Thursday went along easily enough until around 9pm. That's when I left my house to go to a friend's house and while walking across the playground, heard a terrible shouting and crying. I detoured and came across one of the boys who used to live in my dorm, Rafin, throwing a terrible tantrum with his Educator. He was essentially like a wild animal, thrashing around, hitting, kicking, biting and shouting. And he's 12. I tried to calm him down but nothing I said helped either.
He finally calmed down and the Educator asked me if I had any ideas about discipline for him. I said I did but he wouldn't like it! (he was one of the men the day before who thought we were too harsh to take our boys home.) But I told him the Educators should not have to put up with that behavior from the boys, they shouldn't be physically threatened. And, all the other boys were watching that happen and needed to see a swift and firm response. So I suggested that he too go home for at least a week. He decided to take him to our Head Educator Friday morning and let him make a discipline for him, as he has had other issues recently as well.
I spent a long time talking with Rafin, who refused to admit he had done anything wrong and 1 1/2 hours later, I was finally at my friend's but it was already 10:30 by then!
The second difficult conversation occurred this afternoon when Antonio's brother, Chico, came to see me to talk about his brother being taken to the other center. As it turns out, Chico had walked to the center to visit him, which is over a mile each way. (And it was about 100-105 today!) He was crying when telling me his brother is "not good" and how he wants to come back and will be better. It was so tough to see this 13 year old cry, hurting over his brother. He's the one who was praying for him in church last night too. He hadn't told anyone he was going, and didn't ask anyone for money for a chapa, the public transport. His heart for his brother is so precious!
It was tough, but I explained to him why we think this is best for his brother. He had been there last night when Rafin had his tantrum - I was able to use that as an example of what we don't want to see in Antonio in two years! I also complemented him on coming to talk with me and Eliza Julieta instead of just being angry and staying away from us. He's come three times to talk about it with me. And he's watching a movie in my house as I type this with some of my other boys. I'm very proud of him!
Whew, it's been a tough few days around here! But I keep trying to run the race for the joy set before me! The joy of serving the Lord as he has called me and the joy of seeing these boys mature and grow and become wonderful young men! That's my hope and goal and why I hang in there!