Tuesday, November 10, 2009

El Salvador Day 2

So - frankly - I came this week and my mindset was that I felt a little guilty asking any of you to sponsor a child. I know we are in a recession. I know a lot of you have lost your jobs and possibly even your homes. I know a lot of you are struggling financially and asking you to sacrifice to sponsor a child - maybe it was too much. I try to be sensitive to the fact that a lot of you might not be in a great place right now.
And I'm still very sensitive to that - but I don't feel guilty to show you that even in a recession - we have SO much! We have NO idea. I want to share a little with you and I hope that your hearts will be open to help.

The children were so excited to greet us this morning at Project ES808!
It's a little surreal to me that I've seen Shaun Groves in concert twice and love his songs......and today - I totally sang back up with him! (Okay - maybe not - but we did as a group sing for the children - we sang "Open the Eyes of my heart Lord" and "Lord I lift your name on High".)
The children gathered around us and prayed. They just swarmed us and hugged us! They were so full of love and appreciative!
I just wish you could see the joy on their faces. When I asked them about their sponsors - they lit up!!!
Look at this beautiful face!
Shaun and some boys
The kids LOVED having their pictures made
Heather got to meet her sponsored child today (the little girl in brown) and spend the day with her! It was such a special day for them!
I thought this was the most beautiful little girl. She has a family but if they said I could adopt her - Harper would have a big sister! I just loved her. Keely took these amazing pictures!
And look at the joy on this face - she was so precious!
I just wanted to share a lot of pictures with you because I want you to see the children who are being sponsored by Compassion. I want you to see that it's real. These children are given so much opportunity. They are given food, clothing, medical help, spiritual guidance, and even training to help them support themselves.
So - we spent the morning with these beautiful, happy children. And then this afternoon - I got a glimpse at the rest of the story. I saw where the children come from, how they live, a little about the families they come from. And my perspective totally changed. I realized that Compassion truly is saving them.
I thought I understood "poor". What I didn't have a clue about was POVERTY. I was just in unbelief over how these people live. They live in just slums. Tin homes with dirt floors.
Literally - conditions I wouldn't want anyone to ever live in.
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.
I was able to pray with Marcos' mom and I told her I would ask my readers to pray for her. Would you? She and I have nothing in common except for being moms and loving Jesus. And I'm pretty sure that was enough to bond us for life.
When you climb down the hill from Marcos' house (literally - climb down a steep hill) - you come to the house of another family. They live in a one room house half the size of Harper's bedroom. They all 4 sleep together in one bed. But they were so happy and proud. The little girl is part of Compassion and she is graduating this week from kindergarten. She gave me her graduation picture!
(I forgot this important part of the story last night):
These parents work VERY hard to earn around $150 a month. The mother works very long hours making tamales and soup to sell. They have to lock their son (who I think was about 18 months old) and their little girl in their house (in a very dangerous gang area) and go to work when the grandmother is working and can't help. This is very common in poverty areas. I'm scared to leave Harper in another room while I run grab something for 5 minutes. Can you imagine having to leave your BABY home by himself for hours? Oh I pray for this mother's heart.
This couple has become involved with the church who runs the Compassion project. That is part of the outreach of Compassion. Because it is run by local evangelical churches - as children become saved and as their parents see how they are being helped - many of them come to church and meet Jesus themselves.

So when you sponsor a child - you are saving a child from complete poverty. You are also making an eternal impact by indirectly bringing these children to Christ.

I am praying that God will open your hearts. If you do choose to sponsor a child with Compassion - will you let me know????

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.
1 Timothy 6:17-18

101 comments:

Brooke and David said...

It's amazing to see the work you and your team are doing! I've been following you prior to doing this with Compassion and my husband and I have been talking about it. When you get back I'd like to communicate with you about how you got to do this. It's something my husband and I would eventually love to do.

Enjoy your time and we all can't wait to hear what God does through this!

Donna said...

Another great post and I'm in tears again. How many kids are you bringing home? I would try to bring them all home with me. Aren't they precious! You are a great ambassador for this group. They chose well.
Keeping you in my heart in Ga.
Donna

Todd and Courtney said...

oh this totally made me teary eyed. I want to meet my little girl Putri in Indonesia so bad...one day one day :) I'm so proud of you Kelly. You and Scott are such good parents and I know Harper will love reading these posts when she's older.

Lindsay said...

Thank you so much for opening my eyes. (they're crying, but they are open!)
We need constant reminders of people who don't live in the conditions that we do~thank you for what you're doing!

boomama said...

Absolutely beautiful, Kelly. Sitting here with tears in my eyes.

Vineyard Vogue said...

Your post and photos has brought tears to my eyes. What you and Compassion are doing is so beautiful. It makes me cry to think that although these children and families are living in such harsh conditions, they are still smiling because they have Jesus in their lives. Thank you so much for letting us follow along with you on this journey. My husband and I are going to sponsor a child through Compassion, and I hope that one day we can do what you and your husband are doing in El Salvador :)

Emily

Jennifer said...

I wanted to let you know that we just signed up to sponsor a child. I have thought about it before but tonight the prompting from The Lord was too strong to ignore. My God bless you and Compassion for what is being done for Him there.
Jen in Fort Smith Arkansas

Tara said...

Kelly, may God continue to bless you and the team while y'all are there. You are doing such a wonderful job of sharing and showing God's love. I also pray that God will continue to bless those you met today that they may come to truly know and experience Him. The story of Marcos just broke my heart because like you, I am so, so blessed and I get 'down' sometimes. Thank you for sharing this journey and for reminding us how blessed we are.

Mel said...

Kelly,
Like some of the comments before mine. I was totally moved by your story of Marcos and his mother. You are correct...we have so much and we still tend to have hard days as moms but nowhere near in those conditions. What an amazing spirit she must have. Thank you for sharing this tonight. Only on day two, girl and you are already inspiring and making a difference. :)

Mel

Stacy said...

After reading your comments yesterday, Kelly, my two kiddos and I went to Compassion's site and chose a 3-year old little boy in El Salvador named Samuel to sponsor. (He shares the same name as my own little guy!) I can't wait to receive our packet in a couple of weeks. Sponsoring this little boy, writing to him, and, most importantly, praying for him is going to be such a great lesson for my kids.

Thanks for taking this trip and blogging about it. I look forward to more updates. And while you're there, if you happen to meet a little 3-year old named Samuel, give him a big ol' hug for us!

Lindsay said...

Hi Kelly! I just commented on your previous post but wanted to tell you I signed up to sponsor a child tonight and I can't tell you how wonderful it feels! Thank you so much for your blog - without it I wouldn't be where I am in my relationship with God right now and probably wouldn't know about the sponsorship program. May God continue to bless you and Scott and all the others on your trip.

K. Joy said...

Tears and chills. Sign me up! I will continue to pray for you and all the people you encounter.

Andy and Wendy Ingram said...

What absolutely beautiful faces they have!!!!Christ has given you his eyes and heart to see so many! Thanks for the verse from 1 Tim. - I think I will put it to memory! I love how you are keeping your eyes on God! God is using you and Compassion to bring so much hope, healing and love to his beloved. He is bringing his glory and kingdom to earth by you going! Continue to cry out to God as you go forth in El Salvador. Praying for you and your husband tonight!

Katie said...

Beautiful post, Kelly! It just makes it so clear that "to whom much is given, much is expected," doesn't it? Praying for your new friends now...and for the ones you'll meet tomorrow. I'm hungry for more! :o) I'm praying for God to multiply the blessings of all your labors!

Preppy Pink Crocodile said...

You have me in tears! What a wonderfully life changing experience you are having this week!

pendy said...

Beautiful, honest, and hope-filled post. Thank you for being our 'soldiers on the ground' for Compassion El Salvador.

Lexie Loo & Dylan Too said...

What a touching post! It sounds (and looks) like you are having an amazing experience. It's a wake up call seeing those pictures. It's a big reminder to be grateful for what I have.

Kristen said...

Kelly,
We already sponsor a little girl in El Salvador. I am sad to say that I only go in spurts of being good at writing, even though I know how important and vital it is. If you by chance get to visit ES-720-0626 and meet Ana Maria (almost age 7), will you tell her that her sponsors (Jeff, Kristen and kids) love her, pray for her, and desire God's best for her? Thank you for showing me pictures of El Salvador.

Katelyn said...

I signed up to sponsor a little girl last night!!! I cant wait to recieve my packet and start sending her letters!

Thanks so much for sharing about your trip! It is amazing to see people so on fire for God who rely COMPLETELY on Him EVERYDAY. It has opened my eyes a lot to the numerous blessings in my life that I usually fail to see!

Praying for you, hope you continue to have a great trip!

Katie said...

Kelly, I just wanted to let you know that you so inspired me to sponsor a child through Compassion. I cried tears of sadness and tears of hope while reading about your experiences in El Salvador. I am a mother of a beautiful 5 year old girl (Anna Kate), who was born 2 months early after 7 years of infertility and 5 months of bed rest. She is our miracle, just as every child of God is. I sat down with Anna Kate and let her go through the children's photos so we could select a child together. She chose a 7 year old girl from the Philippines name Myla and I felt an instant connection with her. I am so excited to receive our Sponsorship Packet and learn more about Myla. But more than anything, I am looking so forward to taking Anna Kate shopping for Myla's first package from us. It really is going to be a humbling experience for us all. Thank you so very much for sharing your testimony and love for the Compassion program. I'm confident that little Myla won't be the only precious child of God to benefit from your sweet spirit.

Hugs,
Katie Lee
Eufaula, AL

P.S. War Eagle!

Caroline said...

Kelly, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for these posts. They mean so much to me and are helping me to realize that I cannot wait to be rich in finance to give richly to others.
I am keeping you and your team in my prayers. xoxo

~
Now that I have seen, I am responsible / Faith without deeds is dead / Now that I have held you in my own arms, I cannot let go till you are..

I am on a plane across a distant sea/ But I carry you in me
and the dust on, the dust on, the dust on my feet
~

Lianna Knight said...

Kelly,

The story of Marcos and mom touched me SO much. I am going to talk to my husband about this tonight and see if there is SOME way for us to sponsor a child. We are working through our finances right now, but I know the Lord will double bless us if He knows we are doing what we can to make that sacrafice and help someone else.

Bless you for sharing :)

The Munleys said...

Kelly, I know you have so much going on right now with your wonderful trip, and I am contacting you with a heavy heart. I was hoping that you could pray for my husband...and anyone else who is in my situation. I feel that the Lord has called on us to sponsor a child. I have been blowing this feeling off for a few months now.

Well, your blog posts have really opened the flood gates to my heart and tonight I begged and pleaded with my husband to sponsor a child. He does not want to, and it is for no reason. We can afford it. So if you could please just lift those up with closed off hearts to Compassion (including my husband) I will greatly appreciate it.

I am praying for you and Scott and your entire team and also Harper and your parents. You have been such a blessing to me.

Take care!!! Cristin

Bethany at 3SonsPlus1 Crew said...

I know what you mean about having your eyes opened. We complain about such trivial matters when there are people who go without every single day. God opened my eyes last year while we were in Guatemala finishing up the adoption of our amazing baby girl.

We live in a broken world that is just crying out for Christ's love and compassion. This week you are truly Christ's hands and feet- may you continue to be blessed!

Sponsoring a child is a beautiful, honorable and loving thing to do...as a blessed adoptive Mom, I would encourage everyone to pray and consider ADOPTION too!

duchess said...

Kelly, thanks so much for showing us a part of the world we usually never get to see. We can watch on tv and wonder if it's staged but you're taking us there with you and letting us meet the families that you're meeting. You are making a difference. I'm going to use your blog posts to show my children a world they have no knowledge of and we will go over to Compassion and sponsor a child. Thanks again for taking us along on your mission trip. Safe travels & prayers from SC.

taralynn819 said...

We have been sponsoring our Compassion son David in Ecuador for 3 years now, but you have inspired me to write to him this morning!

taralynn819 said...

Cristin -

Maybe somebody else who comments here who also would like to start sponsoring will split the monthly support with you and both families could "share" the sponsored child! I know some church groups do this. Maybe your husband would be open to that suggestion?

The Munleys said...

taralynn819-
That is a great idea...and a wonderful compromise with my husband. Maybe I could see if our Sunday School Class would go in with us...or even family. Great Thinking!
-Cristin

Claire said...

What an amazing post! What brilliant work these people do. I am hoping to soon have my finances in order, and be able to join Compassion too.

Cxx

Leslie Young said...

Sobbing in my jammies here in my comfy living room on my sofa with my laptop. Praying for moms and kids in El Salvador. Compassion Bloggers got me earlier this year with their stories of India and I decided to sponsor a child there. I'm so thankful for the work you guys are doing to increase awareness of this amazing movement.

Betsy said...

After reading your experiences and many other my family has decided to sponsor a child. My little boy and I have been looking through the pictures and deciding which child we would like to sponsor. Thanks for all you are doing.

Summer said...

This post gave me chills and tears! It is wonderful what you are doing! I pray for Marcos and his mother and all the children and families there! Thanks for increasing the awareness of this amazing movement.
Summer :0)

Tara G. said...

Kelly and Scott- just spent a few minutes in prayer for you. Mr. YH and I are enjoying your posts! Blessings!!

Mrs. Cup said...

Kelly,

On Sunday, our pastor said that if you make more than $40,000, you make more that 99% of the world's wage-earners. If you make more than $50,000, you're in the top 1%. My husband and I were so convicted!

We sponsor a little boy named David in Rwanda through Compassion. I am really enjoying your posts about your trip, and am so thankful for Compassion!

Whitney said...

Kelly, thank you for sharing these stories and photos with us! You are sharing God's hope with those you're meeting and He will bless you abundantly for that! My husband and I sponsor a girl from the Philippines named Claudine, and we have so enjoyed getting to know her through our correspondence. I am praying for you and your team as you continue your journey.

Melissa's Thoughts said...

I don't know how you can make it from house to house. I'm crying in the comforts of my home and I can't even imagine what these people go through daily. I will be in prayer for them.

Juggling Thoughts said...

I think I would love to do this, Kelly. This post really opened my eyes...thank you :)

Personal blog:
www.finewire.blogspot.com

KK said...

Thanks so much for sharing and please know I will continue to pray for your entire team and everyone you meet while you are there.
I've adopted a little girl for my sister with the same name as her step-daughter she lost to Cancer 2 years ago. She in turn has adopted a little boy for my brother. A wonderful ministry, one that I pray will continue to be blessed.
Blessings and prayers,
Kaye
Matthew 21:22

Patty said...

Kelly, this just brings me to tears and I can't even imagine what it feels like to leave your child locked up while you work because of gangs. I will pray for them and Marcos and his mom. It just breaks my heart.
The truth is that I would love to sponser a child. I have not worked since cancer and live with my brother. He lost his job a year ago and we lost our home BUT God gave him a job a few weeks ago and we are moving forward to getting back on our feet. I told you all of that to tell you this, I have been praying God would make a way for me to sponser a child. I really want to! I want to bless a sweet child. I am believing God is going to open a door for me to do that and when He does, I will be back to let you know!! Praise God!
Blessings,
Patty

Jenni said...

Kelly, I signed up to sponsor a child yesterday. Our church has really started focusing on each individual doing their part for missions and I have been VERY convicted over the past month. Compassion has been one of the organizations that has come up with our church and then you started blogging about it and about your trip and that was it! I cannot wait to get my child's packet. I am also feeling some nudges from God to possibly go on a mission trip some day and before I hit the submit button I prayed for my child, that if it was God's will that He would open the way for me to meet this child one day. I could just cry.

Thank you for all your posts and pictures and for letting us know your emotions--I am living vicariously through you right now!

Have you heard the song by Leeland, I think it's called "Follow You". It says--I'll follow you into the homes of the broken, follow you into the world. Meet the needs of the poor and the needy, God, follow you into the world. If you haven't heard it, you need to listen to it--I feel like it should be a Christian's theme song!

Our Curly Girls said...

Kelly,

Thank you for taking our eyes and our hearts with you on your Compassion trip. The poverty did not surprise me--it was the extent of poverty and seeing the faces of poverty--that has brought me to tears reading your posts. Seeing those beautiful, smiling families in such dire need just broke me down. Thank you for that! We all need to feel this heaviness in our hearts.

Our church is sponsoring Compassion. I can't wait to sponsor a child in need and help shine Jesus' love in a child's heart....to help a child and his family find hope in the promise of our God.

I will continue praying for you and Scott...and your entire team. Enjoy your week....and please share hugs from me with all those precious children and their families. Thank you for all you do....and for opening our hearts!

God bless!

xoxo

S.A.

Rachel said...

Simply amazing! Thank you for such thoughtful posts Kelly!

Tiffany said...

What an amazing journey you have had so far! Thank you for sharing about these families and these precious children. The photos are amazing and really allow us a "personal" look into their lives. Thank you for sharing that verse. What a great reminder. XOXO

Megan said...

What incredible stories. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing! You are so meant to be on this trip - I value what you are showing us so much. I'm so excited for you to meet your sponsored child tomorrow!

Erica said...

oh all of your pictures are just blessing my heart so much! what a beautiful ministry. i just love compassion. if we could afford to sponsor another child, we would! we have been sponsoring a little boy through compassion named appu in india for almost 5 years now... it was one of the first things my husband and i did when we got married. it's such a blessing to watch them grow & receive sweet letters from them in the mail!

melissa said...

Kelly, thanks for sharing these reports and stories. I just signed up to sponsor a little boy there.
I'm impressed with what Compassion is doing and how they are focused on meeting spiritual and material needs. How can our hearts not be moved when we see their reality? It's so heartbreaking but you are right-there is hope.

April said...

These children in Salvador so remind me of my children born in Guatemala, the need is sooo great in those countries, you can't imagine...so glad you are there to see and blog about it!!!! Keeping you in our prayers and the beautiful children and people of Salvador as well...

jason said...

Awesome story Kelly. Thank you.

creative gal said...

beautiful! Thanks for sharing. I currently sponsor a child through World Vision. . .

Aja said...

My heart is always heavy for those who live in such poverty. There are definitely disadvantaged people living in the US, but even just by virture of living in America, we are all so much better off than so many others. I have sponsored a little boy in El Salvador. It brings tears of joy and thankfulness to my eyes to know that God loves him just as much as He loves my beautiful little boy. Have a great trip Kelly!

Because of Love said...

Reading both your and Heather's post and tweets the last few days has been so touching. My husband and I have talked about sponsoring a child for awhile now. I have wanted to do it for YEARS. I think now may be the time....

Please know that I am praying for your team. And give a child or two a hug for me!

Lucky in Love said...

Kelly,

Thank you so much for posting about your experience in El Salvador. I promptly went over to the website and found a child of my own to sponsor. I just know it is an organization that is doing such fabulous things...and I feel like there is something I can do to help. Thank you so much for pointing me in the right direction. When I saw the little girl's face...I couldn't wait to hit submit.

I just hope I can be as wonderful of a sponsor as you and Scott are.

XOXO

Momma X 4 said...

Kelly ~ I read your blog every single day and this is the first time I have ever posted. You are an amazing woman in Christ with a beautiful heart. I am 30 years old and a single mom to 4 children (ages 10 to 16 months) - I am financially strapped like most all people are, but I am going to sponsor a child now because of your encouragement - but mostly importantly, because God is really pulling at my heart to do so. This is so amazing and I can't wait to learn more. My kids and I are going to give up eating out once a month in order to do this.
Blessings,
Michelle
Oklahoma :)

Meaghan and Wes said...

Kelly,
Thanks so much for your posts and for being willing to step out of your comfort zone and travel with Compassion. After reading yesterday's post I immediately wrote our Compassion son in Ethopia. My husband and I decided to sponsor him a couple of months after our daughter was born in June '08. I am so thankful for my blessings, especially after seeing your photos, which puts things in perspective. Look forward to your upcoming stories!

Nancy said...

Beautiful, Kelly! I just wanted to let you know that instead of Christmas gifts for the two of us this year, my husband and I decided we would love to sponsor a child and send them something extra special. Thanks for sharing this life changing experience with all of us!!

Bethany said...

Kelly,
Thank you for showing us what you have experienced! It is very difficult for many of us to understand what is really happening in these countries.
I hope God allows me to venture out some day and see how He is working in so many lives...lives that are in unfortunate circumstances.
Thank you! :)

The Smith 4 said...

What an amazing thing you are a part of down there! I am enjoying looking at the pictures and seeing all the sweet little faces. But it breaks my heart to see the situations they have to live in. You and the people you are with will definitely be in my prayers over the next few days. It is amazing that these little faces are getting to know Christ and can see a future for themselves through this program! Keep up the good work!

Sasha said...

Kelly, I just signed up to sponsor a three year old little girl. Thanks for spreading the word to all of us bloggers!

Sasha
www.sashasays.com

Taylor said...

That is truly amazing! What an awesome awesome work you guys are doing and as soon as my husband gets home we're going to discuss sponsoring a child!

Mrs. Mullen said...

I sponsor a girl in El Salvador and one in Haiti. These posts mean sooooo much to me!!! I can't wait to read the next one. I'm also jealous (if I'm honest) because I can't wait to meet my sponsored children one day. I've never met them and they both have my full heart. God is so good and I am sooo blessed.

John and Shanna said...

I just wanted you to know how moving this is. My husband is in medical school so our finances are very slim. We are praying about a way for us to start sponsoring a child starting Jan 1. Thanks for being such a wonderful steward!

Sarah Wyland said...

Your post brought tears to my eyes. I think it's so amazing that you and your husband are being so selfless. My prayers are with you. Please keep shining your light on others.

Alleen said...

I am enjoying reading about your trip and the experience. My daughter was adopted from Guatemala. I went on a mission trip there earlier this year(which I hope is a yearly trip for me) and I know exactly what you are feeling when you say it's hard to understand the conditions these families live in. You will never view your world the same after this.

God bless you and the whole group.

Jennifer said...

What a great post! I know you are blessing them just as they are blessing you!

Josh and I have supported a child through World Vision since we got married but I'm thinking we may need a Compassion child as well. This is such a wonderful program!

Aunt Jenn Creates said...

Thank you for sharing your journey with me. Because of your journey; as of today I am the proud sponsor of a little girl in El Salvador. I am so excited that I have been given this opportunity. Thank you for letting God work through you!

Andra said...

Kelly,

I have known about Compassion for some time now but never really looked into it before reading your post today. What an awesome ministry! I just signed up to sponsor a little girl from El Salvador named Paola - she looks like a little princess! I can't wait to get my packet and become a part of her life. Thank you for opening the door for God to lead me in this direction!

Blessings,
Andra

tammy said...

Hi Kelly-

Thank you for so much for following your heart and going on this trip even though it meant leaving your precious girl and flying! As a mom, and a fearful flyer, I know how hard that was! However I want you to know that because of you, 3 more of those precious children will be sponsered by the end of the day!!!!

My 3 kids, ages 14, 14, & 11,are out of school today in honor of Veterans Day, our plan was to go to the mall later today. However after reading your last 2 posts, I've decided that we will spend our afternoon here at home, baking cupcakes and letting them look through the Compassion site so that they can each choose a special child to sponser! I'm so proud of them because they are excited to do it!

They know how blessed we are and how much they have, so they've agreed to use part of their allowance to pay half the monthly cost and their dad and I will pay the balance for them. I am so excited to involve them in this! What a gift for them! They are all excited to write their first letter and to go shopping for "their" new friend!

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart thank you, for helping me teach my children about showing God's love and sharing their blessings with those less fortunate....

We continue to pray for the whole team as well as your family back here caring for sweet Harper.

Blessings,

Tammy

Marla Taviano said...

Praying for that sweet mama.

Hers and His said...

My husband and I are on the Dave Ramsey budget and we both get allowance money every month. About a year ago, I decided to use most of my allowance money to sponsor a little boy in Brazil through Compassion. It has been such a blessing. Like you said, I would totally adopt him if his family would allow it!

It feels good to know that each month I'm spending my allowance on this sweet boy instead of on fast food, getting my nails done, etc.

I can't wait to read more about your trip.

Laurie said...

This was just wonderful! Just what I needed this afternoon. You will never been the same!

Cupcake Mama said...

We have sponsored a Compassion child for a little over a year now. Our children's doctor (who also goes to our church) has made several trips medical mission trips and twice has been able to meet one of her Compassion children. Since she services both Compassion and non-Compassion children on these trips, she has shared first hand what an incredible difference sponsorship makes. She said she knows within 60 seconds if it is a Compassion child before her or not - physical and emotional traits are obvious.

Kendra said...

We just signed up to sponsor a girl from Columbia. Because we have been blessed with too much not to share. Thank you Kelly for opening my eyes!

Lolidots said...

I am crying as I read your posts from there. Crying for those people and what they must endure. Crying at the overwhelming hope that they have. Crying at the overwhelming faith that they have. Crying because people like you are brave enough and care enough to help them and give them more hope.

You and all those with Compassion are amazing.

The Irish Lass said...

Hi Kelly, just wanted to let you know that I signed up to sponsor a child from Compassion today, thanks to you- she is from the Phillipines. It's really easy, just google Compassion International and then pick a child from their photo lineup and sign up from there, it's really easy. I can't wait to write her letters and stuff like that. We are so blessed here in the U.S., more than we could ever know, and it's a honor to be able to help a child in such a wonderful way.

You know Kelly, you're going to come back from this mission trip with a whole new perspective on life in the U.S. and on life in general. Your life will never be the same.

Nikki said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing all of this. I am so convicted.
-Nikki

cry angel said...

Wow wonderful children very very very

Christine said...

Thanks for sharing you insights Kelly...love hearing these stories from your perspective.

The Rand's said...

I've read your blog for about a year now, but have never commented. But I couldn't resist after this post. What you and your husband are doing is amazing. The joy in those children shine through the pictures. Praise God and Compassion!

Sarah Duncan said...

I am so glad that you shared this. We have sponsored a little girl in Africa through Compassion for several years now. I am so impressed with them and how so much of our donations go directly to the child. I now feel God's pull to sponsor another one.

97Tarheel said...

Hi Kelley;
I have been following your blog for about a year. I enjoy reading your stories about Harper. I have 2 little girls, 3.5years and 23mo. I am so glad to hear about Compassion. It has been weighing heavily on my heart to sponsor a child and so I think God has used your blog to direct me to Compassion. I signed up Monday and am looking forward to receiving my package and to see who was picked for me.
Thanks again,
Cayce

Erin said...

ok, so don't get my wrong, I think it's AMAZING what you are doing with sponsoring a child. And I would totally love to do it if I had the money. However, there are so many needy families right here in the US. Yes, I know for the most part people here have more than in overseas. But when you work as a special education teacher in the middle of nowhere and a high Native population, I don't have to look far to find people who need me help. People who can't afford the basics, and who have so much else to worry about in regards to their family life that there are days when I have to be a counselor rather than a teacher. So, yes, I give you a lot of credit and I think what you are doing is fantastic, but I'm a firm believer in helping people who live in our own country first.

The Irish Lass said...

Hi Kelly, I just found out that my mom used to work for Compassion in 1963, she eventually became a special ed elementary school teacher. She said that Compassion is a well-established, well-organized group. Small world!

Rachel H. said...

This is too sweet, and I love your story and all the pictures! All of those little ones are just amazing!

Father's Grace Ministries said...

Thankyou for bringing the faces, lives and hearts of the people of El Salvador into our homes via your blog. What a work the Lord is doing there!

Just think a generation growing up to know the Lord Jesus, could eventually cause the gangs to no longer be a part of the culture. I'm trying to imagine El Salvador 30 years down the track from now with the wonderful work the Lord is doing through COMPASSION!

For those living in Australia, another way to help COMPASSION is to support your local "Gloria JEan's Coffee Shop". THey are part of a group started by Christian businessman Peter Daniels, and these shops help support a whole Compassion village in South America!

Claire

Kelly said...

Thank you, Kelly, for your posts and pictures...my husband and I sponsor three children through Compassion....a 12 year old girl in Tanzania, a 9 year old boy in Uganda and a 19 year old girl who is in college in Ethiopia, but still enrolled in the Compassion program....their letters & pictures mean the world to me and I love writing to them and occasionally getting to send family gifts/birthday gifts of money....I would LOVE to sponsor another child, these beautiful children from El Salvador are amazing and drawing me....thank you and all the others on the team for sharing them with us..!

Michelle said...

Hi Kelly!!

I just sponsored Jose from El Salvador!!! Thanks for motivating me to do something like this...I am so excited and I think this will be a great experience and lesson for my 2 children!

Amy said...

Because of your posts, my family has decided to sponsor a child through Compassion. It is something we have been thinking about doing but have never followed through on.
My husband and I lost our first daughter 4 years ago to a rare genetic disorder. We found a 4 year old little girl in Nicaragua that shares our daughter's birthday. This is the child we chose to sponsor. What a wonderful feeling to help a little girl who is exactly the age that our own daughter would have been!!
Thanks for your posts. How neat that you are meeting so many of the children face to face!

Karah said...

This post brought tears to my eyes. You are doing Gods amazing work. I am honored to "know" you through this blog. What an amazing thing you and scott and all the people of Compassion are doing. I can't believe what those kids and families have to go through. It really tugged on my heart strings. Thanks for posting your expereince with Compassion.

~Karah

Kristin said...

My family started sponsoring a child through Compassion yesterday because of you. We already sponsor a child through another charity, but hearing from you and seeing the pictures made it easy to decide to sponsor. Thanks!

Lauren said...

Hi, Kelly - I participated in a mission trip to San Juan when I was a senior in high school, and saw much of the same poverty that you're seeing there. And yet, all of the children that we taught VBS to seemed to radiate light...it was amazing.

I just signed up to sponsor Evelyn Johanna Quintanilla Cortez through Compassion; she is six and lives in El Salvador. I cannot wait to find out more about her. Evelyn was my grandmother's name and so I instantly teared up when I saw this little girl. Thanks for inspiring me and so many other people.

Faith said...

I am loving the updates and seeing these pictures from your trip. Oh, it just reminds me how incredible it is to be on the mission field and to see how God is working in the lives of others across the world. He is so good!

Cas said...

It is so great to see photos from your trip. I've sponsored a child for about 6 months now through Compassion. He is in Ethiopia and it is doubtful I will get there to meet him.
They really are making a difference for children around the world.

Tracy said...

Hi Kelly - I have been reading since Harper was born, but have not commented before. Thank you for the wonderful information and pictures. I have just signed up to sponsor a little girl named Gloria who lives in Togo in West Africa. Thank you for moving me to act!

2 little Boys said...

Thank you Kelly for sharing about your mission trip, your feelings, your experiences each day, and the faces of the people that you are touching in God's name and that you are being touched by. I will continue to pray for ya'll as God uses you daily, may you be FILLED in His name.

Daily laying it at the Master's feet!
Laura Ann

kay said...

I wept today. I found your blog through one of Angie Smith's posts, where I also visited the Compassion site. I read about Angie's Compassion trip earlier this year, but today I felt the pull to sponsor a child myself.

I looked at a picture of a young boy in El Salvador, read his story, and the floodgates opened. The lives these children live... I wish I could bring each of these families home with me.

When I clicked "Sponsor This Child", it turns out someone had sponsored him as I was reading his story and crying. Glory to God! Someone else fell in love with him, too. That means TWO children were sponsored in that short period of time, as I went on to sponsor 5 year old Kalkidan in Ethiopia. He will be on my heart everyday, along with the rest of the people living in this horrible poverty.

You are so wonderful, Kelly. I pray that I can make a similar journey someday. I feel a calling to do MORE.

noahandlylasmommi said...

Wow you have me in tears over here. Praying for all of these families.

Andolicious said...

Kelly thank you so much for writing about this experience! I cried reading everything you wrote. My heart hurts for them, not being safe, being so poor and living in those conditions. I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to sponsor a child but right now I am unemployed. But $38 a month is nothing, but it means a lot to the children there. With what you and Angie have written, when I get a job Compassion will be my choice for sponsoring a child. Thank you.

Fran said...

Again...I am just blown away by your stories and life that you are sharing with us! Thank you Kelly!

I'm thrilled to have Sofia in our lives and praying for all of you and these children.

Hugs,
Fan

Dress Up & Dinosaurs said...

What a beautiful post. Thank you. We have thought about sponsoring a child for a couple of years, but your post today is what finally prompted us to follow through with it. We chose a 4 year old little girl, Irene from El Salvador. She is exactly one day older than our 4 year old and Irene's middle name is Abigail, which happens to be our daughter's name! We're so excited to get to know her and hope to sponsor more children in honor of our children as they get older.

Barb said...

You said you wanted to know if a child was sponsored, so that is why I'm posting a comment. I sponsored a little girl named Iris today, after reading your latest blogs. She is from El Salvador, I don't know what part yet. Her ID# is ES8600179 if you would like to look at her pretty little face. I clicked on "waiting the longest" for a sponsor & she is one that came up. I wonder if you can send things DIRECTLY to your sponsored child? Do you know? I would love to send her some pretty dresses for bible study or when she goes to school.

Jen said...

Kelly - last night our family made the commitment to sponsor a little 8 year old named Leo from El Salvador. We are so excited to become a part of his life!!!