Mothers becoming Moms: Child Survival Program In Action

November 11, 2009 at 9:29 pm 20 comments

As you know, I’ve been really excited about witnessing the Child Survival Program here in El Salvador. It’s a very new program, but is already having fantastic effects for the ones involved.

The project we visited today is one of five that are currently operating in this country.


I witnessed about 15 mothers caring for their babies. The women ranged in age from 15-35 years old. Most were first-time mothers, a couple were mothers multiple times over. But the need was the same for all of them: they needed education. They needed to be equipped with skills. They needed to learn how and why to embrace these children.

The women are broken up into groups by the age of their children. We witnessed them being given instruction in infant massage and stimulation. We witnessed them being encouraged to play with their children.


They also spend time in direct instruction with a CSP “Implementer” or “Survival Specialist” who instructs them Biblically about God’s view of children. We heard them learning truths that are kind of old-hat for most of us: children are a heritage from the Lord; your children are gifts from Him…. Things that may tend to seem tired and trite if you’ve heard them too many times.

Imagine hearing it and embracing it for the first time. Imagine hearing it and embracing it, even if you had next to nothing, materially, to give this child.

We heard them learning basics of mothering, such as: if your baby is crying, do you punish him or pick him up?

And while they were having some sit-down time apart from their babies, they twisted our arms to hold the babies.


Many of them shared that they feel extremely thankful to be a part of this ministry. They testified to the effects they see in their children, as compared to other children not in the program.


One woman told me, when talking about her 15-month-old, “He didn’t used to play. Now… he plays!”

The women are learning to take joy in their children. And that, to me, is what turns any old mother into a mama.


pregnant mama

You can support Compassion’s Child Survival Program for $20/month, or make a one-time gift. Or just visit the site and poke around. I pray that you’re as blessed by their vision as I am.

Entry filed under: Compassion.

A Hero’s Welcome Given by Heroes You’ve been cordially invited to break your heart.

20 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Elizabeth Esther  |  November 11, 2009 at 10:50 pm

    Your livestream talk tonight moved me to tears. I sponsored my first child with Compassion. Abraham provided a link for older boys who are often overlooked. Your stories are so inspiring. Thank you for doing this. It’s amazing. ((hugs))

    • 2. Molly Piper  |  November 12, 2009 at 7:53 am

      Oh you would implode, Elizabeth. You’d be as wonderfully messy as I’ve been and it would change you. I pray that someday you’ll be where I am. You would do beautifully.

  • 3. Marla Taviano  |  November 11, 2009 at 11:22 pm

    Loved the livestream chat! So cool! Have a great night, Molly!

  • 4. therigneys  |  November 11, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    I think I cried every time you spoke on the live stream! But that’s ok, because you were crying too! 🙂

  • 5. Kari P  |  November 11, 2009 at 11:37 pm

    Didn’t get home in time for the livestream but I’ll check it out later int he archives. This program sounds amazing and the women look so beautiful. Thanks for sharing your trip. The Lord used it to spur my husband and I to sponsor a child that has been waiting (red heart)…although we chose Uganda. Can’t wait to get little Enock’s info in the mail!

    Btw, your curls are gorgeous!

  • 6. Shannon  |  November 12, 2009 at 12:19 am

    Molly, your stories and pictures are amazing. Praying for y’all every time I think of you!

    • 7. Molly Piper  |  November 12, 2009 at 7:55 am

      Thanks so much, Shannon. I keep remembering you when I watched your Africa trip when I was a baby blogger.

      And you were the one who got me more exposure for my blog through linking to me and allowing me to guest post. So in some ways, you had a HUGE part in me being on this trip.

      I meet my sponsor child this morning. I’m freaking OUT!!!

  • 8. Ann Voskamp @ Holy Experience  |  November 12, 2009 at 12:47 am

    Livestream swept us away and hearts, here and in El Salvador, were watered with your tears tonight….

    God is growing eternal things.

    We thank you… and oh, how we pray!

    All’s grace,

    • 9. Molly Piper  |  November 12, 2009 at 7:56 am

      Thanks for the commet, Ann. Really means a lot to me that you tuned in.

      Tears are a good thing… usually means the Holy Spirit’s at work. So I pray for more and more of that in my heart and in everyone else who comes in contact with these trips.

  • 10. nmwally  |  November 12, 2009 at 1:08 am

    Molly, it has been so incredible to keep up with all the blogs and the web chat…in a way I feel like *I* have been in El Salvador this week. God has really been using it to speak to me. I feel like I could write a blog post called “Confessions of a Bad Sponsor”. 🙂 I’ve sponsored Comp. kids for YEARS but for so long was a terrible correspondent…just didn’t think they’d care (“why would they want to hear from ME?”). Now the 1st 2 kids I sponsored are grown & out of the program & I grieve over the fact that I didn’t pursue very deep relationships with them. After today I’m SO convicted to write to our current 2 kids – in fact today I pulled our little girl’s pic off the fridge, Will & I prayed for her, I wrote a letter, & he got out his crayons & colored her a picture. Done. Took 5 minutes!
    Anyway, sorry to write a novel of a comment. I am just so blessed by this window into Compassion’s ministry. Also, I think it’s so funny/cool that you & Kelly are both there, as I have been reading both your blogs for a long time. Also, 6 years ago this wk my husband & I decided to start dating on the way home from a Shaun Groves concert. I don’t know what that has to do with anything, but it feels like it should…? 🙂 I don’t know.
    Bless you on the rest of your trip.

  • 11. Molly Piper  |  November 12, 2009 at 7:57 am

    Praise God, Nikki! When I get home, we’re gonna have to have coffee or something. It would be great.

    • 12. nmwally  |  November 12, 2009 at 11:16 am

      That’d be great, Molly!

  • 13. Jason  |  November 12, 2009 at 10:36 am

    Those younger girls with their babies…it just shakes me. 15, 16…that’s too young to be a mother although I know in their culture that’s common. Thank God for Compassion being there to help them.

  • 14. rachel  |  November 12, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    Wow…this is so awesome. Who is taking all these beautiful pictures? If you – amazing. If someone else – ditto!!!

  • 15. stacey  |  November 12, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    I have been enjoying your Compassion posts so much – beautiful words and pictures of beautiful people! My husband and I just started sponsoring our first child last month, a little girl from Bolivia. Just wanted to send a thank you for inspiring others to be the hands and feet of Christ!

  • 16. jennapants  |  November 12, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    Hey Molly!

    I’m so moved by your reports, dear friend! can’t. stop. crying. Missed the live streaming. Jenny told me it was wonderful! (You know it’s a madhouse here these days, but I’m hoping to watch the video of it tonight.) Also, it’s warming my heart to see you and Abraham partnering together across the miles.

    On another note, Could the people of El Salvador be more beautiful??? seriously.

    Also, I’m blown away by how much a mere $20/month does. Trying to have a conversation with Brent about how we might be led to give. our conversations are disjointed, but I’m trying to muscle through!!!

    love you!!!!!

  • […] 1. Molly describes the new Child Survival Program. […]

  • 18. Kelly @ Love Well  |  November 14, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    I absolutely love the CSP. What a beautiful idea to start from birth.

  • 19. Melissa Smith  |  November 24, 2009 at 6:39 am

    Following this story has been very very bittersweet.

    Sweet: I know I am posting a week or two post reading, but the stories have stuck with me which I think is something to note. I am so glad also through this story to get connected with other Compassion blogs with more stories of the Gospel changing lives through simple sponsorship of a child.

    Bitter: My husband and I are about to begin full-time support raising to go over-seas as long-term missionaries, but we are hitting a wall as to sponsorship during this season. I don’t know if it’s a worry (about funds, what people think if we’re asking them to give us extra money for us to support & give) that we haven’t submitted to the Lord in trust, OR if it’s just not wise?

    If anyone has insight into this last dilemma, I would love to hear thoughts 🙂

  • 20. Erin  |  December 8, 2009 at 2:43 am

    What a great ministry – thanks for sharing I’m off to investigaet 🙂


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