After he ended the call, he seemed so happy. I could see he still had a deep love for his mom and his daughters, but there was also a fear that was stopping him from going back home. 
When I made plans to go to Guadalajara for a few days, I invited Jack to come with me. At first he got very excited, but then really wrestled with sadness and fear until, the night before the trip, he backed out of going.

there was a fear that was stopping him from going back home

After getting back to Sayulita, I only had 10 days left to continue my relationship with the guys. On the last day, I gave the phone to Jack and asked him if he wanted to call his mom again. He said yes and went off to make the call. That same night Joan, who lives in Guadalajara, texted me and asked me for Jack’s mom’s number. Man, its crazy how this all happened. I don’t think I truly realized in the moment what was going on! God has a pretty legit plan and the best part for me is that He is still working there even though I left. It’s such a relief that we can trust GOD, right!? And not to think that we have to do everything!

And back to Laura’s story:
One morning I woke up with a very clear word from God to make contact with Jack’s mom. Ryan sent me her phone number and when I introduced myself to Laura as a friend of Ryan’s and a mother with children who live far from home also, she cried out, “You must be an angel sent to me!” I assured her I was very much a human being, but with a Father who speaks to his children and directs us to show His love to others, even strangers.

You must be an angel sent to me!

As Laura and I have become friends over the past few months, she has told me her painful story of abuse, divorce, struggle to provide for her family, confusion about God, and the constant despair of not knowing whether her son was dead or alive. She feels drawn into God’s family by people like Ryan and myself, because we care about her and her son.

As a young girl, even though she didn’t understand who God was, she had a longing in her heart to be part of a big family that went to the saddest, poorest parts of the world to show people love and to help them. When I told her that I was part of a huge family of Jesus followers that go all over the world, living out the love of God, her eyes lit up and she exclaimed, “Oh, I want to do that too!” How awesome is God in calling out to us, setting destiny in our hearts even while we are still orphans!

she had a longing in her heart to be part of a big family

Laura’s heart’s desire was to see her son Jack again. We asked God for it. November 5th was her birthday, so with her meager savings and some gift money, she set out on bus to Sayulita, bearing gifts of food and clothes and love for her son. She tried to prepare herself emotionally, but as she told me upon her return, “It was soul-breaking. Seeing my son, homeless, hungry, lonely and lost broke my heart.”

She begged him to come home, but ashamed and afraid, he said he couldn’t because even greater trouble awaited him there. She told him of the God she is getting to know, but he questioned, “If God really does exist, then why does he allow such misery and pain?” Laura gently told her son that she knows He does exist and He loves him and her as no other Father can. She shared her new discovery that even though they have made choices that have miserable and painful consequences, He still loves them.

Jack sent a message back for Ryan, hoping he will come back to Mexico. He lives a broken, despairing life but he is being drawn to the love he has seen in one child of God and in a mother who forgives him and in a Father who is waiting for him to find his way home. The friendship, the phone calls, the visits—they are all threads in the story God is writing in Ryan’s, Jack’s, Laura’s and my life. It’s a story far from finished.

We are all children in need of a home. Some still wander as orphans, longing for a Father who will be their dwelling place. Some have found the love that seeps deep into the soul and satisfies the longing. Our stories are all twisted together, a messy mass of broken, tangled threads that seem so unlovely to us. The Father smiles and simply says, “Come home to Me, my children—you are my great pleasure. You are my love story.”

* Names have been changed to protect their identities.

Photos graciously provided by Ryan Moreno

 

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Joan Godard
and Trever are missionaries in Guadalajara, Mexico. They lead a ministry called the Matthew Training Center (www.matthewtrainingcenter.org) committed to discipling and training workers to serve among the nations, who in turn make disciples in God’s Kingdom for His Glory. They have three young adult children: Aaron (married to Carly), Silas & Kenia.