"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy" Proverbs 31:8-9

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

The beginning..

In a small village, just outside Arua, Uganda...

Lived a young girl, with her mother, father and older sister..

When they can, her parents work hard, backbreaking farming jobs, and earn only 50c a day.  It breaks their heart, they don't have enough money to buy food to feed their daughters, so they attempt to grow vegetables, which is useless in the harsh conditions.

Everyday, they witness International Aid vehicles travel pass, as they take supplies to nearby Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo.  The majority of the population in Arua is made up of refugees from these countries.

Day after day, the same routine, not knowing if work is available, if there will be dinner that evening, what the future holds.

One day, like any other, there was a glimer of hope..

News spread across the village, the local church was beginning a new program, to help the villages.  Unsure, but curious, the girl's family walked the long, dusty, windy road to the church, perched atop a hill, overlooking the village huts below..

The program sounded great, and what more, was it gave the villagers hope.

Right there and then, they enrolled their youngest in the program.  Forms were filled in, and her photo was taken.  She had never had her photo taken before, never seen a camera.  The workers told her they would send her photo overseas, and someone would pick her to sponsor her, to help the entire family, in the hope to break the cycle of extreme poverty.

Day after day, she went to activities at the church project.  She had many friends there.  They played, skipped, ran, learnt Bible stories, learnt how to wash their hands, and ate a meal.  It was the most nutritious, healthy meal they ate all week.

Over the next couple of months, many of the children discovered they had sponsors, and eagerly awaited receiving letters and photos.  Although they didn't know what to expect, they were excited about what lay ahead.

But, this young girl did not join her friends in having a sponsor.

Month after month passed, and still nothing.  She still liked going to the project to see her friends, but she was loosing hope of ever getting a sponsor.

After 6 months, the news arrived!! She jumped with joy, and her parents cried when they received the news. Hope, a future.

She now had reason to smile

The happiest day is Mail Day.  Once a month, the Project Director comes into the room, with arms filled with letters.  The children sit patiently, wondering, hoping, that there is mail for them.

The little girl was overjoyed! Her first letter!! And it even had a photo of her sponsor! She vowed to keep it safe, to look after it forever.  This was the first day of a wonderful relationship.  Every month, she sits down and does the very best drawing, tries the hardest at colouring in, and even writes her name!

She prays for her sponsor, and one day hopes to meet her, and give her a big hug!

I am so very blessed to have Bridget as my sponsor child.  This is where it all began.  My Compassion journey.  Sitting at the computer one evening, looking through pages upon pages of children's faces.  All of them living in extreme poverty - Struggling every day to survive.

When I saw Bridget's face, I knew.  I knew she was the one.

It has been incredible so far, and I pray we have many, many years ahead.  We will continue to write.  When I recieve a letter, it is so special.  I love when I receive letters, so I can't imagine how she feels.

No regrets. 

It starts with one child.  And that one child, is just the beginning.

Sponsor a child today, if you are in Australia visit Compassion Aus or otherwise visit Compassion International