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He Hears Their Cries
By Guest Author on June 27th, 2012

Note: All names of children have been changed for the purpose of this article.

You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry, defending the fatherless and the oppressed.

I can still see the boys from the behavior treatment facility. Miguel, with large tender eyes, scars scattered across his dark skin. Eddie, small but tough for a six-year-old. Jerome, with a bright spirit and fragile heart. Boys who desperately need Jesus. I know the statistics. I know their future without Him.

“Do you want me to pray for you?” I asked.

Jerome said yes, that his heart hurt a lot. He put his head down on his arms so the other boys wouldn’t see him cry. Miguel said he wanted prayer for his mom.

“I want her to be sorry for what she did to me. See this? She beat me.” He pointed to one of the large scars on his forehead.

Eddie said he didn’t want prayer.

I asked, “Eddie, do you know how much Jesus loves you?”

He shook his head. “I’m stupid.”

I disagreed, “That’s not true, Eddie. He created you. You’re made in His image. You look like Him.”

Eddie raised his voice, “No, I’m ugly! I’m stupid!” He ripped up the drawing I had made of him holding Jesus’ hand.

The more I told Eddie about Jesus, the more he argued. I felt what Jesus must have felt. Sadness. Deep grief. They didn’t know their Creator, the Healer of broken hearts, the gentle and humble Teacher, the just Judge.

I saw a picture few weeks ago while I was praying. It was of Jesus, with a big smile. He was sitting at a long banqueting table with lots of chairs. It was in heaven. In the seats nearest him were children. Some with thick glasses, crooked smiles, and some wiggling in their seats. I knew immediately they were the foster kids. The ones from the facility we’d been visiting.

I felt Jesus say, “I want them with me where I am.”

The same thing Jesus had prayed before his death. I wept. I felt urgency. Jesus wasn’t talking about ten years from now when they remember hearing a story. It was now. They must cross from darkness to light. They must know who He is and believe! Just as He seated us in heavenly places when He rescued us, He will rescue them.

I don’t feel despair for Eddie, Jerome, and Miguel. I know the Word of God is living and active. And I’ve seen what prayer does. Truth went out that day and it won’t return void. It will fulfill its purpose. The boys have heard they have a Creator who loves them, has a plan for them, will never ever leave them, and they can believe and be with Him forever.

The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” We’ve seen a six-year-old deny that Jesus loves her, then receive it after a few weeks of intercession for her. It’s not hopeless! We must be faithful to pray and faithful to speak of His love.

He hears their cries. He’s just waiting for us to partner with Him to defend them and carry them from darkness to light.

– Bethany Hackmann

Bethany Hackmann is an artist and missionary at the International House of Prayer of Kansas City. She works with foster and adoptive children. She has a desire to see the Church care for orphans and end fatherlessness in the nations.

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