When our Father calls the lost home

Youth With A Mission // June 2, 2019, 1:51 am

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Photo by John T on Unsplash.

Steeped in generations of brokenness, many of the lonely come from homes where they are mastered by alcoholism, drug addiction, physical violence and emotional abuse.

Knowing no other way to live, they perpetrate these learned dysfunctions in their own families.

Several staff at Tamar Village have opened their homes to these brothers and sisters.

Being invited into these homes shows them that they are family.

“These broken individuals need to be placed in a healthy family environment, where preferably a married couple can serve as spiritual mother or father figures to them. So much of their restoration takes place by returning them to a healthy family context,” Mercy Ho, the head of Tamar Village, explains.

Being invited into these homes shows them that they are not a ministry product, a beneficiary, or a burden. They are family.

The simple acts of receiving a house key and having a bed to sleep in restores stability and peace. It goes a long way in healing their identities as sons and daughters of God; they see that they are loved.

As they share a dinner table with the family, they feel a sense of belonging. As they hold onto their new house key, they know they are trusted.

Discipled with grace

It is on God’s heart for discipleship to take place in the context of family. He was the first to open His home to us.

“Although we have made and will continue to make many mistakes, He says, ‘I trust you. Here are the keys to My Kingdom. Rule with Me’,” Ho says.

God’s Kingdom bids us to love Him and others. But have we known the commands so much by heart that we scarcely know them as words spoken to the heart?

Extending love that is patient, kind, not boastful and proud, whilst acknowledging another’s inherent dignity renders them able to dive into their inner depths, discover what they want, and fashion out of that desire the will to achieve it.

“Although we have made and will continue to make many mistakes, God says, ‘I trust you.'”

For these young fostered adults, unsolved issues of the heart take time to lose its grip over them, but it is especially in this wilderness that they need to be loved.

“They may quarrel with you, steal things and not know why,” says Ho. “When someone you have helped for years spits the accusation, ‘You have never loved me’, you want to shout back, ‘How can you say that?’ But humility in love says, ‘I want to understand where you are coming from.’

“You realise that you haven’t loved them in the way they need. So you learn to love better. But such a love is not ordinary, and you can only do it by the power of the Spirit who works both in you, and them.”

It is wonderful to be a recipient of such a love, but the tyranny of life’s confusion and the demands of one’s demons restrain the endeavour to receive it freely, and to freely give it back.

Grace* would project past family hurts onto Aunty Alice, but as the Holy Spirit taught her to reciprocate in love, she grew more receptive to Aunty Alice’s tireless patience and persistence.

“I learnt to respect her by considering her preferences. I even tell her, ‘I love you’,” Grace shares.

Anna, a youth fostered by Ho, also went through a process of deep healing and forgave her parents for their mistakes.

“We have seen God’s love in her life,” says Mercy. “She sees our imperfections and yet, she has learnt to receive and love us. She has taught my husband and I to accept others in their inadequacy.”

Restored to love

There have been moments when the hand we used to reach out to another’s need was not ours but His, and the tears that have come to our eyes at another’s joy or sadness were also His.

We have seen Him in those moments when, moved by His Spirit alive within us, we have been a reflection of Him to one another.

Through us, the fostered experience His redemptive love, power, and grace, and they too catch His heart for the last, the least and the lost.

“When others see us sharing selflessly, giving abundantly and loving unceasingly, they will know that God is real.”

Today, Anna leads and disciples a group of young people from church. She understands how difficult life can be for these youths and how important it is to have a mentor, and godly community.

Every person who has yet to know God is a prodigal son or daughter waiting to be reconciled to the Father, and Mercy hopes to see more families within the Christian community open their homes.

She concludes, “If every Christian home receives unconditionally at least one broken person who needs a place to stay, we will see a decrease in society’s issues. When others see us sharing selflessly, giving abundantly and loving unceasingly, they will know that God is real.

“For even though it is done and lived out in such an ordinary manner, such a love is extraordinary.”

This story was first published by Youth With A Mission and is republished with permission. 

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Youth With A Mission

YWAM Singapore is a vibrant, international discipling community committed to raising a harvest force of missionaries into Asia.