Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Bolivia Mission Trip 2014 - "Kings and Queens"

It seems to be a trend lately in the blogging world to post events about two months too late. With that being said, I'm ahead of schedule here. ;)

It was July 7, I boarded a plane with 14 other spectacular people and we headed to Santa Cruz, Bolivia on a mission trip.  Over the next few post, I'll be sharing the "top picks" of my over 900 pictures and share some stories of God's great work.  As I sort through pictures, it really does just seem like yesterday.  Sounds cliche', but it's true.  And even though it was a different country, speaking a different language, it feels like my backyard.  I guess you could say it feels like home.  People are people, no matter where you go.  Kids are kids.  We all breath the same, walk the same, feel the same, living one day at a time.

Some of our highlights include....
The kids!  These are the most joyful kids to be around!  They love to laugh, play, talk, see pictures of our families, and just love their own family.  For the record, let's clear up what family means to them...it means everyone.  Their neighbor, their neighbor's neighbor, their everyone.  Pretty cool to see the community these children are being raised in.  Clear joy and thankfulness.
A new center is being built!  Due to the overwhelming growth in the original Compassion program and center at 20 de Mayo, a second center is being constructed.  Who builds it?  The people.  Kids and all.  This is family, y'all.  (Did I mention I went with a bunch of KY folk?!)  We got to be a part of that family and get our hands in the construction of this building that will touch so many children and expand the Kingdom.
Donuts!  One of the unique traits of Compassion is how they thrive on teaching families "how to fish" instead of just feeding them fish.  Here, the mother's were meeting at the center to learn the trade of making donuts.  Pictured above is Roserio, the instructor, teaching a young mother how to make the dough.  The young mother was so excited, she told us she had always wanted to learn a trade.  As the afternoon progressed, the donuts were made from beginning to end and a lesson was given to explain the cost of making and how much they could be sold for, as well as where they could sell them.  These moments of education are the key for families to pull themselves out of poverty.
 
When I reflect back on these pictures, I physically see a community that lives in poverty.  In fact, most of these children live in one room homes with dirt floors.  But it blows me away how rich they are.  Rich in love, devotion, community, loyalty.  But even with that richness, food still needs to be set on the table, medical attention is needed, centers to teach the word of God need built.  Compassion builds that bridge between them and families like us who can financially help fill that gap.  
And I am so very very thankful they do.  
After all, these could be our sons and daughters. 

 Audio Adrenaline: Kings and Queens.
Little hands, shoeless feet
Lonely eyes looking back at me
Will we leave behind the innocent too brief
On their own, on the run
When their lives have only begun
These could be our daughters and our sons
And just like a drum I can hear their hearts beating
I know my God won't let them be defeated
Every child has a dream to belong and be loved
 

Boys become kings, girls will be queens
Wrapped in Your majesty
When we love, when we love the least of these
Then they will be brave and free
Shout Your name in victory
When we love, when we love the least of these
When we love the least of these

Break our hearts once again
Help us to remember when
We were only children hoping for a friend
Won't you look around
These are the lives that the world has forgotten
Waiting for doors of our hearts and our homes to open
 

If not us, who will be like Jesus
To the least of these
If not us tell me who will be like Jesus
Like Jesus to the least of these

Boys become kings, girls will be queens
Wrapped in your majesty
When we love, when we love the least of these
Then they will be brave and free shout your name in victory
We will love we will love the least of these
We will love the least of these.

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