In 2007 I started sponsoring 7-year-old
Normally on a sponsor visit the Project is the first stop, but since today was the first day of school for the year and there was no Project action in the morning, we went to the family’s house first. It was interesting going back a second time. A lot of the conversation revolved around what had happened in the last three years, for both of us, and what had changed. We reminisced over what we remembered about the last visit. The family knew a lot about me, because they are very interested in my letters.
I still learned some new things about the family today. I learned the kids have to get up really early to get to school (which starts at 7.30) because there’s 49 kids in
The ambition, optimism and dreams of this family is mind-blowing and breathtaking considering their circumstances, but it comes purely and simply from their unshakeable contentment, joy, faith and trust in Jesus. I felt so blessed to be connected to this family. Papa took us out the back and showed us the process for making horchata. The family’s menagerie of animals was still there from last time: a cat, a couple of dogs, some chickens, a green Australian parrot…
After a wonderful conversation, gift giving and recreating the family photo out the front of the house, we headed out to San Miguel for some lunch. I received some respite from Pollo Campero (not that I need it) because
Project visits are always a joy, and this was no exception. Last time I was here it was El Salvador Children’s Day, so things were quite chaotic, with piñatas and lollies flying everywhere. Today was a lot more relaxed. We were greeted with the children in a guard of honour, some holding red, blue and white streamers. We went upstairs to a big room, where they welcomed me, I introduced myself and showed them the Australian football, they sang a couple of songs to me, and I played “Blessed Be Your Name” and “Open the Eyes of My Heart” on an unfortunately out-of-tune guitar. After this it was off to their classes.
Rosa and Twin Sis are nearly 13, and are into things most girls that age are into. The Project offers a Cosmetology workshop (hair, nails, manicures, pedicures etc.) for the girls, and I understand some of the girls who have done it in the past have gone to earn an income out of it. So part of what Compassion is offer the kids (and often the parents) income-generating skills to help lift themselves out of poverty.
In a very special time, I was able to meet and talk to the group of girls, aged 13-15 doing the cosmetology workshop. We traded questions and answers, and of course the question came up about whether I was married or had a girlfriend. Answer: No. Moving on, thanks… I was privileged to be able to lift up this group of girls to God, and pray for them on behalf of their sponsors. We went around the circle and they shared prayer requests. Most of them kept it fairly basic, but I was honoured that they’d only just met me but were willing to share things that were happening in their lives. I prayed about their families, friends, studies, sponsors, and that they would make wise decisions about their lives as they got older.
After this was play time. We went out on the street, kicked the footy and the soccer ball, jumped a skipping rope and had races. I did much more than my knees were happy with. We finished with a special time of eating pupusas (and too much orange drink) with just
I was also honoured to be able to pray for and encourage each family member and the Project workers who were there.
Because the driver, Jorge my translator and I are staying in San Miguel, I was able to spend more time with the family and didn’t have to rush off. We ended up leaving at 5.00, which made for a tiring, but incredibly rewarding and positive day.