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A Little Child Shall Lead Them ~ Compassion Tanzania Blogging Trip {Day 2} Part 2

As part of our visit to the Buhongwa Compassion center in Mwanza, Tanzania, we had the opportunity to visit the family of Latecia, a little girl that is part of the Compassion International center, but still waiting for a sponsor.

She is just three years old.

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That same three year old led us on a 15 minute walk along meandering dirt paths to her home so that we could meet her family. {That thought alone overwhelms me, people}. The thought of my child walking around our neighborhood alone is enough to scare me and yet, she knows the way and was able to guide us to her house.

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We met her brother, Michael just before we reached the house. He watched us enter and followed us into their small, dark home. No water. Their source of  fresh water is the Buhongwa child development center where Latecia attends the program. 15 minutes away.

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Windows were blocked with bricks and covered to keep pests out, so their small house was dim and we all struggled to see at first. Moments after we sat down on the couch, something scurried over my feet. I’ll admit I made a small yelp. It was their cat, which was followed later by a chicken.

Agnes is a single mother with two children. She rents her small house with the money that she earns selling vegetables at the market. When we asked her what her struggles were for her family, she spoke of the lack of food. If she doesn’t have enough, she goes without and feeds her children instead.

My heart is breaking.

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We spent more time asking her questions about what it means to her in having Latecia participate in the Compassion International center. Does it help her family?

The answers? A good education. Medical care {because she has concerns about some things with Latecia} and the center has staff that can help her. Food is also available for her daughter when she attends the program.

During much of the time we spent with Agnes and her children, she was very serious and soft spoken. Before we left, we asked if we could pray with her and she said yes. No interpretation was made ~ just prayers from our heart.

Compassion Day 2 Laticia at home

As we left, we snapped a few pictures of Agnes and her family in the doorway of their home. Sweet smiles. An amazingly beautiful woman who cares so much about her children and wants them to have a better life than she herself does.

Latecia walked back with us to the Buhongwa child development center. My heart is just overwhelmed with how a mother would feel watching her children struggle with such basic needs such as where the next meal is coming from.

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This mother is the one whose face I looked at and saw hope, because she sees the blessing and benefits that her child receives through the assistance of Compassion International.

Will you be a part of that hope?

If you would like to specifically sponsor a child from the Buhongwa child development center, follow this link to see the children that are available for sponsorship . These children have become a part of the Compassion program, but need families that are willing to open their hearts and sponsor monthly. Once all of the children from the Buhongwa center have been sponsored, you can sponsor any child in Tanzania.

Sponsor a Child in Jesus Name with Compassion

Those who went on the home visits today will also be sharing how they were impacted as the day progressed. Be sure to visit the Compassion Bloggers website to visit the blogs of others and read more. I can’t wait to share more with you this week, especially as I meet one of the children that we sponsor and hope you will continue following!

Hope and Vision ~ Compassion Tanzania Blogging Trip {Day 2} Part 1

The one thing that stood out during our visit to the Buhongwa child development center with Compassion International today was HOPE.

“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1

Compassion Tanzania Day 2

Hope from Samson, the project director that oversees the Buhongwa center {TZ 670} in Mwanza. He spoke of the future in anticipation and hope of what the next ten years would bring for the center. More children reached with the gospel. Hungry bellies fed. Families and lives redeemed. Lives changed.

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We were shown around the center, which joined with Compassion in 2010. The children put on a short program for us and shared their testimonies in the church building which also serves as the meeting place for the after-school programs and their Saturday program.

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The center has a wonderful yard for the children to play games together and is surrounded by the hope of future buildings ~ some already in progress. Others that are just a vision, such as a house for the pastor.

The foundation is being laid for two future classrooms and office area for the staff and volunteers . Although they currently use the church building for a classroom, if there are church meetings, the children are moved elsewhere for classes.

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Already in progress is a new building to house the kitchen where meals are prepared for the 250+ children during their time at the center on Saturdays. The new kitchen will have a sink area, food preparation area all under roof. Below is the current kitchen area where they put together a meal for us today. Not inside one of the buildings below ~ but outside over the charcoal and wood piles.

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Next to the kitchen area is a fenced in garden where the center teaches the children practical living skills, such as growing vegetables for meals and to sell at market, so they can learn a trade. They are planning to bring chickens to the center, so they can teach the children how to raise and care for chickens, another help for practical living.

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In addition to serving children and families at the center, many families from the area currently walk to the center for access to clean water. One family we visited today has a 15 minute walk {one-way} to fill their buckets with clean, drinkable water to take home and use for their family.

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Clean water from a pump outside the center

Although these are just the tangible ways that the center is able to reach out to the community through the Compassion International sponsorships, it is really just the visible. Bellies are filled with nutritious meals. Food is provided for families. Clean water is available. Education is given for practical living.

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The intangible is also such an amazing part of the impact and the ministry that the Compassion center has in the community. Love and attention is given to each of the precious faces that enter the grounds of the center. Through sponsoring a child, families are changed when the gospel is brought into their homes and hearts are filled with a love for Jesus.

Compassion International is truly doing amazing work. Witnessing first hand the joy on children’s faces as they raise their hands in worship is something I will not forget. Looking into the face of a mother and seeing hope, because her child can receive medical attention through the assistance that Compassion offers leaves an impression on my heart.

Hope is such a small word but filled with such amazing potential.

If you would like to specifically sponsor a child from the Buhongwa child development center, follow this link to see the children that are available for sponsorship . These children have become a part of the Compassion program, but need families that are willing to open their hearts and sponsor monthly. Once all of the children from the Buhongwa center have been sponsored, you can sponsor any child in Tanzania.

Stay tuned for the second part of our visit to the Buhongwa Compassion center. We also had the opportunity to visit one of the families the center works with. I’ll be posting more later tonight, but sure to visit the Compassion Bloggers website to visit the blogs of others and read how others were impacted today during our time with Compassion.

 

Sponsor a Child in Jesus Name with Compassion

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Sweet Songs of Praise ~ Compassion Tanzania Blogging Trip {Day 1}

There is so much that I want to share with you all as we start our Compassion blogging trip to Tanzania, but my mind is literally whirling because of some travel glitches. We just arrived in Tanzania today and immediately headed to a nearby child development center to meet the church and pastors that run the center. We asked many questions, learned SO much more about how the programs are run in conjunction with Compassion International~ and I’m going to share more about that throughout this week.

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Because of all of the traveling, my body is completely out of whack {read s.i.c.k.}. I decided to stay back at the church while others on the blogging team went on some home visits. During that time I sat and talked to a few different people and little by little I was surrounded by the sweetest little faces.

Just watching me. And smiling.

As they began to gather around me, I began asking their names. Tickling bellies and then asked them to sing a song for me.

Compassion Tanzania kids singing

And truly you all ~ I was blessed beyond measure. My eyes are welling with tears picturing their sweet little faces, clapping, and singing praises to God. I’m halfway around the world and feeling sick, wanting desperately to minister to those sweet faces, and THEY are the ones ministering to me.

Simply sweet and amazing.

The center that we visited today in Mwanza serves 230+ children. Out of those children, there are over 50 that are still needing sponsors. They have become a part of the Compassion program, but need families that are willing to open their hearts and sponsor monthly. Would you be willing to sponsor a child in Tanzania for $38/month?

In addition to helping that child you are also helping the child’s family as they have more resources available for other children in the family as the needs of one are taken care of. I can honestly tell you that sponsoring a child is a blessing to your entire family as you develop a relationship with that child ~ and share so much more than just the basic needs to help release that child from poverty.

Sponsor a Child in Jesus Name with Compassion

Those who went on the home visits today will also be sharing how they were impacted as the day progressed. Be sure to visit the Compassion Bloggers website to visit the blogs of others and read more. I can’t wait to share more with you this week, especially as I meet one of the children that we sponsor and hope you will continue following!

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Going to Africa

When my husband I were married, he had been sponsoring a child through Compassion International for several years. We wrote letters and sent gifts until he graduated from the program. The kids helped us choose another child to sponsor ~ a young girl from Togo that is about the same age as our girls. In October we added another little boy from Togo.

Compassion Bloggers Tanzania 2012

This coming May I have the amazing privilege of traveling with Compassion to Tanzania as part of their latest blogging team. The group of us will be sharing about the ministry of Compassion International as we visit various centers and families that they work with.

We will be traveling from May 6th – 11th and during that time I will be sharing pictures and stories on this site from my time in Tanzania.  There are still almost two months of preparation ahead of us and don’t think I’m not already running through things to do in my head: passport {check}, immunizations {shudder ~ happening today}, and praying, praying, praying. I am so very excited, humbled and thankful for this opportunity to see firsthand all that Compassion does to minister to those in poverty.

Above all, I know that each and every member of the team headed to Tanzania would appreciate YOUR prayers and would love to have you virtually take the trip along with us. 

Can I invite you to follow along and pray with each one of us?

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