Kids Under Bridge
There were 87 children under the age of 12 who lived under one side of a two-lane bridge across a small creek. Many of these children had mothers who were prostitutes and most did not attend school. They spent their day taking care of their siblings or searching for food.
I first learned of this small colony under the bridge when I took our Volkswagen van to a mechanic whose shop was about a hundred feet from the bridge. Upon arriving at the shop the owner, "El Ruso" (The Russian) told me what had happened a few minutes before. He said he had rushed up to the top of the bridge to see what the commotion was about and found that a two-year old boy had been run over by bus.
His sister was on her hands and knees and was banging her head on the concrete. He said "I picked her up and tried to console her." I walked down under the bridge and it began a long relationship with those who lived there.
That Christmas we received a check for a hundred dollars from Dr. Wren Causey from Colombia Louisiana who was on the board of Christians Sharing Christ (CSC). His gift was to be used by our family to have a merry Christmas.
I sent two of our team members to find the names and ages of all of the children 12 years and under that lived under the bridge. With the money and the list our family went to the largest department store in Costa Rica and began buying a present for each of the children on the list. This caught the attention of the owner and she ended up helping us and ultimately discounted the cost of the toys.
Christmas morning our family went down under the bridge and handed out the toys to each of the children. To this day we all believe that was our most blessed Christmas. Two years later one of the little girls still had her doll in the original box and it was as good as new.
How I wish I could find some of those children, who are now adults, even though it's been more than 30 years since I last saw than.
The little girl that I am holding is both deaf and dumb and her teeth had rotted out. The little girl standing beside me, with the eye problem, is one of 12 children of a prostitute and she is the one El Ruso picked up off of the bridge where her little brother had just been run over.
No one lives under the bridge any longer and those who saw the bridge a few months ago can see the concrete supports that today have wire fences and boards to keep people from again living under the bridge.
We were able to see several people who lived under the bridge accept the Lord and become a member of the first church we began in Costa Rica.
There are some things that you can never forget and the experiences we had with those under the bridge we will never forget