I glanced up from what I was doing, and his eyes broke my heart a little. ¨I wish you could, baby,¨ I replied. I kissed his forehead.
We sat in the room of the boys´ home where the boys sit during the day. The volume of the TV blared in the background. It´s the only entertainment they are provided. I had just hugged Danny after he and another boy argued. The other boy starts fights frequently.
On Sunday and Tuesday afternoons, we visit the government-run boys’ home across town. The boys live there usually for one of two reasons. Their parents dropped them off, unable to provide for their son, or the police brought them there after having trouble with the boy or his parents. Often, these kids come from the street or abusive homes. The boys stay in the home for no more than six months. After they leave, they go to another home or are simply released to fend for themselves, if they are 18.
When we visit them, we bring games. I always play Bingo with them. The boys love it. If we have prizes, up to 10 boys will play at once. It gets a bit chaotic, especially if they try to cheat. The cheating makes me laugh, but it angers the other boys. They have trouble understanding that there is plenty for everyone, understandably so, considering . If we don´t have prizes, I usually play with four or five other boys. Sometimes, it´s less. We play for fun, and we laugh more. They get frustrated when they don´t win, but laughter usually overcomes the frustration. I can with ease, usually, get them to laugh at themselves or at me, whichever comes first.
The boys hardly ever get to go outside, and, if they do, it´s monitored and in a designated, closed off area. They don´t get to leave the grounds. Even this doesn´t happen very often. Usually, they sleep, wake up, clean, watch TV all day or make cloth bracelets and then sleep. They only have a break from the TV to eat three times a day. The boys often feel like they are in prison. They pretty much are.
Amber is working to get permission to take them outside the home. We want to take them to a movie, a chance to be somewhat free. We both wonder if the kids will run away. I would. It would hurt our chances to take them out again, of course. This remains the only reason we hope they don´t run away. Otherwise, we would encourage it. Who would want to live in such conditions?
At the end of each time with them, they sell us bracelets. They make these cloth bracelets as their only source of income. Of course, we buy multiple every time, as I have said before.
Danny is one of many boys that want to escape, that want to leave with us. Pray for each one of them, please. Pray that Amber can take them out more. Pray that they have a place to go when they get out. Pray that they get involved with Breaking Chains if they end up living on the streets. Thank God that we are able to play with them, even if it´s for a short time.