Monday, April 28, 2014

Compassion in Bolivia - a letter from a CDSP director

I recently received 5 letters from 5 different Compassion center directors around the world. As much as I love letters from my sponsored children and letters from pastors, these letters are a gold mine!

If you want to know how each Compassion project is run, then this type of letter will give you all that information. I don't know for sure, but I would guess that most Compassion projects within a country operate in a similar fashion. So even if your child doesn't attend this particular project, chances are he or she experience a similar thing in their Compassion project. I know that it varies greatly from country to country, but within a country...probably not so much.

Today I'm sharing a letter from Boliva. In case you missed them, you can read the letters I've shared from Nicaragua, Tanzania and East India.

And now, a letter from Bolivia...

BO 522 ~ Nueva Vida Student Center

Dear Kevin and Jill,

I greet you in the wonderful name of our Lord Jesus Christ, wishing you the richest blessings of our God.

My name is Hermegilda Torrez. I'm the Project Director of New Life Student Center, where your sponsored child Ruth attends. This project is located in the southeast part of Cochabamba city, in Villa Sebastian Pagador neighborhood. I want to thank you for the support that you provide to Ruth through Compassion.

This project is open four days a week. We start with devotions, where we teach children Bible stories, songs and prayer. Then, tutors deliver snacks in every classroom. After snacks, tutors teach children according to Compassion's curriculum. They also provide school support, helping them with their homework. At noon, children in both shifts have lunch. The first group gets ready to go to school and the second group arrives from school.

With younger children (5 to 11 years old) use the break time to play in groups; some of them play soccer, some like jumping or just chatting with friends. Teens use this time to practice sports. Teenagers also study technical careers: computer operation, hairdressing, electricity, computer repair, etc.

During the year, the project organizes several activities, including medical checkups, birthday celebrations, and a camp with all children in the project during children's winter vacation. With parents we organize workshops and meetings to teach them about their responsibility as parents.

One of the project's objectives is that all teenagers would have a plan for their future, and this plan is written in "My Plan for Tomorrow." This tool helps them understand and plan the activities that will allow them fulfill God's purpose for their lives. During this year some of our teenagers also benefited from Complementary Intervention funds for technical training.

Most children come from non-Christian families, and we clearly see the difference between children from our program and the ones that are not part of it. Our children show values, Bible principles and healthy relationships. Children who are not part of the program don't have values, show lack of love and don't have interpersonal relationships. In our community, the project is well-known for child care, medical checkups, school support and the workshops with parents based on the Bible.

When children receive letters from sponsors, they feel huge joy; we can see that smile, they are eager to read. Sponsors are like another family member, another father or mother in their lives. Children know that somebody cares for their well-being. Most children come from broken families. When a sponsor says that he or she is praying for the child, this gives the child strength; it encourages them to do their best. When children write letters, they are so excited to tell about their activities, about things they like and dislike; they want to put in a lot of detail. I know this, because I too was a sponsored child. I thank God because he put my sponsors in my way, so they would be a blessing in my life.

I ask you to pray for our church, so we will be tools in God's hands to bring the salvation message to children and teenagers, and that they would recognize Jesus as Lord.

Thank you very much for allowing me the privilege to write you and to reach your heart. I thank God for your life and family, because God in his love has touched your heart to support Ruth and it is wonderful. Thank you very much, for being a blessing in the heart of this child. I will always be praying for you.

Many hugs,
Hermegilda Torrez

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