Monday, November 09, 2009

El Salvador Day 1

WOW!

We got up at 4 this morning to get ready and head to the airport and we landed in San Salvador around 12:30 today. We had a great trip. We were met by two sweet ladies who work for the Compassion office here. They took us about 45 minutes away and we ate lunch. It was SO good. Then we headed to the Compassion office.
We spent the afternoon there and met with all the different teams who told us about Compassion in detail and how it works. I was told so many statistics and so many amazing things and I wrote them all down and wanted to share those with you. At one point I got overwhelmed because there is just so much to share.

A street corner market
Our team eating lunch
Going into the Compassion office

I realized that what I REALLY want to share with you is that Compassion is such an AMAZING organization. I've known about Compassion since college. I've sponsored a child for about two years. But today I realized that there is SO much more to compassion than just giving $38 a month to help a child go to school and be fed and taken care of. SO much more.

So much that I pretty much cried the entire time we were in the office today. I couldn't stop. Shaun was laughing at me and saying "Kelly - this is just the office. You realize we haven't even seen the kids yet". Yeah - I'm probably going to need valium and a box of kleenex by tomorrow.

I was just so overwhelmed with all the neat things Compassion is doing and how people like you and me can REALLY make a difference in the world. What I was impressed by the most is that every person we met today from the Director of the office to the administrative assistants - they just GLOWED with joy. When they talked about the work they were doing - seriously - they lit up from the inside. I've never seen anyone smile and be so incredibly happy describing their "job".

We learned about the three different aspects of Compassion and we are going to be seeing each of these in action over the next few days. I already knew about sponsoring a child but there is also something called CSP (Child Survival Program) that touched me incredibly! This is a program for mothers and babies up until school age. Maybe it's because I'm a new mother - but as a doctor who is on staff described the things they are doing to help the welfare of these mothers and babies - I was SO overcome with emotion. I'll tell you more about that on Wednesday after we visit one of these programs. (I'm afraid my blogs are going to be novel length this week because there is so much I want to tell you about).
I think this slide sums up one of the reasons that Compassion is so wonderful. In El Salvador alone - there are 35,000 children involved. About 20% of these children still need sponsors. But if you look at this slide - 86% of children accept Jesus as their Saviour between the ages of 3 and 12. Isn't that AWESOME?

El Salvador was just hit by a hurricane and is in a state of emergency and Compassion has already been working to help. They have given food and clothing and shelter to families. Compassion has emergency funds that they use to help countries that are hit where they have children sponsored. I think this is so great. They are also teaching families here to grow corn and raise chickens and be more self sufficient.

One of the happiest workers at compassion was showing us the letters that the children write along with the letters sponsors write to their children. They handle all of this in the office. I got choked up once again as they told us that some of these kids aren't shown love at home and the letters that sponsors write them mean so much to them. It shows them that someone loves them and cares.
A whole bunch of letters from children waiting to be mailed out to their sponsors.

Yes - it doesn't take much to find a way to sacrifice $38 a month to sponsor a child. One less meal out each month, one less Sonic drink or Starbucks each day, one less new shirt that month. For $38 - you can help change a child's life by making sure they are well fed, clothed, sent to school and told about Jesus.

But Compassion is SO much more than that. It's not just changing a child's life. It's changing a generation. It's changing a nation. It's changing the world.

75 comments:

Todd and Courtney said...

I've thought about you sooooo much today. I'm so so so happy you made it there safe and sound. Amanda and I send you our hugs and love!

Jess :) said...

I seriously, as I told you earlier, wish I could be there with you. One of the greatest JOYS is getting a letter from my sponsored child and then getting to write them back. Yes, it breaks my heart to know the kind of life they endure, yet it's so incredible to be able to give something back to them!

I could go on and on, but I'll save that for later. Just know that I am, and will continue, PRAYING for you, Scott, and the whole mission team.

I know you're going to change so many lives, Kelly...even if you do go through 10 boxes of Kleenex and need a little "extra" medicinal help, sister!

Love and Hugs

P.S. Make sure you take care of that eye!

P.P.S. Sorry, also wanted to let you know I'm praying for Harper and your mom and dad!

ashley said...

i can't wait to learn more about your trip to el salvador and compassion! thinking of you on your journey!

Ruthie said...

Thank you for sharing Kelly! I can't wait to hear more! We started sponsoring our first child last April and so we love learning the "behind the scenes!". Praying for you all! And... Did you hear? Stellan made it through his surgery and it was a success!!! Praise Jesus!

Ruthie

Susie from Bienvenue said...

Thank you Kelly for sharing your heart. I look forward to this week and learning more. Prayers for you,your team,and your family...(((hugs))) Susie Harris

Hoosier Mom said...

thanks you for sharing this with us... will be looking forward to your posts this week! So glad you get to experience this journey.

Bryan and Ashlan said...

Looking forward to hearing more. Yall stay safe!!

I am really enjoying learning about Compassion. :)

andrea said...

im so glad u updated!
i was running errands today and prayed for you today!!
shu im teary already and its only day one!!!!!!

cant wait to read more!

Mabe Babe Blog said...

Praying for your week Kelly! I am so touched and inspired by what you are doing. I hope to be able to go on a compassion trip myself one day.

ALWAYS THE ABRAMYANS said...

Kelly I am so proud of the work you are doing! I prayed for a safe trip last night and early this morning on my way to work. I have thought about you all day. I can't wait to hear more of your wonderful experience there. I too would be in tears. Children are so innocent and so often victimized. I'm glad you are spreading the word about Compassion so that others who may not have heard of it before can become more involved! I look forward to hearing more from you!

Kodi said...

I am already so blessed by your trip. Thank you Kelly!

shanaharder said...

thank you so much for sharing your trip with us! write a novel, girl! i love how you feel so deeply. i'll be praying for you this week.

jsiewert said...

that is all so amazing. I cant wait to see more.

Tara G. said...

It's amazing when you get in the thick of it, isn't it?! We're all going to need tissues, too, on this end! Blessings!

stephanie@{Olive Tree} said...

Kelly, I am so excited to read your posts from Compassion. We just started sponsoring a little girl a few months ago who shares the same birthday as my daughter. Thanks for the peek inside their organization and for your posts!

Elle Squared said...

You inspired us to sponsor a little girl this morning :) Keep us posted on the trip!

Myra said...

I am SO moved. Thank you so much for sharing all this. I can't wait to read more!

Praying so much for your time!

Jenny Garland said...

Kelly, I can't wait to hear about the rest of your trip. I think I'll need a valium and kleenex just reading about it. Sending hugs and prayers for a meaningful and safe trip.

Jenny

Lea Ann said...

This sounds incredible. Can't wait to hear more. Praying for you guys during your visit.

Lilly, Matt, and Sara said...

Praying for your week. Can't wait to hear more!!

Kelli said...

I sponsored a child for years through Compassion...he's an adult now! Blows my mind! Wonderful organization and they will always be close to my heart. Have a wonderful and safe trip!

Mandi said...

amazing. i've always wanted to sponsor a child, and i think once my husband and i get settled in hawaii i might talk to him about it. good luck and i'm thinking about you all!

Andolicious said...

Excited to hear more about your trip! I am so glad you are getting this opportunity. Those children are very lucky to have you there. I am emotional and I would be like you and would probably cry just listening to everything and before even seeing the kids! lol. I hope you enjoy your time there and write as much as you can!

From Marriage to Motherhood said...

Hi Kelly!

Your heart is going to continue to be touched in so many ways as you venture through El Salvador. I have ventured to Haiti and Guatemala for mission trips and returning to the states was such a culture shock. You truly do realize how much you take for granted. Your experiences are going to be life changing and you will encounter people, and have moments, that you will never ever forget. While it's a bit weird {for lack of a better word} to be out of your element in a new place, embrace each day that the Lord is using you!

Jen said...

I thought about you a lot today. I'm so glad you made it safely. I was in tears just reading your post. I can't wait to read your updates for the rest of the week.

This will be such an amazing experience, thank you for sharing it with us all.

Connie said...

Thank you so much for sharing this AMAZING experience with all of us! My husband, daughter and I started sponsoring a little boy, Hassan, from Bangladesh earlier this year! I'm so excited to be doing this and hope that some day we will get to make the journey to meet our child! Can't wait to read about the rest of your week :) May God continue to bless this wonderful journey for you!

oliviasmommy07 said...

THIS is what it is all about!! I admire you so much for doing this. It is hard to leave your baby for a whole week and go that far away~I know that God is with you each and every step of the way and that only through Him are you able to do this. What an amazing thing this is going to be when you are able to tell Harper about it one day! I look forward to learning more about Compassion and seeing what they are all about. I had never heard about them before you. Praying for you and your hubs this week as well as Harper and her grandparents!!

Josh and Maggie Seymour said...

This is great! I had the privileged to spend some time at the main Compassion office in Colorado Springs last month and take a tour there. It was great to learn how everything works behind the scenes. It just made me more excited to be sponsoring my child from Uganda. I look forward to hearing more about how things work in the field.

Candace Jean July 16 said...

Thank you for being such a selfless, compassionate sister in Christ! I'm so tickled - my daughter tweeted tonight that she just sponsored her first child through Compassion, and her name is Katherine, just like my daughter! So that makes me a grandma for the very first time! God is so good!

Donna said...

Hi Kelly, So glad to know you and Scott arrived safely. Write a novel if that's what it takes,because we want all the details. Good thing I'm here and not there...place would be flooded from tears. Sounds like other bloggers feel the same. Will keep my Harper withdrawl at bay by reading your Mother's blog. She tickles me. Take care.
Keeping you in my heart in Ga.
Donna

Jacquie said...

Well said, Kelly... and very moving.

I need to be diligent in writing letters to Amit!

Tales From My Empty Nest said...

I am so glad that you made it safely. I know you are going to have an amazing time on your trip. Thanks for sharing. My daughter went to the Dominican Republic and wanted to bring all the children home with her!! Love & blessings from NC!

Heather said...

Been praying for you all day, especially all the emotions. I knew this was going to be very emotional for you, Kelly, it's the new mom thing as well as just all that goes on over there, and just the huge heart that you have for people. I will keep praying. Keep being the hands and feet of Jesus!!!

Kristin said...

I am so excited to be hearing all about this from your first-hand experience!!! I don't know much about the organization and I would love to learn more. Thank you for being such a wonderful representative for Christians and for telling us all about it!!

I would've totally been crying the whole time too, I'm sure of it! :)

Girl Fisher said...

Kelly, one of our Compassion kids is in El Salvador! I am so excited to see the letters and to hear about what goes on. Maybe I'll even see a picture or two of her if you go to her location. I'm hoping one of the letters in the stacks is on its way to me!

Chari said...

I have been wondering how your first day was!
Thank you for sharing!
(oh and just having weaned myself I wonder if it's a little bit of those hormone changes that made you so weapy-but that's ok! I got weepy just reading your post!)

Robyn said...

Kelly, I have been thinking about your trip today and excited to see an update. We sponsor a child too. I let my 6 year old daughter choose one that has a birthday close to hers and they exchange letters. We started this when Angie Smith introduced it when she was preparing for her trip. It has really touched us to see my 6 year old write and tell the little girl, "Remember whatever you do or wherever you go, Jesus loves you!" She also said, "we pray for you every night." It is wonderful and brings tears to my eyes to see her giving of her own tooth fairy money to send her a Christmas gift. As my other girls get older, I will let them sponsor a child as well. Thanks for going and showing us what our money is actually doing!

Mandi said...

Our Compassion child lives in Thailand and was born the same day we got married! We have sponsored him for almost three years and we love getting letters from him! It's so great that you get to see Compassion in action...what a blessing this organization is to so many!

frannie said...

I am so glad to hear that you are having an awesome time in El Salvador. You inspired me to sign up to sponsor a little girl. She is even from El Salvador. Thank you so much for telling about this amazing program. I bet Harper is just so proud of her mommy and daddy.

Andy and Wendy Ingram said...

Praise God for his great work and bringing His glory and love through Compassion Internation!!!!!!!!!!!!! Praying for you tonight Kelly!

Channa said...

That is so awesome! I hope the trip continues to touch your heart and you continue to share the power of the Lord!

High Maintenance Mama said...

Oooooooooh GIRL!!! We would be a MESS together... I'm tearing up just READING your blog!!! Usually "Sweet Caroline" is the one that gets me all teary eyed and stuff.... Thanks for sharing!!! God is gonna do some AWESOME work through you and this BLOG... !!!

Lianna Knight said...

Great post Kelly! I can't wait to hear more...you are doing SO much for these children and I hope you know how much you inspire all of US!

Grandma~rella said...

I am so proud of you Kelly! So looking forward to hearing and learning more about Compassion and your experience there! God BLESS you honey! (((HUGS)))

Summer said...

Proud of you Kelly! I am glad you had a safe trip! God Bless you! Wow thanks for all the information!
Summer :0)

Fran said...

Kelly....thank you for sharing Compassion with us and exactly what it looks like to help a child!! I'll need the kleenex and valium too and i'm not even there!

Have a fabulous week. Keeping all of you in my prayers!!!

Hugs and blessings~
Fran

Carrie said...

Hi Kelly,

Love the updates and I am following you on twitter, it makes me feel like I am on the trip with you!

I know you don't answer questions from your comments, so I was wondering if someone reading this could help to answer my question.

How much of "$38 a month" actually goes towards the children and how much goes to running the organization?

I've always been skeptical on sponsoring children due to the fact that the top dogs running the programs are not hurting for any money...if you know what I mean. I want my money to mainly go towards the children, not the other way around.

The Allens said...

Kelly, this is so wonderful!!!!

Katie said...

I am loving reading about you doing this, Kelly! I would be so excited to have the opportunity to do things like this myself. My heart is there. So sending up lots of prayers on your behalf so the Lord works in you is the best I can do for now. :o)

Traci said...

We're praying. Do your thing girl!

Melissa's Thoughts said...

Bless you Kelly for bringing these children to us in this way. Prayin for you and Scott as I know God is going to use you in such a huge way!!

Rachel said...

I was waiting for your post all evening yesterday! So glad to read of your safe travels and a wonderful first day! Can't wait to read more!

Mary Michal said...

It looks like you're going to have such a great time. I can't wait to hear all about El Salvador and the children you will meet.

Sherri @ Luv a Bargain said...

I so so glad you are there safely. I have been thinking about you. I can only imagine how emotional it is and can't wait to read more and more about your days there.

Wendy said...

Good for you for getting so involved in such a great organization...you are such an inspiration!

Mrs. Mullen said...

I sponsor a young girl in El Salvador...these posts mean more to me than I can express in words. You're in my prayers!! I can't wait to read more!

Jill Foley said...

Well said, Kelly. Thank you for spreading the word!

jenn said...

i've been thinking about you guys since yesterday!!!

i was getting choked up just reading this blog -- i can't imagine how you must feel experiencing it :o)

blessings on all of you.

wcrowder said...

Kelly,
I sponsor a little boy in El Salvador through Compassion! These pictures made me cry to think about how close you may be to him! I hope you enjoy your trip tremendously!!! We LOVE Compassion!!
Whitney Crowder

Karen said...

I'm so excited to read about what you learn this week about Compassion Int'l. Very cool already!!

Courtney said...

We are so proud of you, Kelly! Keep up the fantastic work around the world :)

My personal blog:
www.finewire.blogspot.com

jason said...

Great post and I'm looking forward to seeing how this trip impacts you!

Lindsay said...

This is so amazing. You are so blessed to be able to have a chance to do something of this statue. I am so happy for you. Praying for you on your journey!

Karen said...

Hi Kelly, you are such an amazing person for doing this. I can't wait to read the rest of your journey in El Salvador.

Karen

Claire said...

What an amazing post! I am praying for you, lovely.

Cxx

Melissa said...

Thank you for sharing this with us. I know that this is just the beginning and I am looking forward to hearing the rest of your journey. Your story is really going to help all of us change the way we think, live and treat the world around us! Thank you for that! God bless you!

Katie said...

I told my husband today, I couldn't wait to hear that you guys made it there safely, but also how life changing this must be for you.
Can't wait to read more. Be safe and have a great time. Praying for you here in North Carolina.
-Katie K.

Erin said...

I am so happy for you to be having this experience. Meeting the children I know will just rock your world! Praying for you. Have a wonderful time.

...::Mrs. Southern Bride::... said...

Can't wait to hear more! Sounds like such an amazing opportunity!

Jessica's Journey said...

WOW, you are on a Compassion Trip? Awesome! My husband and I just recently started supporting a compassion child! AWESOME!

Have fun!

MamasBoy said...

Thanks for doing this. My family sponsors several kids and always love to hear about the good work of Compassion from people who get to visit.

Mitter said...

Our family sponsors a little 5 year old boy named Wilmer Odir Amaya Alvarado. Please look for him and give him a big hug from the Wells' family. Your trip will be life changing! Enjoy! Thanks you and God Bless--Mitzi Wells

Newlywed Next Door said...

Thanks so much for sharing your trip! Compassion sounds SO awesome!

I need to talk to my husband and pray about -- but I really want to sponsor a child a from El Salvador and I'm pretty sure we will! Let me know if theres any unsponsored little girls that you meet, or I'll just pick one from the Compassion website.

Caroline said...

This is so amazing! Thank you for opening my eyes up to this organization. I've been looking for a good Christian group to ally my finances with.
Lots of blessings and prayers!
xoxo

noahandlylasmommi said...

Amazing. It is so good to know that so many people out there make it their main purpose to make sure these children are saved. You are doing big things girl! P.S. I would be balling too so its ok ;)