A group of 42 people, consisting of individuals and families from my church went to serve at a church in Quito that is located in the neighborhood of Carmen Bajo. The church is also linked with a Compassion school in the same neighborhood. Every day members of our group worked at a construction site at the church and/or played with the elementary children of the Compassion school. I got the privilege to work at the construction site during the mornings and play all afternoon with the children.
The children are so friendly and just want to be loved on. They would run up and give us big hugs and then ask to be held, and never wanted to be put back down. I was struck by the openness they had towards us, even though we were basically strangers. It was such a blessing to love on these children.
Later, at the end of the week, I went on a house visit. There I saw firsthand what these Compassion children lived in – dark, foul smelling, tiny, houses in which family relationships were often strained and sometimes abusive. It was terrible, and I was appalled at the inhumanity these children had to live in.
Because of this visit, I better appreciated the Compassion program and began to understand why the children were so loving and always asking for hugs. This building was their safehouse. The Compassion building was where they were able to be loved unconditionally, eat a hot meal, and learn about Jesus. This was their home.
My siblings and I have decided to sponsor a Compassion child, hopefully in Carmen Bajo, because of the house visit and seeing how important the Compassion program is to these children.