Thursday, July 28, 2011

More Children in Peru

"And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward." - Matthew 10:42

This beautiful girl is Yosi, short for Yoselin.

Yosi spotted us right away as we began walking to the Compassion church and student center in the morning. She was so friendly and captured our hearts right away. She held our hands, sat in our laps and asked for photos with us. A gorgeous girl with a big heart. Throughout the morning I saw her bonding with at least half of our team members. We all assumed she was a participant in the program. We even met her sister and a brother.

In the afternoon we found out from the director that Yosi is one of 10 children. She has been registered in the program, but her mother pulled her out. She so badly wants to participate, but her mother won't let her. The staff recognizes the great need in this family and has tried to register the mother and baby in the CSP program. But the mother refuses. The director was explaining to us that the mindset of poverty can be so powerful, and for some, this is all they have ever known. The thought of being released from poverty is too overwhelming for them so they refuse the help.

It was heartbreaking to learn that this beautiful child cannot fully benefit from Compassion's ministry because the mother is reluctant. But it was also beautiful to see the love the Compassion staff poured out on this girl. When she comes to the church hungry, they do not turn her away (even when she shows up 5 minutes later with a brother or sister). She definitely touched my heart, and I hope we were able to shower her with love for the day.

We spent the rest of the afternoon interacting with the different classes and students. I headed to the top level of the student center - the roof - where the teens have a classroom.

This was the view from the top of the church/student center...looking down on the neighborhood.

This particular Compassion student center has a hydroponic garden on the roof. Compassion divides the children into three levels, depending on age and grade. Students in level 2 learn how to grow lettuce, tomatoes and strawberries through hydroponic gardening methods. It was so interesting to see. They also have a silk screening program that the level 3 students learn.

Myself and several other advocates had the opportunity to talk with these teens for quite a bit. We had fun asking them questions and they asked us questions. We were thankful to find out each one has a sponsor and each one desires to do well and aim for the Leadership Development Program. Two of the young men want to be chefs and even told us what they would prepare for us if they could.

Finally, here are some candid shots of some of the beautiful girls in this Compassion project.

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