A Hero’s Welcome Given by Heroes

November 11, 2009 at 8:15 am 17 comments

As I approached my first Compassion International project visit yesterday, I had no idea how it would go. I’ve heard from our trip leader that each one is so different, depending on the country staff who run the project, that there’s really no way to give us a definite idea how each project will be.

Well… yesterday’s welcome set the bar pretty high.

greeting1

I got off the bus and there was joyful music playing and children lined up, gauntlet-fashion, on both sides of the church. A young boy approached me (one of the guys on the left there) and escorted me into the building and to my seat. I felt like the stinking prom queen!

You see, this project is in a very rough neighborhood, overrun with gang activity and violence. Many of the children’s parents are involved in gangs or drugs or alcohol. And this particular project has been in operation for five years and never had a visitor from the outside—no sponsor visits, no other Compassion tours, nothing! This was the moment they’d been dreaming of and planning for for five years!

As I walked down their man-made aisle (literally!), I thought my face would break from smiling. My eyes immediately filled with tears and I just tried to record that moment in my brain and heart.

entrance

We were entertained with traditional El Salvadoran dances.

dance1

Scripture was read over us by one of the children, one who became very dear to our team members who visited his home later in the day.

marco

They sang for us in their sweet little voices. And they sang LOUD! It was awesome.

singing1

And… they prayed for us. They prayed for us. All the children gathered around us and squeezed in like an anaconda. I had a gaggle of giggling girls at my waist, whispering to me about “tus ojos” (your eyes), because they rarely see green-eyed people. They were seriously all sweetness and I wanted to extend my go-go-gadget arms to get around all of them at once.

prayer

They spent the entire morning blessing us. I was stunned and overwhelmed all morning. Here they are with nothing. Here they are working seven days a week with these children. Here they are going on home visit after home visit into the drug-infested neighborhoods. And treating us like we’re heroes???

I think we all know who the real heroes are.

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Entry filed under: Compassion.

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17 Comments Add your own

  • 1. danielle  |  November 11, 2009 at 8:28 am

    wow that is amazing. i’m so happy that you did this. its one of those life changing moments.

    Reply
  • 2. Janet  |  November 11, 2009 at 9:53 am

    Hi Molly,
    I have been so touched reading about all your wonderful and yet heart-breaking stories and seeing the beautiful faces of these special children in El Salvador. I made the decision to sponsor my first Compassion child a couple of days ago on 9th November – a 6 yr old girl called Julissa Rodriguez from El Salvador and have just discovered your trip there today on the internet! It has made it seem so much more real to me and I am looking forward to connecting with her. I am praying for all of you there and for the rest of your trip.

    Reply
    • 3. pendy  |  November 11, 2009 at 4:16 pm

      Welcome to Compassion, Janet. My sponsored child is also in El Salvador. You will be blessed beyone measure by sponsorship.

      Reply
      • 4. Janet  |  November 11, 2009 at 6:20 pm

        Thanks for your welcome!

  • 5. Jason  |  November 11, 2009 at 10:39 am

    Awesome stories and pictures. No visitors for five years…I’m sitting here trying to think of one project in the US that could go five years without a visitor and nothing comes to mind.

    Reply
  • 6. Jane Swanson  |  November 11, 2009 at 10:57 am

    Sus ojos son hermosos pero su corizon es incluso mas brillante.

    Your eyes are beautiful but your heart is even brighter.

    I am really enjoying your stories.

    Jane

    Reply
  • 7. Kelly @ Love Well  |  November 11, 2009 at 11:17 am

    How does one follow Jane’s comment, exactly? Dang. She said it.

    Thanks for giving us a chance to see God’s glory in these precious children, Molly. Your heart must be full to bursting. I guess that’s why it breaks.

    Reply
  • 8. Marla Taviano  |  November 11, 2009 at 11:52 am

    Goosebumps. Tears. Thank you, Molly. You’re glowing in those pictures.

    Reply
  • 9. Kathleen Westlund  |  November 11, 2009 at 1:05 pm

    Thank you for going, Molly, so we could go their vicariously! This is a GOOD project. God will use it.

    Reply
  • 10. Nancy from Birmingham, AL  |  November 11, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    This trip is AMAZING to me. I am in awe of these kids ~ you guys are a blessing from God to them, and them to you. His great work is being done here on Earth.

    Reply
  • 11. Andy  |  November 11, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    I love to see the grace of God made evident in the weakness of the suffering. “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that l the power of Christ may rest upon me. ”

    I think that in America our weaknesses are not evident enough and this causes God to not get the glory. It is obvious that His strength was made perfect.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  • 12. pendy  |  November 11, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    Thank you for the lovely post.

    Reply
  • 13. Jeff Benjamin  |  November 11, 2009 at 9:16 pm

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us. I truly appreciate your spirit as you do so – you are my eyes and ears. MY sponsored child in is El Salvador, as well.

    Reply
  • 14. Jonathan  |  November 11, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    wonderful! this is awesome

    Reply
  • […] Uganda, it was Sophie. In the Dominican, Melanie. In India, Melissa. And this time? Molly. I loved her post today about how the kiddos made her feel like a prom […]

    Reply
  • 16. joyce  |  November 12, 2009 at 6:23 am

    So beautifully said…we sponsor a child in Chad thru World Vision but I am going to look at the link to the mothers program you mentioned in your previous post…safe travels to you all…keeping you in my prayers this week.

    Reply
  • 17. ebe  |  November 12, 2009 at 4:47 pm

    Still praying for you.

    love,
    ebe

    Reply

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