Thursday, June 23, 2016

Compassion Trip, Report #2

On Monday of last week, I traveled to Riobamba (That's so fun to say. Really. Try it!) with my 44+ newest friends. And we were warmly greeted by these beautiful women and their children.

This event was our visit to one of Compassion's Child Survival Programs (CSP). The CSP "is an early-childhood intervention program that often starts with prenatal care for expectant mothers." After the baby is born, trainers help the moms learn about nutrition and how to protect their babies from diseases and other health dangers. Medical attention is given as needed, and the moms are also taught skills such as sewing, knitting, and jewelry-making - so they have a source of income to help provide for themselves and their babies. All these things take place between a combination of home-visits and time spent at the Compassion Center.
In addition to learning about the CSP, and shopping (That is, many of us bought some of the items these dear women had made. I got earrings and a bracelet to go with a dress Elizabeth bought me in Mexico, and an adorable little outfit for a toddler. Have no idea to whom I will give it yet, but God knows. And I was happy to contribute to the fundraising efforts of these women. *smile*) we were also able to simply have fun with the moms and their babies.
We smacked pinatas and shared lots of candy.
We played musical chairs (While many of the moms held babies!)
We had a relay race which consisted of carrying an egg on a spoon - that we held in our mouth. And which also appeared to be a much more difficult task for the sponsors than for the moms with babies on their backs.

And we enjoyed a song and dance which the moms performed for us.

After our time at the Compassion Center, we split into smaller groups and visited the homes of some of the CPS moms. My group went to the home of Esther - where she lives with her husband, Clever, and their two children, Jessica and Eric. The home belongs to one of Esther's relatives and consists of brick walls, a cement floor, and two rooms. Esther and Clever were gracious hosts and made us feel so welcome. We learned that Esther had recently been hospitalized with pneumonia (Made possible with Compassion's help.) and she is still waiting for complete healing. Please pray for her restoration to health, and for consistent work for Clever. (He is a construction worker, and does not always have employment.)
In spite of witnessing their struggles, it is a blessing to be a part of Compassion's work and seeing God care for them.

The Child Survival Program has been a tremendous benefit to the families touched by it - as mothers and children through age 5 are cared for with compassion by Compassion's partner churches.
I look forward to sharing more of my trip, and telling you about Compassion's Child Development Sponsorship Program tomorrow.


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