Thursday, September 11, 2014

Bolvia Mission Trip 2014 - "Sitting in the orange chair."

Taking a journey down a typical "street" in the outer ring of Santa Cruz.  Led by one of the directors of the CSP (and of course a translator.)  A day in our week-long trip that will leave a lasting impression on any mother. 

CSP - Child Survival Program.
Compassion's sponsorships with children occur when they begin school.  Unfortunately, some children do not survive to see their fifth birthday due to preventable causes.  Compassion has set up their CSP to help children under the school age to survive and thrive, as well as, work with the mothers and caregivers.  Sponsoring this program gives these children checkups, immunization, nutritious food, mental and physical stimulation activities to improve motor skills.  It also empowers mothers with training to help them better provide for their families - remember the previous post pictures of donut making!

Much of this learning takes place at the center.  However Compassion knows the child's life doesn't end there.  The leaders in the CSP are required through Compassion to make home visits.  This confirms what the mothers learning is getting put into action at home.

My first home visit with CSP was in 2012.  It humbled me beyond belief.  And just as before, I hang my pride at the door and soak in the ring of emotions about to circle my heart.
A one room home.
Family of five - mom, dad, two brothers and a little sister.
The mother welcomed us in as she held her young daughter and our translator spoke, bridging the gap in our language.
Sitting at their kitchen table, I hear a mom speak proudly of her family.  She speaks proudly of her teachers.  She speaks with much thankfulness for the CSP.  Pointing out the white sheet hanging on the wall beside the bed (one of two for this family of five), she shares what she is learning; Bible verses for the family, pictures, letters all bold and in patterns to develop the young daughter's motor skills.

She shares with us what a day is like for her.
She pours us all a drink of soda out of hospitality.
She answered our questions.  She ask us questions.
We are getting to know each other.
I am amazed at the moments of struggles that she doesn't see as struggles, but as opportunity to become stronger as a mom and a woman of faith.  Such an honor to be in her presence.

Taking a break from his retreading tire business, the father of the family comes in to share with us.  He shares that the family use to live closer to the city (not in the poverty ring.)  However, one day at work he was injured by a freak accident by the truck he was working beside that left him unable to continue that labor.  The scars on his face from the accident spoke volumes of not just the physical pain he endured, but also the pain of not being able to provide for his family.

Now living in the outer ring, he is recovering and is well enough to work.  However that one day, that one accident, changed their life.  We watch as the brothers tend to younger sister.  We listen as a wife stands beside her husband.  We witnessed a family, and I am reminded it isn't a house that makes a home.
As our conversations end, I was able to stand where she was front of that window and beside that bed.  And I took a picture of the orange chair I was sitting in.
Sketching in my memory the size of these living quarters.  These walls speak nothing of limitations.
The sharing between two mothers with a common passion for their children.

Around the corner from the home entrance is the garage where the father runs his tire retreading business.
Before leaving, we gather for a group picture.  I love this picture.  I love this family.  I can only imagine this is just a very tiny glimpse of the Kingdom.

As our journey ended, I was honored to deliver 11 quilts through Your One Piece (a ministry program developed through My Baby's Name Quilts) to the CSP at 20 de Mayo Center.  Each quilt has messages of hope stitched directly into the material for each child to have. 

CSP, another amazing part of Compassion.   
Your love is
Like radiant diamonds
Bursting inside us
We cannot contain
Your love will
Surely come find us
Like blazing wildfires
Singing your name

God of mercy
Sweet love of mine
I have surrendered to your design
may this offering stretch across the sky
And these hallelujahs be multiplied. 


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