New Life! New Hope!

It is nearly Easter. I love this time in the church year when we celebrate the risen Savior coming out of the grave in great light and mighty power. Many times the night seems long and the journey endless. In those moments, oh how I need a risen Savior with the power to save.

The darkness is real. It did not take much time living in La Paz, Bolivia and working with Kaya for me to be overwhelmed with the darkness of life on the streets. Stories of abuse and abandonment are common. There is so much hurt and so much hopelessness. I am so thankful that the death of Jesus is not the end of the story.

On Sunday, we have the joy of celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. We will proclaim that Jesus is alive. In Bolivia there is darkness, but the light of the resurrection shines brighter. As I look around the Kaya Center, I see this new life that the resurrection brings. I see Samuel folding origami at a table near me. When he finishes the heart he is working on, he shows it to the staff in the office. We all praise Samuel and are truly proud of him. Samuel smiles and sits back down to continue folding.

How Samuel’s life has changed in the last year! Just a year ago, at 12 years old, Samuel was sleeping on the streets after being kicked out of his house by his mom and stepdad. Samuel came to Kaya very angry. Having faced the horrors of life on the streets, he was closed off and did not trust anyone. He was so skinny, so scared. Over the last year, Samuel has begun to open up and his anger is fading. Physically, he has grown, and he is enrolled in and attending school regularly. He is also taking break dancing lessons and tells everyone that break dancing is his passion. Samuel now has a safe home where he is wanted and loved. Most importantly, Samuel has hope for the future.

The resurrection of Jesus brings new hope, and that is the hope we get to share with children in La Paz. The streets are very dark.  At Kaya, we have the privilege of living out the light of the resurrection in the world. Children who are lost and hurting find a home and a place where they belong. Kaya is a beacon of light in the darkness.

We hope you have a very Happy Easter celebrating the new life and new hope of the resurrection.

Written by Katie Harris and Hawley Harrigan. Posted March 21, 2016.