On Foreign Ground

We have seen many people come through our doors with many different problems, and just when you think you’ve seen it all….

“We have a child that we would like to bring to the ranch,” says the voice of the woman on the other end of the line. “We met him in Romania where we work with the orphans.  He is not an orphan, but it may be better if he was.”

“You have my attention.” I say.  I know a little of what the Romanian idea of an orphanage is.  For that statement to be made is utterly shocking.

“You see,” she continues.  “He was returned to his mother after being found on the street. And she, in a drunken rage, attacked him with an axe.”

“Excuse me.”  I say.  “Did you say an axe?”

“Yes,” she says.  “He has been sponsored to come here for facial reconstructive surgery.  After he has finished, we would like to bring him to the ranch before he has to go back to Romania.”

Wow!  I am still in shock over the description, which caught me completely off guard.  I knew it would be bad, but an axe!  ‘Dear God, how does a mother come to that place? I can’t imagine.  Help me to know what to say and do. I’m on foreign ground here.’ 

“Of course he can come, bring him out.”

And that is how we met Nicu.  The olive skin, black hair and eyes were what I had pictured. The scar from above the left eye making a droopy arc through his mouth to the right side of his chin, I had not.  We go through some basic horsemanship stuff.  Its sketchy at best, due to the fact that Nicu speaks no English, and I speak no Romanian. We rely on translators who are trying to come up with Romanian words that describe an old western saddle, latigo, cinch, bridle and other parts. 

And the fact that Nicu isn’t listening one hundred percent. He keeps staring at the man with the funny hat that he believed existed only in legends, this “cowboy”. 

Nicu on Comanche, Sadie on Sunny and Scott

Nicu on Comanche, Sadie on Sunny and Scott

I found Nicu to be a quick study as far as riding.  He sat well, had good control and was doing so well that he earned a ride off lead.  As I unclasped the lead rope of the horse, I whispered to Comanche, one of our perfect horses, “Take care of him, he needs this”  and let go.  He walked around to the right.  Completely relaxed.  I see the legs squeeze and the walk becomes a trot.  His concentration has narrowed to where he is staring at the spot between Comanche’s ears.  He rounds the far corner of the arena and Comanche loses her perfect horse status as she breaks into a fast canter back toward the gate.  Dark eyes widen at the feel of the power and speed of the animal. Then the ugly scar on the face of a broken boy becomes beautiful as it twists and bends itself into an ear-to-ear grin.  Dark hair flies as his head rolls back and he laughs out loud. Comanche stops, right in front of me as she has been taught, and she has regained any lost status in my book, for she has just given a boy the wonderful gift of laughing. 

After much more laughing and picture taking with his horse and the American cowboy, Nicu leaves. 

Nicu and ComancheI don’t know if I will ever see him again, or if I will be able to know what happens to him, but I owe him.  For he left me with a picture in my head of the most uniquely beautiful, smiling face that I have ever seen, and the feeling that my Savior was watching that day, and He was smiling too.

Published in: on July 22, 2008 at 6:42 pm  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , , , ,

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://wildhorsehope.wordpress.com/2008/07/22/on-foreign-ground/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. WOW. I thank God for equipping you to be where you are and do what you do. Amazing.

  2. Neat story, Josie. Nicu was in our summer camp last week in Romania. Astonishing everyone, he emerged as one of the most significant spiritual leaders among the kids. It was like he grew up and found his voice among his orphan peers all in one week. The last night at camp, and again later afterward in a worship service back home, he spoke passionately about his transformed life and the healing he has found through relationship with Jesus. I know his time at WHHM played a role in all that… thanks for all you do.
    Love, Scott

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: