A few nights ago Isaac and I were walking back to my house after having been at the Freeman's for a bit. My room is in the front of the house, and as we got closer, I saw that my curtains had fallen down. Even through the lights were off, I could see someone inside looking for something. We came quickly then into the house and saw that Aimee was on the couch, and realized that someone one else was in my room. When I opened the door to my room and turned on the light, there was a kid crouching in the corner.
"Why are you in my house?" I asked him.
"Ummmm I was walking by and my dollar fell out of my pocket so I came in to get it." He then gave me the dollar. My dollar.
I looked over at the window and saw that the bottom 2 slots had been taken out. Thats how he had gotten in.
As I was looking at the window, I noticed something else on the ground. My roommate's wallet. He had also been in her room.
I looked in my wallet and saw that my cash had been taken.
"You are robbing me," I told him, "Give me my money back."
"I don't have your money, just this," he replied, pulling my cell phone out of his pocket.
We did get my money back- he had taken about $60.
And then we called the security guards that watch our neighborhood, who then called the police. He sat on the floor crying as he waited for the police to come.
I asked him how old he was, and he said 12. And he's in 2nd grade.
Isaac knelt down beside him, and talked to him. "You are only 12 years old! You shouldn't be on the streets at night. You should be home with your mom. Everything you do in life will have a consequence. Learn from what happened tonight, and begin to make good choices for your life!"
6 police officers came, and I was impressed at how they treated the kid. They were firm, but kind. He did go to jail for the night and the police worked all night to find his mom to have her come pick him up.
In 2008 I was robbed when grown men with guns came into my house and took all of my stuff. It was horrible, scary and sad. But this time, being robbed had a different effect on my heart. I was really sad for the kid. In fact, while he was sitting on the floor, sobbing at the thought of going to jail, I had to hold back tears myself.
Because he's only 12, and he's already making really bad life choices.
Because he's only 12 and roaming the streets at night.
Because he's only 12 and no one could find an adult to take responsibility for him.
We talk about doing ministry to prevent; to prevent underage prostitution, to prevent failing out of school, to prevent kids growing up outside of God's intentions for them.
And this little guy trying to rob my house, has given me an even greater motivation to invest in the children we reach throughout the week, knowing the impact of investing in order to prevent.