I was asked to go to Kenya a few months ago by my friend Bri, who works with Compassion International. I was slightly excited (just kidding – beyond excited) about this offer because I’ve never been to Kenya and then when she told me that I could actually bring one of my kids along with me, the excitement level quadrupled.
You see, if there’s one thing that Aaron and I want to teach our kids besides the saving grace of God’s love for them, it’s that the world we live in is not the world most people live in. That our home in Austin, Texas is not the representative for all homes of the world. That our 3 meals a day that sometimes include appetizers (when Aaron’s cooking – obviously) are not the norm. That turning the faucet to the right for cold water on a hot day and having zero worries about that water infecting you with disease is not the norm for the world around us.
These are the things we want our kids to know. In fact not only to know, but also to see. To see with their own eyes. To hear with their own ears. To smell with their own noses.
This is why my heart exploded when I knew I could bring my son with me on this trip. For him to see, hear, and smell the world around him is something we desire for all of our kids. Because as parents we want them to see the injustices of the world so that they know what to fight, and goodness gracious we want them to see the HOPE in the midst of those injustices as well, so they know who to fight with.
You see, injustice is everywhere. We live in a fallen world where things will never be as they should be until Jesus does what he’s promised to do, and eventually makes things right again. But friends, there is HOPE right in front of us, even in the midst of the pain, sorrow, sadness, and INJUSTICE. Today we witnessed the HOPE that Compassion brings to children.
Today my son, Deacon, and I sat in the house of a woman who has hope for her two girls that are a part of the child sponsorship program. We had to first walk through the slum area called Mathare, which is the 2nd largest slum area in the city of Nairobi, and has over 600,000 people living there to get to her home. As we walked, the smells were overwhelming. The lack of water and toilets was evident as we walked.
It is always an honor when anyone invites you into their home, and this was no different. While we were there we heard her tell stories of how her daughter’s lives are different because of them being in the sponsorship program with Compassion. That they are getting an education, food while at school, and medical intervention if needed. Deacon asks the momma how Compassion was helping her life. She told us that because she knew that her girls were taken care of, it was helping her to be able to focus on her older kids. In fact before we left, we prayed for one of her older sons since she thought he might be getting into trouble and feared for his life.
As I listened to this momma I understood her heart. Because you see a momma understands another momma. She was overjoyed at the opportunity her girls have through Compassion, and she was broken for the injustice that has its grip on her son. But once again there it was shining so brightly in front of my eyes – HOPE in the midst of INJUSTICE. She has hope because Compassion has stepped in and offered that to her in the name of Jesus.
Along with visiting this momma’s house and hearing her heart for her kids, we visited the classrooms at the Compassion center. We helped them serve snack and lunch. We sat and heard two older boys stories of how Compassion had stepped in and intervened in their world in the best of ways.
My day was made in watching my son jump in and serve and play with the kids. He served rice, he served tea, he drew pictures, he held hands, he did it all.
You see I want him to see the hard stuff because those faces of poverty don’t pop up in his everyday world. I want him to see the sorrow in the world, I want him to look at the slum with his own eyes, hear the sounds with his own ears, and smell the smells with his own nose. But more than that, I want him to look HOPE straight in the eyes and behold the beauty it radiates. You see my friends, in this world HOPE means everything to people. It means everything to me, and it means everything to every single momma that sends her babies to this Compassion center every single week.
These kids get the great opportunity to be a part of this center through God’s grace, and through people just like you that sponsor them every single month. I’ll say it again and again until I die, I promise you that if you commit to sponsoring a child through Compassion you will never one time regret the $38 at the end of the month. Never. I promise.
Will you think about joining me in sponsoring a child in Kenya today? Tomorrow I’m meeting our sponsored child and I CAN NOT WAIT to meet him, his momma, and give them great big kisses.