Last week was interesting because each day we had a different topic and a different speaker. Leslie Freeman from Jaco, Costa Rica taught on Monday and Tuesday about children with disabilities and attachment disorders. Jill Asbergin taught on Wednesday about the foster system called Casa Viva that she and her husband started here in Costa Rica. On Thursday one of the staff taught about worship and on Friday we did community service here at the base.
The most impacting day for me was when Jill spoke about Casa Viva. She talked about being deep and wide people. Deep people are people who have accountability in their lives. They are people who are willing to make impacting relationships. Deep people talk about things that truly matter- things that are difficult to discuss but get discussed anyway. When deep people work with kids, they go to the root of the issue, instead of just meeting superficial needs. Deep people spend time with the Lord, knowing that they cannot give what they do not have, and they cannot minister, when they have yet been ministered to.
Wide people see the 1 child and help that 1, but they also remember the millions. In order to reach children in a community, you need to engage the local church, the schools, the government, and think of wide solutions of how every child can have their needs met. Yes, it is impossible for one person to reach all of the children in a community, but with wide solutions, it becomes possible.
Jill spoke about foster care vs. children’s homes. She said, “Casa Viva is not anti- children’s home. There will always be a need for children’s homes. But we are pro-family. We believe God intended each child to be under the care of a mom and a dad, and that is what we should strive to give every child.”
I am about to go work for a children’s home in Zimbabwe, and I know that as I am there I will be evaluating the care of the children an asking the questions that Jill asked us. How can we better care for these children? How can we give them a home instead of an institution? What is God’s best for them in this situation? Maybe it is the children’s home that they currently live in. But maybe it’s something better. Soon, I will see.