Sixteen months ago I built a relationship with a group of street kids. I was shocked to see their condition. They were surviving on food scraps and sleeping on concrete. They were dirty, some had lice, and all were addicted to inhalants to numb their emotional and physical pain. I adopted the group of seventeen. Once a week along with my staff and any friends visiting from the USA we brought food, blankets, and clothing.
In March I introduced the kids to the Faith Comes by Hearing audio Bible called the Mini-Proclaimer. I will never forget the moment these kids dropped to their knees and remained unmoving as they listened closely to the Word on the Mini-Proclaimer for the first time. Most are illiterate. I watched as they heard the Word of God for the first time. Each week they begged me not to leave, and wanted to hear more.
Juan was the most responsive. Each week he listened to the Bible from the time I arrived to when I had to leave. In August Juan developed a stomach ulcer and died. Like the thief on the cross, Juan became a follower of Christ but died before being set free from his addiction to inhalants.
The following month another kid in the group was hit by a bus and killed. The life expectancy of the 20,000 kids living on the streets of Mexico City is less than five years.
In October the organization Faith Comes by Hearing raised the funding to give 50 Mini-Proclaimers to street kids in Mexico City.
I gave the first Mini-Proclaimer to Ivan. Ivan is the most responsible in the group and seemed the least likely lose the audio Bible.
I returned the following Sunday afternoon. Ivan and the rest of the street kids were not around. No one had any idea where they went or when they would return.
Finally they returned. As they came up the street toward me I hardly recognized them. The kids seemed to be glowing. Their eyes were clear and their faces were full of hope. I could hardly believe they were the same kids.
Alberto sat down and began to explain. He told me that each morning during the past week he work up listening to the book of Matthew. During the day he listened the book of Luke, and at night he fell asleep listening to the book of John. Alberto shared that all of the kids had been listening to the audio Bible and as a result they all wanted Christ to be in their lives.
Ivan then shared with me why they were not on the street when I arrived. They went to church that morning and had just returned. In just one week Ivan, Alberto, and the other kids had changed as a result of listening to the Word of God.
The community of street kids continued listening to the Bible until the machine no longer worked. I gave them a new Mini-Proclaimer in early December. I have no doubt that at this very moment the kids are listening to the Bible and God is working in their lives.