I’ve been so busy with activities in the Dominican Republic the past few days that I haven’t had much more than a few minutes to log onto the computer. And when I could log in, my internet was extremely slow & sketchy. There’s so much to share from what we’ve experienced and so many pictures I want to post, that it’s probably going to take me at least five more days to try and scratch the surface of all I want to share!
On Thursday, we visited a Child Sponsorship Program in Santo Domingo. The children were older (ages 11-15) and they didn’t warm up to us as quickly as they did on Tuesday.
However, after playing some rousing outdoor games and sitting in their classroom and asking them questions about their home, parents, food, and life in general, they began to slowly warm up. And once they warmed up, they just ate up our love and affection.
This little boy, Darius, stole my heart. He said he didn’t ever know who his father was and, from the questions I asked, it sounds like he lives in very primitive conditions.
He was starving to just have someone look into his eyes and tell him he was loved, cared for, and valuable. He drew me this picture to take home, but honestly, I just wanted to take him home with me!
I’m so grateful that he’s part of the Child Sponsorship Program and is getting regular meals, education, attention, love, clothes and shoes, and medical help as part of the program. I truly don’t think I could have left without knowing he was going to be taken care of!
While the children were waiting for lunch to be served, I showed them pictures of my children and introduced them to Fruit Ninja–a game on my phone that my daughter loves. They were mesmerized and I didn’t even have to explain to them how to play the game; they got it right off!
Even though most of these children come from very deplorable home situations, they are bright, cheerful, industrious, and intelligent. And with the right education and encouragement, they are going to go so far in life!
I’ve appreciated Compassion’s Child Sponsorship Program the past four years that we’ve been involved in it, but now that I’ve seen the work firsthand, I’m a hundred times more excited about the work they are doing.
Most of these children come from homes that have little joy and comfort in them. They spoke of fights, disease, family problems, and lack of parental involvement when we asked them specific questions about their living conditions.
The pain on their faces as they shared broke my heart. I wanted to scoop them all up, take them home with me, and provide a safe haven with plenty of food, clothes and shoes, a soft bed, medical care, and lots and lots of love.
I can’t bring them all home with me, but by investing $38 per month, I can provide all of that for one child who is in Compassion’s Child Sponsorship Program. If you don’t already support a child through Compassion’s Child Sponsorship Program, may I encourage you to prayerfully consider it?
The $38 per month commitment amount might seem outside your budget right now, but maybe there are some things you can cut from your budget in order to free up the funds? Or maybe you could partner with some other families and pool together your money to be able to support a child. I promise that it will be worth it.
If you don’t feel led to support children through Compassion or you just truly don’t have any extra room in your barebones budget–that’s completely okay! I don’t share this with you to guilt you into doing something that’s not what God is calling you to do.
That said, I want to encourage you to do something. Find a single mom in your neighborhood who could use a bag of groceries that you got for free with coupons. Find an elderly couple who could use assistance or friendship. Donate some supplies to your local homeless center or work in a nearby soup kitchen. Write a letter of encouragement. Be a listening ear. Freely share your knowledge and experience with others.
Step outside your comfort zone, give freely and generously of your resources and time, and live your life with arms outstretched. And I promise you’ll be blessed beyond what you can imagine!
On Monday, I’ll share about the Water Store Project and, if I have space, I’ll also include details and photos from the slums we visited. I can’t wait to share more as my heart is just about bursting right now!