Have Some Compassion

by arianne

Have you been keeping up with the Uganda Bloggers?

My husband and I started reading along with Sophie from Boo Mama and Shannon from Rocks In My Dryer over the past week or so as they blogged from Uganda. They were a part of a team of bloggers that traveled with Compassion to spread the word about the massive needs of children in Africa. Throughout the past week, we’ve discovered the other bloggers (Carlos, Heather, Shaun and Anne, to name a few), and after reading everyone’s posts and seeing the various pictures and videos, we’ve completely had our hearts broken. Wrecked, I tell you. We won’t ever be the same, and we wouldn’t want to be.

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The children in Africa are affected by AIDS in their villages and many of them have lost one or both parents. Think about that for a minute.

They live in extreme poverty, and many don’t have the means to even attend school (school is not free there). The severe poverty isn’t one that any of us can imagine unless we’ve visited such a place to see it for ourselves. The stories of these precious children need to be told. They need your help.

Because we had our hearts broken, we started thinking about what we could do. The wealth that we have (even though we don’t feel that way most of the time) is so far and above the majority of the world’s, it’s not even funny. We’ve been feeling very strongly lately that we need to make sure we are teaching our children that there is a much different world out there when they leave our little town. Leave our Country. We want them to see the realities of the slums so many live in, in person and for themselves some day. This won’t be until they are older, but they need to see what it’s like to not have the riches we are blessed to have here in the U.S. So, what can we do NOW?

This brings us to Emanuel. That’s his picture on the right. He is our boy now–we are sponsoring him as a family through Compassion International. He is 5 years old and his birthday is a couple days before my 5 yr old son’s birthday. He has lost both parents. We just got him, so we haven’t received any of the great things we hear about (a letter from him, maybe a picture), but we already feel like he’s part of our family. We pray for him with the children every night, and show them where he lives on our world map. Yesterday when the phone rang, my 3yr old said “is that our boy?”, thinking Emanuel was calling us. Excuse me while I go weep.

For $32 a month, you can sponsor your own child. That’s it. For us, I think $32 might be a month’s (ok, two weeks) worth of coffee from Starbucks. But that little amount will absolutely change the life of that child, and–bonus–you will be able to sleep at night. Not a bad trade.

Here’s one video by Shaun…you will be moved. Consider yourself warned.

Here is Shannon talking about the village in that video:

The slums were just exactly like every picture you’ve seen of African urban poverty. The children ran around in rags, while adults sat outside their doors, many trying to sell things, others begging. Raw sewage ran in various open channels through the streets. Cows and chickens roamed freely, and the open air market sold raw fish absolutely covered in flies.

It is just exactly like I pictured a hundred times, just exactly like I’d seen in countless photos of Africa. And yet it was profoundly different, standing there, seeing it, smelling it, holding the hands of the children who just wanted to see a “mzungu” (white person).

Read the rest of the post here, and another one here. Then check out this video from Carlos:

You just go ahead and try to stop thinking about these kids. Consider. Go here to read even more, and go here to Sponsor A Child.

If you have your own Compassion story to share, go here and post your link to the list.

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