At what point do you stop helping…

You may remember the sad tales of Daniel and his brothers. We went to see them last Monday to bring them food.  Four of the 5 windows in their house where broken or gone. The holes were covered in plastic bags and tape. The stove in the kitchen was gone, but the permanently fixed on was still in the only other room of the house.  I asked why they didn’t call us…”I was embarrassed”…..”That embarrassment keep you warm at night?”  The oldest brother, Fernando, Told us that his mother had been very angry and was throwing rocks at Daniel and that’s how all the windows got broken. Later, the middle brother, Adrian came home and started to tell a different story until his brother stopped him. We never got to hear that story.  We were told their mother burned blankets, pillows, and clothes in the back yard. Their mother had been home for  a few days with the boyfriend and they trashed the place, sold stuff.   We saw evidence of this.  But I had been told stories before that Fernando was the one to see everything in the house. We know the truth is some where out there, but we’re just not sure what it is.

We were able to get Fernando a job and he today was the starting day. But he slept through his alarm and missed his ride. No do overs. One of the crew members actually lives across the street and shared with the boss that the family doesn’t work, they just wait for hand outs. And then they sell what they can.

Their father is dead 5 years now, their mother is gone–living with another man and has a new baby. I had started to arrange with members of our church a work day.  We would go to this house, fix/replace the windows, clean up the yard, plow the field and plant, give the place a good clean.  But now, I don’t know if we should. We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus, but at what point do we stop and say “no more.”  Paul writes in 2 Thessalonians…if you don’t work, you don’t eat. There is a difference between unwilling and unable.  With these boys I see unwilling, but able–Daniel being the exception…bless his heart, he is special and not capable of doing much on his own. He’s going to follow his brothers.

We have offered to take the two younger boys to camp.  But should we do more?  Now, I’d really like honest answers from you all. I just don’t know what to do with these boys anymore. So I’m looking to you, our sponsors and supports for an outside opinion.


4 Responses

  1. Oh my word Melissa. This is such a tangled, messy situation. Having visited Daniel with you last summer and having a previous negative experience with Gypsies I am inclined, painful as it is, to accept that perhaps it is time to step back. You have tried so hard. It is possible to get Daniel into a foster home since he is so mentally challenged? I would still like to sponsor him to go to camp, and buy him a few clothes if necessary. I feel so abused since I purchased so many things for this family. I acted out of love and compassion hoping to give a hand up but it has been pushed away. I don’t think Jesus intends for us to be used for selfish purposes. Your thoughts?

  2. Sometimes things are messy and don’t seem to be strictly black or white. Pray for God’s discernment and I will join with you. He knows how best to work all things together for the increase of His great name. He will not hide from you what He wants you to do. It’s seems to me if you are having a check in your spirit about your current dealings with this family, perhaps you should take heed. The hard part for me is how your Christain witness impacts these brothers if you cease to assist. I think it would be important to speak with them about why you are pulling out (if that is what you believe God directs you to do) so that your reputation and the reputation of the Lord is not in any danger. Let them know you feel; that you have done all that is required from you and since they haven’t been good stewards of what you (and really the Lord) have given them. Just a thought. I know you will be in prayer over this issue so I trust God to show you well ether to go to the right or the left.

  3. I am a retired social worker..and have seen so much of the same dsyfuction. How do we know we are being used? What does God our Father want us to do? 1. Understand that many people live one hour at a time, each day just to survive emotionally. We will never know the truth, so give up trying. 2. Offer help in kind, never money, and have conditions attached, so nothing is free. Human nature is to see no value when there is no work involved in what people get.
    3. We will be used at times, but know that you are showing the sweetness of the Lord Jesus to others. The impact of what you do to help, may take years. You are sowing seeds, not harvesting fruit.

  4. Hi Melissa, what a challenging situation! I am praying that God will help you to make the right choice. Carolyn and I no longer have rental properties. We were taken advantage of so often. Someone told me, “you are too kind to be a landlord”. I wanted to help people who were in dire straits, but many of them would not help themselves. Sounds like your situation with this family. In the end, they would trash our properties and just leave after not paying their rent. Sounds like you have done what you could, Allen

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