"The first time I
saw a street kid come up from the underground through a manhole like a
worm, I thought I would die. How could a human being exist like that?
And as I looked down the manhole into the darkness of the underground,
there was a pretty young girl looking up at me. She smiled and
said, "Come down and spend the night with us."
The hot air and
nauseating smell that came from her "dwelling" was so strong, so putrid,
so nauseating, I quickly jumped back to keep from vomiting. She smiled
and came up to greet me. Her name was Alina and she looked fairly clean,
except for the silver "aurolac" spots on her blouse. It was smeared on
her lips and her breath made me dizzy.
Aurolac is an
inhalant from a paint base. This was the "drug of choice" for the street
kids, but now they have moved on to heroin and more dangerous drugs.
How Alina could
live in that hell-hole is beyond me. I have never gone down into the
canals, because I was afraid I couldn't get back up. Ron and our
have braved these
scary chambers many times.
May I describe
it for you?
Hang on tight and
pray as you go straight down into what looks like a huge dark
underground concrete room which surrounds a huge hot water pipe. This
system of water pipes runs all over Bucharest, providing hot water for
the city. These rooms are chokingly hot and damp and are lit by candles.
Huge cockroaches roam the walls at will, lice hide
in the kids beds,
waiting for them to return to their filthy, urine soaked mattresses that
they share with dogs and dangerous people. Mold lines the walls. Be
careful not to
step in dog poo.
They can't get out, so what can the dogs do? And the kids use the
corners when it is freezing outside.
What is the point
in telling you about their gruesome lives? It is to show you how some
live. Many of these kids were raised in orphanages. And what future do
they have now? Prison, poverty, prostitution, and early death.
Many people, even believers, think these kids are hopeless. One of the
church leaders told Ron and me to stop going down there because they
don't deserve our help...give it to old people, they said. And I replied
that none of us deserve God's mercy...it is a free gift,
even to "the
least of these", like these street
For years we have
been helping them to leave the streets and have a better life with God's
help. Some will never leave but some have. At one of the canals. they
and put up Christian posters and Scripture. They are proud of how they
live now and call it their 4 star canal.
Pray that we will
have the wisdom and energy to continue pointing them to the Lover of
mankind and especially the 'outcasts'. "