Today I want to tell you simply everything and then I keep sitting here looking at the computer and typing nothing. It’s just too much. And I can’t conjure up a great post and tie it neatly with the proverbial imperfectly beautiful bow.  I wish I knew some really great new, fancy, space age words that could somehow convince you beyond a shadow of a doubt how life altering it is for a child to be sponsored through Compassion International. Because when you see everything that we’ve seen in the past few days all you can think of is how much you want to do anything to make life better for these children living in poverty. And right now for me, that means using my words to help them and my computer clock says it’s 2:59 and my body clock says it’s too jet lagged and my Tanzania clock says  it’s 9:59 and I know I cannot do this.

I can’t write a compelling enough, good enough, worthy enough post of what we’ve seen. I wish my sister were here so she could make me laugh and then she could crank out a really beautifully crafted post and I could pretend I wrote it. But I also know you and I know you can make a decision to sponsor a child whether or not I use magical words because heart changing isn’t my job. It’s His.

I’ve walked on roads filled with trash, stepped over a muddy dirty bra on the ground, saw a baby crawling in 3 inches of mud (next to some kind of black duck squawking around) and then the baby grabbed a handful of mud and stuck it in its mouth.

I think tears have blurred up my eyes a thousand times today as children have greeted us with singing and grabbing for us to hold their hands. One pretty little girl politely punched another pretty little girl a little taller than herself just so she could get to hold my hand, and then smiled the most adorable smile {it’s exciting to have visitors}. Every person in our group had a swarm of little children around them grasping for hands and hugs and smiles–the children we met today were an extremely affectionate bunch.

The highlight of the day was being there as Amy met her sponsored child Mektreda and then getting to go with them to visit Mektreda’s home. It was a cinder block home that they rent and had a mattress and two plastic chairs and I think a table. Mektreda is one of five children, four of whom still live at home with their parents. The 17-year-old brother moved to the city to try to find work. Anyhow, Amy’s writing all about meeting her sponsored child at her blog so I beg of you, go read her story.  Really, all I want to do today is not write and tell you to go to Amy’s place.

a 30 second video of Mektreda and her new baby doll–her big sister ran and grabbed a wrap so she could wear the doll on her back just like all the real mammas click here to watch on you tube

And all I can think of is that if everyone could have witnessed that meeting and that home visit, everyone would immediately sponsor a child YESTERNOW .  The impact is unquestionable.  Children sponsored through Compassion can go to school (complete with uniforms) receive health care and learn about the biggest life changer–Jesus.  They have hope for a future and the parents have great hope for them as well–it really affects the entire family.

We spent a few hours with Mektreda’s family and learned how her mother helps to provide for them by roasting and packaging beans to sell at the local market. The daddy is handicapped but is able to repair shoes to help support the family too.  But still it’s not enough.

As for me, I feel like today my introversion has come out in full force.  I was able to be a fly on the wall and just watch the unfolding of great story. And while Amy was inside giving a few more gifts to Mektreda and her family, I stayed outside with a bunch of adorable children.  I blew bubbles.  They blew bubbles.  They popped bubbles tirelessly.  Then they popped more.

Then I pulled out the big guns–my blue nail polish.

I’ve never had so much fun painting nails in all of my life.  I painted the tiniest, darkest, sandiest little toenails you’ve ever seen.  It’s something I’ve never gotten to do, you know, since I have three boys. I never actually painted a child’s nails before. But today  I painted little girls’ toenails, little boys’ toenails, infant toenails and a young mother’s toenails.  It was glorious. And for some reason is one of the highlights of the trip so far.

I feel so helpless with my keyboard and blue nail polish and measly $38 sponsorship.  But I also feel so happy that my $38 is made HUGE when it’s in the hands of Compassion International.


I know you’ve been thinking about it, haven’t you?  I know you’ve been meaning to talk to your husband or let your kids help pick out which child you want to sponsor. I know because I put off sponsoring our first child for a year.  I had great intentions, I followed the bloggers and read the posts and thought, “YES, this is AMAZING, I am so going to sponsor a child tomorrow!”  But time passed and good intentions were forgotten and it wasn’t until a year later, when I followed the next blogger trip when I realized that if I didn’t just go right then and look at that page full of waiting faces and pick out a little child to sponsor that it would never happen. Don’t be like me.  So go ahead and do it now, because I promise you will thank me later.  Click here to sponsor a child through Compassion International.