Christmas Shoeboxes Part 3: Daniel

This one may make your cry…and not happy tears…you have been warned.

Daniel is one of our random kids–not in the village, not at the orphanage. We just sort of picked him up; he’s come to camp. During the summer, I visited him and his mom a few times bringing them food and even introducing them to Daniel’s sponsor from America.

Daniel’s sponsor sent some Christmas shoeboxes for him and his 2 brothers (there are more, but these were the youngest 3, still at home) and for his mom.

The week before Christmas, I took the boxes out to Daniel. His mom is gone. She remarried and is pregnant and living in another city. She comes and visits. Oh, and she was remarried and pregnant in the summer and never told us.  Daniel (13), his 14 year old brother, 16 year old sister, and 21 year old brother are living at the house. There is a constant flow of random cousins as well…not sure about this. When I got there, there was another organization delivering gifts and food boxes, but Daniel’s family didn’t get anything because his mom had not signed them up for it. The staff was relieved to see me, because the kids wouldn’t be empty handed.  I had three teen girl boxes and gave them to the older two siblings and one young cousin.

The house was in the worst state I’d ever seen. I was told they were cleaning for Christmas. And the children had no food. There were 3 loaves of bread and that was it. They opened up their boxes and saw candy, crackers, cakes and cookies. That was going to be their dinner. I was told they hadn’t eaten the day before. This wasn’t good. I took Daniel and his sister to the corner store. They didn’t ask for anything, “whatever you want to get.”  I got them 4 large pieces of chicken, clementines, yogurt, 4 cans of pate, and a bag of frozen vegetables with beans. I told the sister to call me if she needed anything, don’t call with every little need, but if they needed medicine or some thing, they could call. She finally asked for a pair of shoes. I was shaken up by the whole visit. Everything I had thought about the mother was wrong…or at least in question.  She called me that evening. She had just left the children the week before and would be back after New Years. I told her I had heard she was married and pregnant. She also told me that the oldest son is the one who had caused her so many problems.  I just don’t know what to believe. But I saw 3 hungry children.

A week later, the older brother called me and asked if I could bring them some thing to eat. Gathering what we had at the house yogurt, milk, cereal, frozen vegetables and turkey liver for soup; left over camp supplies (flour, sugar, pasta, rice); some of the canned pasta sauce and pickles I had made; and some of the dented cans of vegetables and bean in the shed for just this reason, we packed the trunk of the car and made a visit. We also had 3 pairs for shoes for the sister to try. Again there were random cousins and we asked that they not provide food for all of their cousin, but feed themselves. They were given over a week’s worth of food.  The older brother was shocked and grateful. We also told the brother we had spoken with Children Protection Services and that he would have to give over custody for the younger siblings. He was a bit interested, but said that they would have to decide individually. We spoke a bit with Daniel, but he wasn’t interested. We also found out he wasn’t going to school anymore.

We contacted a friend who had 2 Christmas relief food boxes left. And we have them for this family. We will deliver them to the family in the next week or so. They no longer have the chickens we gave them…they were hungry.  The pig we arranged for them, was sold by a relative and they have yet to see the smaller pig or the fire wood promise to them.  This family is pitiful. The mother is a believer, but then the children say it’s an act now…though it once was genuine. I just don’t know what to do for these children. Please pray for them, for us.


One Response

  1. Just heart wrenching. Prayers for wisdom and discernment as you minister to this family.

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