Every street youth’s death is always a challenge and prompts questions of why they never left the street. Each death is a sad, sad occasion that often pushes the street youth community to reflect upon the life journeys they are on and to question their addictions and living situation on the streets. This is why the work of Time of Rescue loving and caring for street youth like Jorge is so greatly valued by those forgotten and living on the fringes of society.
“Cesar, please don’t take my Jorge away”
Those were the words wailed by Jorge’s partner, Jessica, as Cesar slid Jorge’s body into his grave. Jorge’s passing away was a horrible start to the year for Jorge’s family and dearest friends in the street community. Jorge leaves behind his partner, Jessica, and three children who are living in a rented room on the edge of Guatemala City and continue to receive support from our partner project, Time of Rescue.
Jorge, from childhood through to his death in his late twenties, lived every day and every night on the streets of Guatemala City. He had a cheeky smile and loved his friends. He had a quiet presence about him, was generous and well loved. It is well known that the longer one stays living on the streets, the harder it is to leave. Jorge was accustomed to and engrained in street life.
The street was Jorge’s environment. It was where he identified with and wanted to be. It was where he slept on pavements, begged and ate. The street was Jorge’s community. He saw friends come and friends go. He saw friends get beat up and friends die. This was Jorge’s life and it was where he seemed content to simply stay and live his life.
Sometimes we think that what street living youth need to do to get their life ‘on track’ is to ‘sort themselves out’ and leave the streets, find a home and get a job. Achieving these steps are good, however Time of Rescue longs for the street youth of Guatemala to first know Christ and to set their identity in Him, as that is really what having our lives ‘on track and sorted out’ is all about. That is what real freedom and joy is.