I love the information we get from the Pastor Letters at Compassion. Pastors of the Compassion Projects write a general letter to the sponsors of their children at least once every two years. They provide a fascinating glimpse into the world of our sponsored children.
This is the 1st Post in a series about Compassion Projects' Pastor Letters. The first three parts in the series can be found here:
Pastor Letters Part 2 - Good News
Paster Letters Part 3 - Addressing Health Concerns
Pastor Letters Part 4 - Pleas for More Letters!
Some of the letters will tug on your heart, to hear about the desperate situations in their communities. But there is Hope because the Compassion projects become a LIGHT in these communities and act as a Safe Haven for our children. Here are just a few examples.
KE200 - Rev. M.G. Johnson - Of great importance, Compassion has revived a race and a generation, which would otherwise be extinct by now, due to the pressure of human wants and an absolutely non-conducive climate. Currently, without Compassion's partnership children would be coming to church naked or in tatters. The illiteracy and school dropout would be unstoppable, and above all death through starvation (and especially at this time of threatening drought and famine in our country) would escalate unpredictably.
‘sons and daughters of prostitutes’
BR-417 - "Most of these children live at risk in their houses. Usually they are sons and daughters of prostitutes and of parents involved with drug dealing. They live in Serviluz, an impoverished community in the outskirts of Forteleza. They come from unstructed families, in need of affection, attention, or even a simple smile."
‘Illegal video shows, drugs, and gangs ‘
ET-329: - "There are also evil influences in this town which suffers economic, social, and spiritual collapse. Illegal video shows, drugs, and gangs are traps to the young people. Many families are breaking and children often live on the street. "
‘Men here are irresponsible’
IN-380: - "In Banaswadi, mostly poor and neglected people are in the community facing major problems, like illiteracy, poverty, alcohol, and broken homes. Men here are irresponsible and women work and support the families. Children suffer from malnutrition."
‘come from broken families, child-headed homes..’
UG-721: - "Children who come to the center here at our church are very excited to be in the program because some of them come from broken families, child-headed homes, and others suffer from malnutrition. Some of the children live on less than a dollar a day."
‘been left as single and double orphans due to HIV scourge’
UG704 Nyaruhanga Child Development Center - Many of the children come from poverty-stricken background. Some have been left as single and double orphans due to HIV scourge. Many of the homes are headed by women because their husbands left for casual work far away from their homes. The responsibility of providing food, medical care to the children is done by the wives. Husbands come home after several months. Generally the living conditions here is poor, characterized by diseases, poor sanitary conditions, respiratory diseases and intestinal worms.
'they are often overworked with stressful house chores'
From Pastor Muganuza Romuard from RW-363, Gashonga- The children are very happy to come to the center here at our church to relax because back at home they are often overworked with stressful house chores. There is a big problem of poverty and unemployment is at the highest due to illiteracy. Children live in tiny crowded houses made of mud walls and the conditions they live in are quite unhygienic. It is for this reason that children suffer from various diseases such as malaria. Spiritual needs for the children are very high, for many of them have not known about Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour.
'child labor stems from the inability of the parents to send their children to school'
PH408 - Shepherd Child Development Center - "In our community, child labor stems from the inability of the parents to send their children to school. As early as 11 or 12 years old, children opted to work as a house helper to help their parents in supporting their large family. They never prioritize finishing school as they considered it as an 'additional' need. . . Most of the people [in this community] settle for farming, work as helpers and some got married at an early age. . . "
'unemployment rate is over 90 percent'
HA288 Capene Child Development Center - Our center is located in a very difficult community in Capeine, Bainet. The unemployment rate is over 90 percent. So, parents can't afford to pay their children's school tuition. Because of that, most of the children are involved in bad companies. Their families hardly cook a meal a day, and complain about their hard living conditions from time to time. It's evident now that our partnership with Compassion is more than a blessing. It helps us to have an impact on children's lives in the community.
'alcoholism, teenage pregnancy, underemployment'
EC 227 - The main social problems that we face here are: alcoholism, teenage pregnancy, underemployment and migration. In addition, one in every three couples that live together are not legally married; they just cohabitate. All these social issues have created a very sad family environment for many children. A large percentage of kids come from dysfunctional families, so they lack affection, as well as, have problems related to their behavior and their academic performance. [...] All I can state, my beloved sponsors, is that I am thankful for your putting a smile on the face of each child and their families. Thank you so much for sharing your love and blessings with your sponsored child. Please, do not stop praying for them and please remember what Jesus said in Matthew 25:40, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me" (NIV). I am sure you will find your reward in the kingdom of heaven.
'hardly eat a decent meal a day'
PH863 – Our place where we are ministering to these children is one of the most depressed towns in Eastern Samar, Philippines. People here have to migrate to other towns and even abroad in order for them to find regular source of income. Those who decide to stay have to be content in the small amount of money they earn from farming or fishing, which is not even enough to provide nutritious food for the family. Children here can hardly eat a decent meal a day, and some of them often must skip meals. They live in homes made up of wood, bamboo and coconut leaves, which are destroyed by typhoons that usually hit our area. Poor sanitation is also present in the community, and many of our children are suffering from respiratory diseases, skin rashes and other illnesses. The spiritual needs of the children are also great.
'Promiscuity and sanitation problems are rampant'
HA731 – The difficulties in the community are many. Most of the children live in very small and crowded homes. Promiscuity and sanitation problems are rampant. Children are vulnerable to malnutrition and other types of diseases. These children are always delighted to come to the center here at our church because they are often stressed at their homes and in the area where they live. But in the center they have the privilege to enjoy lots of activities prepared for them.
'place where all social evils are present'
IN384 Siddapura Child Development Center - As we see in the background of the community where we live, it is the place where all social evils are present and children is prone to be victim of this. The children live in a situation where they see their own parents always fighting, using very bad and filthy language, having extra-marital relationship, addicted to alcohol and not even bothered to send the children to school. The number of children in the family is more, and they struggle to fulfill the basic amenities. Many children are left uncared of sickness and malnourishment. There is no joy in the face in the children. It is because of the sponsors who restore that lost smile back of the children's face.
'40% of their pregnant women die every year during child birth'
TZ-303 - 40% of their pregnant women die every year during child birth. The reason the percentage is so high is because the health centre is so far away that the women die on the road while giving birth!
'most of the children are from polygamous families'
BF120 -The children are very glad to come to our center, because they are relieved to receive services. Most of the population here is poor and most of the children are from polygamous families where the children are left to mothers whose lack resources.
I am so grateful for the ministry of Compassion in these desperate communities.