[youtube height=”HEIGHT” width=”WIDTH”]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9_OSmO-WzM[/youtube]
Three year old Harley sat in his little red car with the yellow roof, pushing himself around the yard. Mom and Dad were arguing. Then dad started hitting. “The next thing I remember is driving with Mom from Florida to live with Abuela and Grandpa.” This was Harley’s earliest memory. Some stories are best told in great detail, but this is not one of those stories. My purpose here is not to shock, but to communicate God’s heart for the fatherless and the orphan.
God clearly states in His word that He is the Father of the fatherless. (Psalm 68:5) I know how I felt when one of my children was hurting. I do not believe Abba God feels less. He commands us to care for the fatherless forty times in scripture.
Following is a listing of major moves in Harley’s young life that was taken from a two hour interview. Think about how his childhood differs from yours.
When He was: 3 – He was living in Florida until his father went to jail.
When He was: 3 – He moved to Long Island to live with his grandparents and mom.
When He was: 5 – His grandfather and mom die.
When He was: 6 – The house his grandma was renting burns to the ground. Harley, his grandma and their dog Hercules move in with his aunt and older cousin. He sleeps on the couch in the living room.
When He was: 8 – Grandma buys him a bed that is set up in the living room.
When He was: 9 – His cousin moves out so he gets his own room.
When He was: 11 – He broke into his neighbor’s house and stole their game console and games. He is caught and brought to the police station. He gets sent to Sagamore Children’s Psychiatric Center where he is put on heavy medication. He is there for 11 months and is often beaten up by other kids until he decides to fight back. Then the staff has trouble controlling him and he receives more medication. He gains lots of weight. He describes these months as the worst days of his life.
When He is: 12 – He is sent to a group home in Merrick.
When He is: 14 – He is sent to another home that is for seriously emotionally disturbed youth. This is where his life changes radically.
A social worker at the group home informed the boys that they can each have their own mentor if they would like one. Harley jumped up insisting that he wanted a mentor. Then he paused and asked; “What’s a mentor?”