As part of our visit in Itigi we had a morning tea break. The chai tea was wonderful! We spent a lot of our morning playing with the kids. There were a lot of kids that had come that were not enrolled at the center with Compassion. They were from the village and I’m sure they were curious to see what the bus load of white people were all about.
Before lunch we walked a short distance to the home of one of the Compassion children. We had just had a downpour and the ground was soaked. While we stepped carefully to avoid slipping in the mud, we were led by this woman.
Not only was she balancing this heavy box of food, she was doing it sidestepping puddles while wearing dress shoes with a bit of a heel to them. I had on hiking sandals and was moving with FAR less grace. We were welcomed by this girl and her grandmother. Her parents had moved elsewhere and left her with the grandmother. I think not smiling in photos is partially a cultural thing because this grandmother was quite warm and friendly.
We visited for a while. I asked her about her sponsor and if she received any letters. Immediately the grandmother went to the other room and returned with a stack of letters, all in pristine condition. They were a treasured possession.
It was soon lunchtime. I took my plate and sat down at a table on the porch to eat. I absentmindedly waved at a little girl who was playing nearby. She was not enrolled at the project. She walked right over to where I sat and stood at my chair and stared at my plate. I just about couldn’t handle it. I would have given her the entire plate, but I knew that would have caused problems since there were A LOT of village kids there. I looked at Tonya and told her that I simply could not eat in front of this child…I would not. Tonya had some stickers and led the girl over to another area with some other children and passed out stickers as a distraction. It was such a sad feeling to know how much need there was among these kids.
What happened next though left me full of hope and gladness. After we had been served and after the Compassion kids had their plates, the staff lined up every village kid that was around the building, had them wash their hands and gave them each a plate full of food.
In fact, several of the center’s kids had tried to go back for seconds, but they were gently turned away until EVERYONE had a plate of food. I was so glad to see this act of compassion and love in action.
Even if resources and funds were many, there will always be more need. However it was great to see this example of many of how the staff use their resources to the best of their ability to meet as many needs as possible. I’m so proud to be just a very small part of such a wonderful organization.
Our day in Itigi left me a little emotionally drained but full of hope.
**I’d like to make a little departure from my day to day account to share this. When I returned from Tanzania I had two sponsorship packets waiting for me. One boy and one girl from Tanzania needing sponsors. One of them, Veronika, has a birthday tomorrow. On April 2nd she will turn 7 years old. I can think of no better birthday gift than to connect her with a caring sponsor.
Perhaps you’ve been thinking that sponsoring a child with Compassion might be a good thing for you and your family. I can answer that…Yes, it would! Perhaps you wonder if you can truly make a difference in a child’s life. Again I have the answer….an unequivocal YES! You can help change the world. Sponsorship through Compassion costs $38 a month. If you would like more information about sponsoring Veronika or have any questions about Compassion please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org I made that decision over 6 years ago and I’ve never regretted. In fact, now I know it was one of the best decisions of my life.