Nicaragua – When You Know It’s Real
Seeing how Compassion works this week has been amazing. Every time I think of one thing they might have overlooked, one area they may not have thought to cover, I find that they’ve covered it and thought beyond to boot.
Today I’m sharing photos of our visit to a Compassion Center that teaches vocational skills. This is all provided to our Compassion kids as part of being in the program. As they get older, most areas offer the option of vocational training, which can make a drastic difference in life for these kids.
Instead of trying to eek out a living as a street vendor or even prostitution (that was horrifying for me to even type), they have a skill set that will allow them to make a better living – that will enable them to elevate their generation out of poverty.
The center we went to teaches a variety of specialties, including Computer, Cosmetology, and Culinary. When you consider how much these jobs make in the context of this country, you understand the pride in the children’s eyes at getting to go there.
The lady who sells spices that we visited earlier in the week, on a good day, makes the equivalent of $6.00 USD. A Cosmetologist who gives manicures can make over $4.00 per client. A job like that can elevate a child out of poverty and once she’s grown, her family, too.
Compassion doesn’t just work with these children for a few years, they make sure that each child in the villages the centers are in have healthcare, education, mentoring, and a skill set to allow them to go further than previous generations, to break the cycle of extreme poverty.
To someday even live in a house with an actual floor instead of dirt.
With actual walls instead of black trash bags found at the city dump and pieced together.
With three meals a day instead of just one.
Their goal is to impact lives and change generations.
And they have, and they do.
Shaun Groves told us a wonderful story today about the President of Compassion International taking a trip to Korea to try to encourage a large group of Pastors to give out sponsorship packets in their churches. He began explaining the impact Compassion has on children who are in the program and one pastor stood up and interrupted him, saying “You don’t have to explain what Compassion is to us, we are Compassion children.” Then he asked all of the pastors who had been Compassion children to stand up and over half the room stood.
You see, South Korea is where Compassion began. With orphans from the Korean war. From there it expanded and within fifty years, Korea went from being a country receiving Compassion help to one of the largest countries giving Compassion help by sponsoring children in other countries. That is an amazing thing.
For those of you who read the words of the letter written by an 18 year old sponsor in Korea to little Ivan in Nicaragua on my post yesterday, you may have wondered at where an 18 year old high school student gets so much wisdom from. How does he know just what to say to motivate little Ivan? When I saw he was from Korea, I was able to understand a little more of where such wisdom must come from. I can’t help but wonder if his father, mother, or grandparents were part of the Compassion program and if he has grown up hearing stories of the impact it had on them – knowing that his life is so very different today as a direct result of people who cared enough to think beyond themselves and sponsor his ancestors.
So the amazing thing is that Compassion is real.
You truly do change lives.
It’s legit. I know it’s legit because I’ve seen it. Compassion goes above and beyond. I never could have imagined the impact a single program can have on a life until this week. The community my child lives in was drawing their water from a dirty well, contaminated with sewage and chemicals. Children in the village had skin conditions and were even developing diseases as a result of the water. Compassion came in and paid to have water run from the city to the village. Then they set up the center and began enrolling kids in their programs.
Wilbert is the child I sponsor. Wilbert’s brother was one of the children who, as a four year old, his skin was covered in sores. Then Compassion came in. Look at him now.
These are real kids but as Americans, we have to work hard to open our eyes to that. We’ve become so anesthetized to the outside world that it is difficult to fathom how incredibly wealthy we are and what poverty really is.
Poverty is a child whose two parents work from sun up until sun down in order to be able to provide ONE meal a day.
Poverty is a little girl who turns to prostitution because she is so desperately hungry and has no education or skill set to get another job.
and Wealth is being able to open your heart to the reality that there are children living in conditions that are unfathomable to us – but we have the ability to change their life.
I know what holds you back the most from sponsoring a child. You wonder if it will really make a difference. You wonder if the children are real. You wonder if they really get your letters and if you’ll really hear from them. You wonder if the $38 a month you send actually goes to help someone or is just put into some big old fund.
I’ve been here all week. I’ve see the faces. The answer is Yes. The children are real. It does make a difference. The money does go to provide for them.
Here are the faces. When I saw them, my answer was Yes.
This morning, my mother said yes to her second sponsored child.
Is there room in your heart to love one more?
I’m traveling with some amazing bloggers and They’re all writing daily posts as well. Visit them by clicking the links below to go to their blogs or by visiting http://www.compassionbloggers.com/nicaragua
Edie at Life In Grace
Traci at Beneath My Heart
Kelly at Faithful Provisions
I cannot tell you how blessed I’ve been to get to spend time with these precious ladies who uplift and inspire me. Thank you for being a part of this. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement, for your comments and your love. None of this would be possible without you.