If you haven’t been following the latest Compassion Bloggers tour, you really should. Molly Piper, Heather Whitaker and Kelly Stamps are sharing their first-hand experiences visiting with Compassion-assisted families and it’s alternately heartbreaking and awe-inspiring.
Molly shares the story of Maricella:
Maricella. Mother of Blanca (picture #1). This is her in her home. She welcomed us there, even though she was nervous. Jesus came and met us there, though. She told us of her history of gang membership and the tattoo on her forehead because of it. And she now can’t find work because she won’t be trusted. Even though in Christ, she is a new creation…. My heart broke for her.
My first day of interacting with people on the receiving end of Compassion has been nothing short of amazing—their stories, their homes, their openness to our presence, their excitement for Compassion and the effects it’s had on their families. My heart is somehow broken and full at the same time. Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing.
We often assume that when we have a child it is just maternal for us to know what to do. Today I realized that is not always the case.
This mother shared a story about her infant son who was fussy and never stopped crying. She finally got to the point where she took him to a clinic. She was instructed to go home and cover her son in ashes. She did what she was told and wrapped him up in ashes. What she did not realize was the fact that she was burning her son. She chuckled at the story as she told us that he survived and is 13, but has scars across his stomach. It’s an awful story, but on the flip side so encouraging to know that Compassion has a program that will teach mothers such as this the simple truths of their babies.
Finally, a moving contribution from Kelly:
This is Marcos and his mother. My life will never be the same after meeting them today. They have a story of complete sadness and desperation but it’s also a story of hope.
Marcos is literally one of the sweetest, brightest boys I’ve ever met with a smile that could light up a city. He read the Bible at the project today and you could tell he was destined to be a pastor so it was no surprise when he shared that he dreamed of one day being a doctor or a pastor. His mother works so hard every day selling garlic. She makes $1 per bundle and sells around 6-8 a day. Like most families – they live on about $150 a month. Marcos has people in his life who tell him terrible things and break him down. The same goes for his mother. They wept as they opened up and shared their heartbreaking story with us.
I was so burdened for his mother. She is living in such poverty, works so hard, and has no one to support her or love her or encourage her. I told her that she was a wonderful mother and she cried and said no one had ever told her that before. I kept thinking that I live in a nice home, have a sweet husband, a beautiful baby I prayed for years to have, parents that love and support me, a million friends that I spend time with and laugh with and yet there are days that being a mom is hard and I just get down. And then I tried to imagine Marcos’ mother and how she has no one. Nothing. But she has God. And she shared of her love for Him. And she shared of how Compassion was helping Marcos. We told Marcos about the leadership development program that Compassion has to help certain students who qualify and meet a lot of criteria to go go college and we told him that he could be the kid who could do that. I wish you could see the joy and the glimmer of hope in their eyes and the huge smiles as they pictured a future for both of them. And that future is made possible by Compassion.
They have nothing. And I mean NOTHING. But they have Compassion and because of that – they have Jesus. And He is everything.
If you have had any doubt that Compassion is legit, I pray that these women’s experiences in El Salvador will cast those doubts aside. Compassion’s for real. They really do what they say—The Gospel is spread, people are discipled, lives are changed, communities are transformed and poverty in the lives of these families finds its eternal solution in Jesus Christ.
Will you be a part of it?