Marcus (R) with Peter

My husband Peter and I had a wonderful marriage, 4 beautiful biological children and we wanted to help children that were not so fortunate to grow up in a peaceful and safe home. Seven years ago, a lanky beautiful 12-year-old boy, Marcus, came to live with us for 3 months. He was upset to have to go to a foster home and had run away the night before, but the police found him and placed him with us. He soon warmed up to his own room, a clean house, and his new foster parents. A few days later another boy was placed in our home, 2 years old, and the two of them got along well.

My husband preaches in different churches on Sundays and the family usually tags along. It was two Sundays before Christmas and my husband preached on forgiveness. Marcus listened intently to the sermon and said that he liked it, but nothing much more was said about it. For Christmas we have a family tradition of giving a gift to the One with the birthday and to present it in a creative way. Marcus had wrapped a red plastic heart and when he opened it he said: “I want to forgive my parents this Christmas” We were very blessed with his gift and I’m sure the Lord was too. Three months later the judge decided that Marcus could go back to live with his mother.

We stayed in contact with him through the years and last October he invited us to his own place for a cup of coffee in Amsterdam. The city had placed shipping containers on top of each other and made each container into cool little apartments for students. We discovered that his new place was right by an international church and offered to take him to that church. He had not been attending church at all since he left our home. He liked the church and started attending there.

The following February he called us and said: “So I go to church on Sundays and I get energised in my faith, but by Wednesday it is all gone. Do you guys still have that CBS Bible study group on Wednesdays? Can I come to that again?” We told him, yes that group has continued for all these years and he was more than welcome. He has been part of the group since then moving online since the Corona crisis started. Marcus is now 19 years old and 2 meters tall! We hope that every centimetre of his tall body will learn to love and follow Jesus!
(Name changed for privacy reasons)

Margré Hays