Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Got Questions?

I've had my head in the clouds for the last couple of weeks. Am I really going to Ecuador with some of my best friends from the blogosphere? (I'm totally owning the nerdiness of that statement.) Yes! I am! I've got my jungle outfits ready to go, some fun things to do with the kids, and a mental list of what to pack. Last week I looked up the rustic little hotel where we're staying in the Amazon and I teared up. It's right on the river with trees all around. How am I getting to have this experience? For the love...I am going to see the Amazon with my very own eyes. What kind of God do I serve that would show me this kindness? Not only that, but the 9-year-old boy that we are newly connected with through sponsorship in Ecuador has the cutest face and cheeks I've ever seen and I will probably get to meet him face-to-face. I have been beyond excited.

Yesterday I descended back to earth to get the last round of vaccines I need to travel. Perhaps having needles poked into my arm is what brought the importance and seriousness of this trip into tight focus. It's not about spending six days with some dear friends. It's not about visiting a country I've never been to before. It boils down to this: there are children living in extreme - EXTREME - poverty in this world. Some of them in live Ecuador. We are going to meet - to see, to smell, to listen to, to play with - precious children who are suffering from the emotional, social, intellectual, spiritual and physical trauma of poverty. We are also going to see where light is shining in the darkness because of the work that Compassion is doing in their communities. Thank God for that!

I would love to know what questions you all may have about Compassion. What would you like me to find out while I'm visiting their programs in Ecuador? What would you like to see on this blog? Whether you've been a sponsor for years or you've never heard about Compassion until now, I'm going for all of us.

26 comments:

Tara G. said...

We sponsor a little girl in India who does come from an intact family. I would be interested in knowing how many sponsored children come from a two-parent home and how many have single mothers/grandmother/etc. raising them. Also, I know that Compassion has centers that work with pregnant moms and moms with new babies, but is are there programs now or within the vision to come alongside the dads? Have a fantastic trip- my prayers go with you!

tris said...

Amanda-I LOVE YOU BLOG! EVERYTHING ABOUT IT IS BEAUTIFUL! Thanks friend! Blessings at Bayou City Fellowship!!
Tristie

Monica said...

And for that, I am grateful...praying one day I get to go, to Nicaragua, where I will meet, and hug, and love, Diana and Jose. Praying for you and your "best blogging friends"!

Kristin said...

I am so excited to read while you are in the Amazon!!! I want to see the Hope of the world at work. Please show us how God is loving on this part of the world. And to make sure my heart does not grow distant to the needs of these children as well as my own sponsor child, please show us the realness that they live in. Questions...
1) Do the children truly feel apart of their sponsors family?
2) Do the children prefer written letters over email? Or is a letter a letter and they are happy with either?
Thank you for blogging your trip! Praying!

Amy Beth @ Ministry So Fabulous! said...

My best friend Cara spent 10 months there in a remote area, working at an orphanage. When she flew back to America, I met her at the ATL airport and took her straight to Cracker Barrel (please, I am nothing if not a southern girl). I'll never forget us going to the bathroom and her standing in awe of the running water at the sink because it had been SO long since she had seen it.

I can't wait to see how God will use this to change all of us back here reading.

Lori said...

Hi Amanda! I have read your wonderfully honest blog for a while. I love that your boy and girl are around the same ages as my boy and girl and I may have thrown out a few AMENs at some mothering experiences you've shared that I can relate to. I had to reach out because my mom's family is from Ecuador and I am going to Quito next wedenesday for 10 days for my cousin's wedding. Wouldn't it be weird if I ran into you on another continent? (Although I have a feeling we will be in different parts of the country.) So now that I sound like a weirdo international stalker I just wanted to let you know you will be on my mind next week and I will be praying for your team since we may be in the same country at the same time! How can I and your other readers specifically be praying for you? May your time in Ecuador be rich with blessings! Can't wait to hear about it
Lori

the4leegirls said...

I'm looking forward to hearing your heart on issues beyond sponsorship. Let me say, in addition to...sponsorship. Looking beyond the obvious and seeing you grab a bigger vision to help these children. Excited because that's what you are really good at. Also can't wait to hear your thoughts from a mommy perspective...Praying this launches you into something bigger than all of us could imagine and cheering you on! Crazy excited for you...
Praying,
Allison C. Lee

P.S. Did you mention you would be in a boat of some sort? I'm not going to lie, I'm freaked about that:) HOLD ON TIGHT and don't "rock the boat" I'm kidding and cracking myself up right now...

Missknitsalot said...

Amanda,

I'm SO excited that you are going to Ecuador. I grew up there as a child when my parents were missionaries there. I will be following your blog as you go, to see Ecuador through your eyes. I also sponsor a little girl in Ecuador, through another Christian sponsor group. she lives in the mountains near Quenca. My heart is so full as you write this. I'm not sure what to say. I want to say ENJOY! And don't drink the water. and don't let the jungle scare you. OPEN your eyes wide.... God is going to thrill you. I hope you get one night where it rains in the jungle. there's nothing like hearing a good rain on an aluminum roof! Take your 'skeeter' repellant and shoot millions of pictures. You will love it. I've got you written on my calendar Amanda, I'm going to be praying you through all week. thanks for letting us tag along with you. Psalm 119:64 The earth is FILLED with your love, Oh LORD!

Heidi

Dee said...

I'm so happy that you are being privileged to go to Ecuador. My sponsored child lives in Bolivia. I would dearly love to get to go there one day and meet her. I have been reading Patricia Jones' blog and love her heart too. I pray the Lord's great mercy and favor over all of you. Looking forward to reading about the trip.

ashleyalden said...

How exciting! I am just so encouraged by your passion to serve! I do have lots of questions... I have never seriously looked into the Compassion before now (it's really feeling like the Lord is connecting some dots for me, through you and other means.)
1.) What are real, tangible needs that can be met from us in the US? Obviously the monetary donations are very necessary in a sponsorship...but what are other "gifts" are most needed and useful for these children and their families?
2.) I'd also be curious to know the greatest hopes & fears of the Compassion workers who see the fruits of this amazing ministry first hand. I'd be willing to bet those folks have some amazing God-stories to share!
3.) I read on the Compassion site that ideally, sponsorships will last until the child reaches the age of 22. What happens next? What have some past Compassion children, from this area, done after they are “released” from the program?
4.) Is it common for people to have the opportunity to meet their compassion children?
5.) For you...when you return, what might you feel that your children able to take away from what you’re doing? Do you feel either is at the age where they can somewhat comprehend what you’re doing? As a mother of two (5&2) going on a mission trip would not only be a bit of a sacrifice for the entire family, but hopefully a blessing to each of us as well. I’m very curious how (and if) you are able to communicate to them what you are doing and how they seem to process that service.
I have tons. I’m sure tons more. Most importantly, I’ll be praying for you, your travel group, the Compassion workers you’ll encounter, and most importantly the lives of these children you are about to experience and impact. You are such an example and an encouragement, in the Lord’s name. Safe travels, sister...we can’t wait to find out what He has in store for you.

StacieHope365 said...

I wonder how the whole letter process works. We sponsor in Dominican and Tanzania. What happens after we write the letter. Especially now that the we can upload photos to the online letter.

I bet you are getting excited Amanda!!

Stacie

Cooking Up Faith said...

I'd like to know how long the children are in the program and if there is correspondence between sponsors and their sponsored children (like letters, cards, ect.) Praying for a safe trip for you!!

Rosa said...

We sponsor a girl in India and I would love to know how Compassion helps the families in a developmental way - to get out of poverty. Obviously sponsorship helps the kids but does it impact the long-term poverty situation?

Stephanie said...

We sponsor a little boy from Ecuador, through Compassion! I would love for you to HUG him and squeeze him and tell him that we sent you to tell him that :) Ha ha, I realize that's probably an impossibility, but in case it's not...please let me know and I'll give you his name and the city he is from. Have a GREAT trip!! I will be praying for you guys and crying over every picture you post...except the ones I HOPE you'll post in your Amazon outfits. Those might make me laugh WITH you :) Blessings Amanda!!

Susan T-V said...

I have a question you can ask :-). I sponsor 12 year old in India, and when I get a letter from her, I will get a second duplicate letter - within days of each other. Both letters will be written in sanscript and then translated into English. It's obvious the letters aren't written by the child and I've called Compassion about it several times and they really don't have an answer either. I think they have people that write scripted letters in sanscript and then translate them and sometimes they mess up and do them twice! It's disappointing.

Alice said...

I'm not sure if this is something you can answer publicly, but I'd love to know if you'll be visiting EC270, the New Jerusalem Center. We have sponsored a girl from there for the last almost 11 years, and she'll be graduating from the program in May. It's with a lot of joy and sorrow that we say goodbye to her. I'm just wondering if you'll end up going there--also if sponsors are able to continue contact with children after they graduate. God bless!

AprilR said...

My husband and two of our children sponsor a child with Compassion. It's great! We used the kids' birthdates (or as close as possible) to choose two kids and special dates that are in memory of a couple of special people to us to choose the other two. We need to choose a child for our new baby. What a joy!

AprilR said...

Our family sponsors four Compassion children, and we need to add another one since we have a new baby. It's been a joy. Prayers for a safe, fruitful trip!

Angie said...

Have a GREAT trip, Amanda! My hubby went on a medical mission trip on a boat down the Amazon out of Brazil a few years ago. He said it was amazing. (He's a pastor, not a doctor.)

Here's my question: What is the attitude like among siblings who don't all have a sponsor? Are they jealous or happy for each other? Maybe you can share more about the response in those situations.

Teena said...

Amanda, wanting you to know I will be praying for you and following ... I will be posting about the trip...

I am an Advocate. We sponsor from Indonesia, Philippines, Ethiopia... I hope to visit Indonesia one day and meet our sponsored little boy and my daughters correspondent little girl... My daughter wants to go to the Philippines to meet her little girl there...

I am so thankful for this organization... I love Compassion.

I follow you on twitter. I am just usually quiet.

grace & peace..
Teena

Gena said...

Amanda,

I sponsor a child in Equador, as well. I wonder how often the children from the remote villages are in contact with Compassion? Do they go to a Compassion school or does Compassion go to them? Would love as much detail as possible about the villages (and lots of pictures!).

Lyn said...

Amanda,
I have read your blog for years and am so excited about your trip. Do you know if you are going to God's Peace (La Paz de Dios) Student Center? My Compassion child Jhonnatan Francisco Chimbo Apuglion is 8 and goes there. I would be so thrilled to see his picture and for you to hug him for me!! I'm praying for all of you.

Lyn

Patricia said...

I sponsor a girl in Ecuador, please say hellow and tell her that I love her and think of her every single day.

I pray to God that he keeps you all safe and guides you in all your words and actions with the Holy Spirit. I ask him to safe guard you with a legion of Angels.

Patricia said...

Hello! I have little girl in Equador. Her name is Jami. She lives in the mountains of Equador. I am on OC. If you have the opportunity to see Jami at EC491, please tell her that I love her and think of her every single day.

I ask God to keep you safe and guide with the Holy Spirit. I ask him to send a legion of angels to protect you from harms way.
Bless you all for taking this trip.

Shellie Paparazzo said...

That is one of the first things Josh and I are going to do once we get out from under the mountain of debt we've created, is sponsor a child through Compassion. I've thought so many times about the child I want to sponsor. Do I want to sponsor a boy or a girl? How old? Where from? So many choices, and I love them ALL! So hard to choose! I'll probably let my kids help me decide when the time comes. After all he or she will become their sibling sorta once we've sponsored them! One of the things that breaks me and my husband's hearts more than anything is the children that could've been saved had we not been so selfish with our money!:( But we're doing our best to get out from under the debt that resulted from trying to live the American Dream without the income. And then...Compassion child here we come!

Holly said...

I have been very busy these past few months and am waaaaayyy behind in blog reading :) I scooted over to your page today to catch up and was so delighted to read that you are even now in Ecuador on another blog trip. The reason I am posting today is because I find it so LIKE GOD that on the day you posted this, I felt very strongly in spirit during worship service at our church that I was to go home and sponsor another child through Compassion. So I did. If I would have known about your trip then, I would have chosen a child from Ecuador. But instead I asked for the child that has been waiting the longest. I am anxiously waiting for the new sponsor packet so I can find out all about him/her. Anyway, I thought you would find God's prompting perfect in timing.
I wish I hadn't been so behind on blogging so I could have prayed for your trip from the beginning, but I will definitely be praying for you guys throughout the remainder of your trip.