Monday, August 22, 2011

Visit Your Child

I know, I know….. almost all of us want to visit our child. And for those of us who haven’t, there are most likely really good reasons.

Don’t give up hope. I began sponsoring my first child back in 1994 and it wasn’t until 2010 that I went on my first trip – 16 years later! There were many reasons it took that long….finances, graduate school, marriage, birth of my children, life-circumstances….

But God’s timing is always best.

Two years ago today, I was in Peru. I remember each day and the children we hugged, smiled at and attempted to speak with.

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My trip was unlike most in that I did not sponsor children in Peru before I decided to go. Once I signed up for the trip, I requested correspondent children that I could write to and then meet, but I was not going to meet one of my long sponsored, beloved children. I was going because God told me to go.

While there I did meet Jazmin ~ my CDSP correspondent child.

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Although she had not received letters from me prior to my visit, I had received a couple from her. Despite her not having a clue who I was, she traveled more than 20 hours to meet me! Spending the day with her was a great way to begin our relationship.

I also had the opportunity to meet David, LDP correspondent student.

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Tuesday of our trip just happened to be my birthday and that night was the LDP dinner. The trip leaders surprised me by having David there – what a fantastic birthday gift! David and I had exchanged a few letters prior to the trip, and meeting face to face took our brand new relationship to a deep level.

I also had the fantastic opportunity to sponsor a child while I was there. The whole story is quite cool and I’ve posted about it before.

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I never dreamed I would be in the position to stand before a child and his entire family and announce that I wanted to become his sponsor. God is so good.

When you visit a Compassion project, you not only get the opportunity to meet your sponsored child, you also get to meet the incredible servants of God who are working with the children. Emaunel's mother, Elise (above), works as a mentor for the teens in their Compassion center. She shared with me the struggles she faces regularly in this position.

You get to see the hope Compassion is providing in the midst of extreme poverty. These churches are beacons of light in a very dark world.

You get to serve the children lunch and see their physical needs being met.

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You get to visit homes of Compassion families and hear the testimonies of God’s goodness in their lives.

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You get to see the ministries of CDSP (child development sponsorship program), CSP (child survival program) and LDP (leadership development program and how they are impacting lives.

God used my time in Peru to educate me and grow me in new ways. My own advocacy was refocused and redefined. The stories and photographs I brought home touched and changed my family.

Compassion became REAL to us.

It took 16 years of desire and prayer for my dream to come true. Be in prayer and trust God will work out all the details in His perfect timing.

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