasons Milton wants to study is to get a better job and eventually buy his mom a house. Milton, has always been the one most responsible for Vanessa's children. Now when Milton wants to follow his own dreams and look after himself, his family accuses him of being selfish. Milton had visited his dad in Argentina to start a sewing business hoping that the rest of the family would join him. Vanessa and the other siblings promised to follow, but none of them did. Their dreams of starting a sewing business began to crumble and Milton along with David returned to Bolivia.

Proverbs 13:12 says, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life." I believe Milton's sadness is a deep despair from shattered hopes. Milton has dreams, but they seem beyond his reach. His rope is frayed and he can't go on. Milton has never had anyone to confide in. No one has ever said, “You can do it!  Keep on!" Only God has been there to listen to his desperate, silent pleas. Milton's deepest fear is that he doesn't have enough strength. That he'll fall and there will be no one to help him up. The future seems impossible, but the present is unbearable.   "Hope deferred makes the heart sick..."

I told Milton that I was committed to look for someone to cover all this year's school costs. A flicker of disbelief in Milton's eyes which changed into a flicker of hope... Milton still has a long way to go, his story is still being written.

Milton's life is just one of the many that is being transformed because of God and through the ministry of El Jordan. Continue to pray that God would use the ministry of El Jordan to impact the lives of those like Milton, that they would come to know God as the only hope they need.

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