“Tonito” Anthony Gabriel Lopez is a seven-year-old boy who lives in Armenia Bonito. He is one of five siblings in his family. They all live with their mother and all have different fathers, none of whom live in the home. Tonito is attending first grade for the second year in a row.
A month ago we described Tonito as, “the naughtiest, worst behaved, nastiest little kid in Armenia Bontio.” He was mean to everyone, regularly stole from us, vandalized our car, was disrespectful, lied, cussed, flipped the bird and even urinated on people. Everyone in Armenia Bonito treated him poorly and he had no friends.
After a year and half of abuse we where at our wits end with Tonito. Mike was driving through Armenia Bonito one day, about a month ago, with 15 kids in back of the truck enjoying the treat. It was time for a change. Mike stopped the truck abruptly and jumped out of the truck, “Tonito get out of my truck!”, he shouted. Everyone was dead silent and Tonito jumped out. Mike continued, “Ridding in my truck is a privilege and if you are going to continue to be mean to me you can’t ride in my truck!” Mike then looked at the rest of the kids and demanded pointing his index finger for emphasis, “If I EVER see Tonito in my truck again NONE of you will ride in the back, understand?!” Then back to Tonito, “If you want to ride in the back of the truck again you will come find me and ask me to talk with you, until then, go away!” Tonito’s response was typical. He flipped the double bird at Mike, grabbed his crotch, spit on our truck and ran away.
The next day Tonito asked Mike to talk. Mike told Tonito that we loved him and that we want to be friends with him and that friends don’t treat each other this way, but in order for us to be friends he needed to change. Tonito cried and poured out his heart to Mike. They hugged and prayed.
In the past month we have given Tonito responsibility, trusted him with money, gone out of our way greet him and brought positive attention to him. So far, Tonito has reciprocated. He is a new kid with a new attitude, and, dare we say, even a joy to have around.
Please pray for Tonito. Pray we can continue to love him and that he grows in faith.