Saturday, June 16, 2007
Joshua and Dominic have several friends that come over to play from time to time, but one little boy has really touched our hearts. His name is Maxime and although he’s 10 years old, he’s much smaller than any of the other kids. We’ve noticed that he’s one of the first kids out on the playground in the morning and one of the last to leave well after it gets dark. Most of the kids go in and out of the little store around the corner throughout the day and usually come out with ice cream or some other sweets. We’ve seen that little Maxime goes in with the other kids, but he never has money to buy anything. Sometimes Maxime goes three or four days in the same clothes and is usually covered in dirt from being outside all day.
One day we saw Maxime going into the house where he lives. We could see that it was small and unkept compared to most other homes and had no running water. We watched as little Maxime slipped inside and waved to us as he always does when he sees us. We felt so sorry for him because we recognized his house as the one we sometimes hear yelling come from late at night. Several times we’ve noticed that Maxime smells like alcohol. We suspect that his parents are probably alcoholics, which isn’t uncommon here.
Maxime likes to hang out at our house and play with Legos. He doesn’t speak any English and only speaks Ukrainian to us, but Edna makes sure he always has something to drink and she tries to get him to stay for at least one meal. He is always very polite and speaks with a tiny little voice compared to the other kids. Today he picked up Edna’s bible and was looking at it. She told him it was a bible and showed him a Ukrainian one. He nodded his head as he looked through it. At that point we said the only thing we could think to say in Ukrainian, “Jesus loves you.” He smiled and said, “Yes.”
This evening Maxime had dinner with us. I don’t think he quite understood why he couldn’t eat at first. He isn’t use to praying before he eats, but I hope he understood that we were thanking God for having little Maxime at our table. Please keep him in your prayers.