Yesterday I got to meet Angie. Angie is a ten year old girl who lives on the streets of San Pablo, Philippines. I met her when I was with the Frontline team who were feeding street kids hanging out on the square of downtown San Pablo. When we first walked up Angie she was curled up in a corner and hiding from us. We tried to talk to her but she refused to show her face to any of us. Eventually we got her to talk. What we found out was that she was abused by men on the street this past weekend. The Frontline team was able to take her back to their camp, give her a shower and something to eat. Today, one of the team members had a meeting with her mother and she signed a paper giving Frontline responsibility for her.
The whole experience was surreal. It is so two-dimensional when it happens. You feel like all the traffic should stop and every passerby ought to offer to do something, but none of that happens. The traffic continues and pedestrians walk on by without ever noticing. It kind of got to me. They asked me to pray for her and the other kids. I did. I know it was the right thing to do, but in the moment it felt like I needed to do a whole lot more. Maybe I do. Maybe we all do.
Update: The next day I was at a Frontline crusade and guess who sat in the same row as me? Angie. She was quiet, but smiling. Here it was 24 hours later and she was off the streets and in a safe place. She was surrounded by a community of people of all ages that loved her and wanted the very best for her. This is exactly what God had in mind when He founded the church: a community of people that relentlessly love all people and include them in their ever expanding eternal community.