And Then There Was Hope

Yesterday was so difficult to take in that a couple bloggers called it a day around noon and stayed in their rooms to process it all.  It was a day of despair and little hope. We nearly drowned in the statistics alone:

  • 50% of the population in the region we’re in is infected with HIV/AIDS.
  • 66% of the country’s children have not received basic vaccinations.
  • 10% of mothers give birth alone.
  • 42% of births take place in a hospital.
  • 78 out of 1000 children die before age five.
  • 435 out of 1000 mothers die during or because of child birth.
  • 30% of mothers pass HIV on to their babies.
  • But today we saw nothing but hope.

    I visited a young mother and father and their boy Moses at home.  Someone from the Compassion project meets with every family every month to make sure everyone is being cared for economically, socially, academically, physically and spiritually and I got to tag along.  Goals were set: For instance, Moses’ mother pledged to serve her church by singing in the choir – a spiritual goal set.  Progress was demonstrated: Moses’ mother showed us a doll she made out of a plant, and a ball she made out of scrap material just the way the implentor had taught her last month – a parenting goal met.  That’s hope.

    Mose’s mother believes he could be a doctor and make a difference in Uganda when he’s their age.  His father’s dream is simply that Moses would grow up and be a man with a job who obeys and loves God.  That’s hope.

    We went to a project where mothers and fathers are learning trades that will end the cycle of poverty. I met a mother who figured out how to make a coffee substitute out of avocado seeds.  Compassion helped her discover the need for such a thing, develop the product, manufacture it in her home and bring it to market. Brilliant. I met a man who learned to garden and a woman who sews and launders clothes.  They won’t need Compassion’s help soon.  That’s hope.


    I must have held twenty healthy happy preschool kids today.  Little girls in new dresses, braids in their hair, blinding smiles stretched across their dark faces, cups of porridge in their hands.  That’s hope.

    Hope is everywhere here.  What Compassion and its sponsors do together is working!  Poverty is being beaten back.  And today more than ever I just don’t get why so many Christians in America, so many of you reading this blog, haven’t sponsored a child yet.  What are you waiting for?  Everyone can give up caffeine, or golf, or cable or McDonald’s to come up with $32 every month.  Everyone can see from Compassion International’s ratings from experts on non-profits that they can be trusted.  Everyone can imagine what it’s like to be a mother or father who can’t feed their child, can’t afford life-saving medicine, can’t clothe them.  Everyone.  I’m through softening the “ask.” I’ve seen too much this week and I’m too tired (It’s 2 AM) to be subtle.  There’s a need.  You can meet it.  It really is that simple.

    Keep the hope coming.  Save a life. Sponsor a child today.