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Field Story Latin America

Struggles from the Streets

“The Lord has transformed Benigno’s life. From life on the streets to new life in Christ."

Benigno and I (Juan Pablo) are the same age, 27. He grew up on the streets and in the canals of the city, surrounded by drugs and alcoholism. We met four years ago during one of our weekly visits to the streets here in Santa Cruz Bolivia.

We went to encourage the men on the streets and present them with opportunities for a life off the streets, but most of all, to share our hope in Jesús. After many visits and attempts to leave the streets, Beningo was finally able to remain in a rehabilitation center where brothers in the faith supported him during the challenging process of leaving the streets. It was always a joy to see him in the center when I visited, even though he still struggled with thoughts of returning to life on the streets and drugs.

After almost two years, Benigno finished the first stage of the process, leaving the addictions. Many people think that the struggle is now over; however, the next set of challenges continues and grows over time. Finding an honorable and stable job is difficult, and with Bengino's past and lack of work experience, it is even more challenging. Nevertheless, we are pleased that Beningo found a job as an assistant to a mechanic.

The Lord has transformed Benigno’s life. From life on the streets to new life in Christ Each time we get together to share a meal, he comes with dirty hands, not from being in the streets but from his hard work with cars. However, his salary is so low that often he doesn’t have money for lunch or dinner. He often chooses to walk the four kilometers to work to save the 25 cents he would have spent on bus fare. We are grateful to be able to help bless him with the purchase of a bike, this is a way we can show him that we care.

Just because he doesn’t live on the streets any more doesn’t mean that the challenges have ceased. In one conversation, he shared the challenges he is facing with his work colleagues. Many are not believers and are living in addictions; others don’t understand his past or what God has done in his life. As a result, they often pressure Benigno to drink with them after work. This is difficult but also is an open door to share about Christ and what He has done in Benigno’s life. We thank the Lord that Beningo is firm in his faith and is learning more each day.  

Please keep him in your prayers as he faces challenges with these pressures from colleagues. Benigno would like to study mechanics, but he has a hearing problem from suffering from Tuberculosis and not receiving treatment on time. Now he needs a special hearing aid to be able to hear. There are always challenges that any of us face, we might have grown up on the streets or not, but we face them the same. But the Lord met Benigno and has transformed His life as he has trusted Him and walked with Him.

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