If you live on less than $2 a day, you’re considered to be living in extreme poverty by the world’s standards. Compassion International releases children from extreme poverty in Jesus’ name in the most beautiful ways.
Shortly after we arrived at the Compassion Child Development Center this morning, we began a time of arts and crafts with the sponsored children. We tried to plan our arts and crafts in advance. But really? When it came down to it? We needed to just be present with the children. The paper, stickers, glue sticks and puff balls were just a vehicle for fostering relationships.
The Compassion staff seated the children in rows on the floor in front of us. The children sat quietly and patiently. Truly I tell you, they were little angels.
I had a bag of materials I’d brought from home, so I sat down on the floor and began distributing paper and crayons to the children, one by one. Each child received one piece of white paper and two crayons of their choice. I was amazed at how long the children were willing to wait for one piece of paper and two crayons.
My heart was full. Completely full. But the task of distributing the materials to all the children in my presence was a little overwhelming. There were so many of them and only one of me.
Then, I felt peace wash over my heart.
This is why we’ve traveled so far.
This is why sponsor trips are powerful.
This is why God wants us here, to speak truth to these children about who they are.
This is why 40 people traveled two thousand miles, to let these children know they are precious in His sight.
Scripture settled quietly in my soul…
“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these…and he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.” (Mark 10:14-16)
At that moment, I knew I needed to focus on one child at a time and let them know with all my heart that they are beautiful.
So I finished distributing materials to the children. We colored. We glued cotton balls. We put purple owl stickers on white pieces of paper. And then, as I developed relationship with each child and felt led, I asked if they wanted their picture taken.
They all said yes.
They weren’t grabby. They weren’t swarmy. And they weren’t demanding.
They simply said yes.
After I took each child’s picture, I showed it to them. I looked them straight in the eye and told them “bonita,” the Spanish word for beautiful.
They simply smiled.
Actually? They glowed.
It was then that God gently reminded me I’d spoken with all girls.
A sweet boy whom I’d never met before approached and simply said “thank you.” I was deeply moved, so I hugged his dear soul and told him “de nada,” you’re welcome.
I asked if he wanted his picture taken.
He said yes.
After I took his picture, I showed it to him. I looked him straight in the eye and told him “muy guapo,” Spanish for handsome.
He simply smiled.
Actually? He glowed and encouraged two friends to have their pictures taken as well.
I asked the boys to tell me their names. Estevan was named after his grandfather who went to war. “You are a brave warrior,” I said. Jose wrote his name in white on black paper. Estevan, too.
I told them I would remember who they are.
Handsome. Beautiful. Precious in God’s sight.
Will you sponsor a child through Compassion International? These kids are real. They live in extreme poverty, on less than $2 a day. But your sponsorship makes a significant difference with just $38 a month. It’s the best investment you’ll ever make. Click here to connect to the Compassion International website where you’ll find a beautiful child quietly waiting for your sponsorship.
Be sure to check out my fellow travelers’ blog posts from today. You won’t want to miss their stories! Sandra Heska King shared her experience at a home visit with How to Spoon Hope, and Kris Camealy wrote an eye-opening piece titled Why We Can’t Afford to Close Our Eyes.
If your heart has been touched by the words in this blog post, would you be so kind as to share it with friends and family on Facebook, Twitter, and via email? I would be oh so grateful. The more we spread the word about Compassion and the great work they’re doing, the more sweet children will be released from extreme poverty. Thank you, friends!