Too often my joy is attached to material possessions. Too often my faith is attached to the outcome of my circumstances. Too often my hope is attached to self-doubt… and I don’t live in poverty.
Someone living in extreme poverty definitely wouldn’t have joy, faith, or hope, right? If you have nothing, where does your joy come from? If your circumstances are only getting worse, where does your faith come from? If you’re treated as though you’re worthless and see no way out, where does your hope come from?
I learned a lot about joy, faith, and hope by visiting Reveckie and Alexis’ home in Dominican Republic.
Their home is a small shack where 9 people live and they often have to flee because of flooding.
When we first arrived at their home, Reveckie was crying. Through the translator, we asked why… thinking that it was because of her situation. However, her response was shocking. She was crying because she was happy to see her friends from the Compassion project. She called them “happy tears” and told us that the ladies at the project had helped her so much. They were like family to her.
Reveckie wasn’t just living in poverty but also battling with lung cancer. She showed us the scar from one operation and often had to leave the room because she was coughing uncontrollably. It was obvious she was still very sick. Yet after hearing all that Reveckie had been through, it was clear that her faith was STRONG and she hadn’t allowed her circumstances to define her relationship with God. She still proclaimed, “God is good!”
This is Reveckie’s son, Alexis. He is a Compassion program graduate and now plans to go to college. We asked him what difference Compassion made in his life. He said, “Most of my friends are in gangs or in jail and have no purpose. I have purpose.” He also said he wanted to be lawyer AND a pastor so he could help his family and community. He shared all of this while still nursing injuries from a serious motorcycle accident that happened just days before… an accident that could’ve derailed his dreams or worse, killed him.
Poverty could have taken this family’s joy, faith, and hope but someone loved them, encouraged them, and told them they had purpose. That person was a Compassion sponsor.