I’ve put off writing this post for quite a while as I’ve attempted to ruminate over what I experienced on our recent trip to Kenya. One of the main reasons we went to Kenya was to visit Faith, the child we’ve sponsored through Compassion International for the past two years. We’ve involved our children in giving to the family, and we lift them up every day in prayer for their needs. But unless and until we actually go visit, all we have a preconceptions based on, well……. Some people get all their ideas about Africa from watching “The gods must be crazy”. In other words, we really had no idea what to expect.
Every month we give our $38. Sometimes we’re given the opportunity to give a special gift, at Christmas or on a birthday. But what is it really for?
To be honest, I had no expectations for the day. I simply wanted to observe. Our sponsor child is only seven years old, and as such, I really don’t think I had any expectations from her. What I didn’t expect, and what I was very excited to see, is the network of people that surround Faith in an effort to make sure she thrives. From her teacher to her case worker to the pastor to the administrative staff in Nairobi and Embu, everyone there is there to make sure she doesn’t fall through the cracks. When Faith wasn’t showing up to school, someone was there to check up on her and find out that she had no transportation to get there, and they did something about it. It’s good to know we’re not simply throwing money at a problem.
As I mentioned, Faith is only seven years old, so she was very quiet and reserved, and she really had no idea who we were. Scary white people, I think, was about the extent of it. But her family understood what was going on. Faith’s grandmother, in particular, couldn’t believe people would come all the way from the United States just to see how they were doing. We were able to find out more about the family. We knew that Faith had an older sister, but we didn’t know that she had Down’s Syndrome. We also didn’t know she had a baby brother. Faith also showed us the goat we got for her last Christmas. Frankly, I had forgotten we got her a goat. Now the family has milk, and I obviously didn’t miss the money since I completely forgot about it.
All in all, it was a tremendous experience, and I know that if (when) we visit in the future, Faith will have a better understanding of who these foreigners are and why they’re there. As far as Compassion International goes, it’s awesome to see that they are using a very small amount of money and doing tremendous things with it. If you’ve ever wanted to help out in a third world country, please consider them. Their website is http://www.compassion.com