Today we visited another Compassion Project that is fairly “young” in terms of how long it’s been running – about 2 years. We were met by a full fledge marching band run by students in the project. Balloons cascaded above in a big archway, little children crowned us with crowns they’d made for us and then they threw confetti on us as we were escorted to our seats.
We spent the next couple of hours hearing the children preach the Word, and sing and share their hearts with us. One little girl who is only about 9 years old shared from Psalms and preached about fellowship – and seriously, she could preach! It was very moving.
We spent time playing with the children, ate lunch together and then set off to visit some of the homes where the Compassion Project children live.
The first home was a poor family with 5 children. Two of the boys were in the project, one severly malnurished (the Project is helping him gain stability in his health) and his big brother who has learning disabilities. They live in a thrown together mudded hut that is smaller than my living room where they divide the inside for half being sleeping quarters (the whole family on one bed) and the other half is the kitchen. There was a lot of deep rooted heartache in their eyes. We spent time encouraging them the best we could and then prayed with them.
The second home really tore me up inside. The momma was only 21 and had 4 children. The oldest daughter was 6. Two of her children are sponsored children. Her little boy of almost 2 was very sick and had a high fever which has lasted over 15 days. Her baby girl was only 1 month old. The father of the children has not taken any responsibility for the children and so this poor little single mom lives with her mom and brother. They try to work, but generally can’t find anyone to take care of the children. It was hard for me to think of this sweet mom as the same age as Robbin, my oldest daughter and the difference in their lives.
It’s hard to deal with the poverty you see on these trips, however, the one thing that stands out time and time again is that poverty as we see it in a material sense can be wiped away when poverty in a soul is banished by the joy and light of Jesus in their lives. It’s amazing to experience the deep rooted hope and joy that these little children and others who are being impacted by the churches that work with Compassion have as they encounter a personal relationship with Jesus!
One of the Compassion Staff here shared a story about one little boy in a Project that is only 5 years old – he’s singing worship songs, praying, preaching…you might say, “that’s really great” but the amazing thing is that his dad is one of the most known gang criminals in the community where they live and now this little 5 year old is making his daddy pray with him daily. This little child knows His Heavenly Father and is working already to introduce his earthly father to him.
We ended the day experiencing the blessing of hearing testimonies of Compassion students who are now young adults and seeing the transformation of their lives coming full circle. Being equipped with a foundation spiritually, economically, socially and physically – given the chance to dream and to achieve those dreams…it’s a beautiful thing! I met a missionary, accountant, assistant to the Director of Compassion El Salvador, and a soccer teacher. All distinguished adults, accomplished, professional and deeply in love with the Lord. Only there’s one thing, they all began their lives much like the lives I saw in the two home visits today! Through Christ and through the efforts of people living out who Jesus is in the flesh, these lives turned out very different from the direction they started!
I am humbled to be here.
(P.S. Consider sponsoring a child! It’s easy, it’s life changing, and I can attest to the fact that these children are given the chance to dream, have dignity and most of all come to know Christ!)