“This child deserves to know Jesus!” -Brother Guillermo

November 9, 2009 at 10:54 pm 22 comments

We all made it safely to El Salvador today (with all of our luggage)! Thanks to all of you who prayed for us and thought about us throughout the day.

First thing’s first: flooding. I mentioned that Hurricane Ida had passed through and substantial flooding had killed around 100 people. Many people have lost their homes, and some of the Compassion projects have incurred damage. Some of the Compassion-sponsored children have lost homes or been evacuated from their homes because they’re in areas at high risk for further landslides.

Thankfully none of the projects that we’re scheduled to visit were damaged. That makes things a lot easier, itinerary-wise, for our trip leaders (as you can imagine).

Today was a full day of travel and then meeting up with our tour guides. We drove through downtown San Salvador, had a wonderful lunch, and then went to the Compassion National Headquarters.

Compassion El Salvador office

They’ve been in this new building for about a year, having moved from a bunker with no windows for offices. It was a beautifully-maintained, well-run, organized office! What a blessing to this hardworking staff! I seriously have never seen an office of people so happy. We met every staff member and they just basically kept one-upping each other on the happiness scale.

We had a presentation by Brother Guillermo, the country director for Compassion El Salvador. And wow, what an awesome, Godly man!

Brother Guillermo

One thing that you should know about Compassion in El Salvador is that they have just added a new program, the Child Survival Program, this year. As Brother Guillermo was sharing about that and showing a couple stats and pictures, he said something that stopped my heart. He was showing a picture of a baby girl, probably about 3 months old, and he said in such a sincere, passionate voice:

“This child deserves to know Jesus!”

The tears filled my eyes as he said it again:

“This child deserves to know Jesus!”

And of course we, as sinners, have no rights to God. But that he loves us so much despite our sin that he still gives us access to Him is staggering. That we can share in his love, his grace, his joy, his peace, his wonderful plan of salvation… it’s amazing to me again today.

I’ve seen and heard so much already about Compassion’s model for their programs worldwide. They focus on the development of 4 key areas: physical, cognitive, socio-emotional, and spiritual. They are deeply invested in meeting these needs for their children. They have project managers that are continually evaluating each project to make sure they’re addressing all of these areas and they operate a training department to help the churches and projects in their weaknesses to achieve their goals. It’s so cool!

I just want to encourage you today to think and pray about sponsoring a child from El Salvador. They deserve to know Jesus.

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Entry filed under: Compassion, Faith, Travel.

What do you not know about child sponsorship? More than just beautiful faces…but beautiful faces nonetheless.

22 Comments Add your own

  • 1. pendy  |  November 9, 2009 at 11:07 pm

    This child deserves to know Jesus. That IS a stop-you-in-your-tracks statement. Thanks for being there and blogging about it. I’m praying that my sponsored child at ES778 in San Marcos has not been impacted by the hurricane.

    Reply
  • 2. therigneys  |  November 9, 2009 at 11:49 pm

    Was so thrilled to open Google Reader (as much as you don’t like it!) and see a new post! I was wondering when we would hear from you today. My heart is already stirring to hear more about Compassion. I’ve been thinking about sponsoring a child all day! Be sure to take a picture with your child and post it!

    We miss you here, but we are praying for you and your team until you return. Love you.

    Reply
  • 3. nmwally  |  November 10, 2009 at 12:03 am

    Sounds like a great day #1! After reading both your and Kelly’s entries from today about the office you visited, I am already inspired to go write to my Compassion child before I go to bed. I hadn’t really thought about how such a simple gesture could make an impact. What a great organization. Can’t wait to hear more about it!

    Reply
  • 4. Big Mama » A quick lesson from the weekend  |  November 10, 2009 at 3:30 am

    […] different note, a group of Compassion bloggers are in El Salvador this week. I especially loved this post by Molly Piper […]

    Reply
  • 5. Gretchen  |  November 10, 2009 at 6:24 am

    I have a question about sponsorship…I sponsored a girl in Uganda for about ten years. One day I got a letter saying she was too old for the program and they had assigned me a new child. That’s it. No information on how she was going to survive or opportunity to contact her one last time or anything. Is that normal? That experience really turned me off to Compassion, but I’d like to know if that was one situation that was just somehow messed up. It happened about ten years ago. Thanks!

    Reply
    • 6. Win  |  November 10, 2009 at 8:27 am

      Gretchen – I have been a Compassion sponsor for about 16 years. Compassion tries to provide “last contact” but in too many cases children suddenly move away and Compassion doesn’t know where they have gone.

      I was in El Salvador two weeks ago on a Sponsor Tour and a number of the Project Directors told us that one of the challenges they face is families up and moving in the night to escape the threat of gangs. These families cannot tell anyone where they are going or the gang will simply follow them. Brother Guillermo shared with us that the father of a friend was shot last week because he had not paid the 25 cent “rent” for selling his bakery products in a neighborhood to the gang.

      So sometimes the child leaving the program happens with such quickness that there is no opportunity to do anything differently. In other cases children leave the program because their parents have decided that they should contribute to the family income by working and not continue to go to school. Depending on the parents view of the Compassion program there may or may not be last contact opportunities.

      But if all goes well, children remain in the program until they graduate at about age 18 and both sponsors and the child have a final “goodbye” letter and even send a graduation gift.

      Certainly one thing I have learned in our years of Compassion sponsorship is that we are dealing with real people who face difficulties that I could never expect and thus disconnects sometimes happen. Hope this helps you understand what might have happened.

      Reply
    • 7. Shaun Groves  |  November 10, 2009 at 5:20 pm

      Gretchen, the same thing happened to me when I was in college about…er, a long time ago. SInce then the system has been GREATLY improved. The letter you and I got, the lack of information? That doesn’t happen anymore. Sponsors are treated like family because, well, the kids thinks of us that way and we think of them that way too.

      So sorry you ad that experience a decade ago. We live and learn, and learn some more.

      Thanks for the great question.

      -Shaun
      Blogger Relationship Manager
      Compassion International

      Reply
  • 8. shawnda  |  November 10, 2009 at 7:58 am

    You always make me cry! Amen, sister!!!! She and all the other children around the world deserve to know Jesus!! Absolutely stunning that He have given us a means to know Him! Thank you Jesus! Thank you for sharing this!

    I realized I better get on your blog is I want to hear about your trip in El Savador! So, now you are tabbed for awhile ; 0

    Reply
  • 9. Sarah K  |  November 10, 2009 at 9:13 am

    Thanks for sharing your Compassion story. I’m really looking forward to hearing all the details of your trip as it gives me an inside glimpse to how the money I send is put to use. It sounds like they do a truly wonderful job. I sponsor a 5 year old little girl in El Salvador, Mariana Gonzalez, and she has very much been on mind with alll of the flooding.

    My prayers are with you and your travel companions as well as all of the children you are serving. God Bless!

    Reply
  • 10. Lindsey  |  November 10, 2009 at 10:13 am

    You’re in my prayers!!
    I can’t wait to read more!!!

    Reply
  • 11. Warren  |  November 10, 2009 at 10:50 am

    I’d like to think that every child deserves to know Jesus, but without a doubt Jesus deserves to be known by every child!

    Reply
  • 12. Jason  |  November 10, 2009 at 11:05 am

    “This child deserves to know Jesus.”

    We should paint that phrase on the wall of every church’s children’s area in the world.

    Thanks for the post. Looking forward to reading more.

    Reply
  • 13. Mary Virginia Grandle  |  November 10, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Wow! Thank you for sharing your experience. I have been following all of the bloggers on the Compassion trip and found your posts. Lifting your team up to Him!

    Reply
  • 14. Rachel  |  November 10, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    Amen, Molly! I hope more children will be sponsored and have a chance to know Jesus through your compassion trip.

    Reply
  • 15. Elizabeth Esther  |  November 10, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    What a profound perspective: they DESERVE to know Jesus! Yes, they do! Praying for you and so excited for this adventure God has you on.

    Reply
  • 16. Kelly @ Love Well  |  November 10, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    I have chills!

    Praying even now….

    Reply
  • 17. Marla Taviano  |  November 10, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    Overwhelmed by God’s love right now. Praying for you guys, Molly–and the loved ones waiting for you at home.

    Reply
  • 18. mbarley  |  November 10, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    tears are coming to my eyes even as i read your written words-yes, those children deserve to know Jesus-the saving Jesus and the Jesus that is so gracious with us! thanks for keeping us updated! my husband and I just started sponsoring through compassion about a month ago-a little boy from Peru (where my Mom is from!)

    Reply
  • 19. Chris  |  November 11, 2009 at 7:24 am

    I”m so thankful for this good report!
    And praying for those who are still suffering and in danger…

    I think I know what you mean about deserving even when we don’t deserve. I’m thinking that if I had a chance to hear the Gospel, then these children should have that chance, as well.

    Reply
  • 20. Reentry Sickness « The Pipers  |  November 16, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    […] “This Child Deserves to Know Jesus!” […]

    Reply
  • 21. Molly’s posts from El Salvador collected - 22 Words  |  November 17, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    […] “This Child Deserves to Know Jesus!” […]

    Reply
  • 22. Tyler  |  November 17, 2009 at 2:12 pm

    Why does anyone deserve to know Jesus? I don’t understand what you mean by this given that you said we don’t have rights to God.

    Reply

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