Today was one of those yeah/Awe days where you are excited to meet people in their homes until you get there and see how they are forced to live. I can't begin to tell you how sad it is.
We traveled to a place I have no chance of spelling correctly to meet an amazing group of girls. As cute and joy filled as these girls are you would never know that one of them was sexually abused. Because of the Compassion program she is a very different girl now than when she came to live at their shelter. The amazing thing is she has regained her innocence and found her smile again. That is truly the difference that love, compassion, and Jesus make in the lives of these at risk kids. She got a second chance to be a child, a life that depraved people tried, but could not steal from her. Compassion works through local churches to help kids escape the problems that accompany poverty like lack of education, malnutrition, and worst of all human trafficking and abuse. The saddest part was when the girls were asked how many were sponsored out of the six only 3 raised their hands. I would love to see that change next week
This is the youngest resident of the shelter. This a child is here because the abortion pills her mother took didn’t work, but even that didn’t stop this mom from throwing this beautiful child away. How anyone could view this beautiful baby as disposable is incomprehensible to me. I have to believe that God has his hand on this child. This child is a living miracle and proof of the good things that can happen when people not only talk about Jesus, but instead choose to be like him and take care of the least of these.
From there we drove to a family’s house who welcomed us with what little they had. I know bamboo hardwood floors are all the rage in our country, but these floors were literally bamboo…poles. Each step into this house was an exercise in faith and physics, as I wondered would they actually hold both Zach and I (I was mainly concerned for Zach:).
I got the opportunity to give a small boy a toy car and I watched as his face lit up with excitement. This was the kind of kid you wished you could pick up and bring home just to give him a chance at a better life,but
I know that doesn’t solve the problem. It might help him, but what is better is when kids go through the compassion program, get educated and return to help their people. That is how things finally begin to change.
One of the weirdest moments from today was when I was asked to say a few words to the family to encourage them. What do you say to encourage people living in a tin shack with holes in the ceiling, that is enveloped by a combination of the smell of stagnant water and garbage? “At least you got your health?” “Hang in there it will get better?” No that doesn't work because the father recently died and the mother works a construction job trying to earn enough money just to feed for her family.
All I could come up with was to assure them they would be in my prayers and I would tell their story to as many people as I could to help them and their community. I don’t think I have ever felt more helpless or inadequate.
Life for these people is hard. There is nothing easy here. I knew that for me, this day would end with a warm shower and a soft bed in a hotel here they will never be able to stay in. It just doesn’t seem right. The irony is God must have known my guilt so He made sure my shower had no hot water.
Why do I have a good life, I certainly am no more deserving than these people so why? I don’t know and I don’t like that I don’t know, but I do know that I have seen this and I have a responsibility to tell others so that together we can help these people. That is what we are going to do next week so please be thinking now about sponsoring one of our At Risk kids and be part of changing a life forever.