But, now that I was at the airport, sitting for hours by myself, I was feeling the exact opposite. I didn't want to think about it. I didn't want to think about the shoe-less children, the homes made out of cardboard, the garbage lined dirt roads, the burning piles of trash, and the hopelessness of kids that weren't registered with Compassion staring in through the barbed wire fence that surrounded the Compassion project, where me and over 100 other people were having fun.
(Photo Credit goes to Mark Hernandez)
But, like any good introvert does, I let myself think. I let myself reflect. I let myself cry (just a little) in the O'hare bus terminal. To be honest, it probably wasn't the weirdest thing going on in the bus terminal. Chicago is a weird place.
It was during that time that I started to plan my Honduras blog series. This trip to Honduras only lasted 5 days, but I came home with a lot to say. One of things I anticipated (and it turns out that I was correct) that some people wouldn't exactly be supportive of my trip. I was going to come home to haters, to say the least. People that would question why I spent my life savings on a trip to such a poor place. People that would see the pictures I brought home and say things like, "Oh that's a shame" and "Those poor people" and then go on with their daily lives. I can deal with those comments. However, when I started to mention what Compassion is and what they do, people start to talk about God. Good! Let's talk about God. Isn't he great?! Well, that's not exactly what everyone thinks. It comes down to, "Well, if God is so great, why does poverty exist? Why does He allow these poor children to live like this? What kind of God is that?"
And that breaks my heart.
Because, well, it turns out, that God doesn't like poverty.
God did not create poverty. God does not want to see his children suffer. God does like to see his children living like this:
(Photo Credit to Various Members on the Honduras Sponsor Tour)
God did not create poverty. Poverty comes from a corrupt world. It comes from people having more than they need in this world and not being willing to share it with those that don't. It comes from people getting so comfortable in their lives that they can't/won't notice the people who don't have what they have. It comes from a horrible cycle of a lack of education, from uneducated parents having children who also grow up uneducated. It comes from economical hardships, from the lack of money to buy basic necessities.
But, more than anything poverty is a series of lies from Satan that teaches young children that they are nothing. Satan tells these children the lies that they don't matter, they aren't intelligent, they aren't loved, they mean nothing in this world, and that they will never amount to anything. Satan uses poverty to steal the hope out of young children.
(Photo Credit to Mark Hernandez)
People can say that God is doing nothing to fight poverty. But, that couldn't be farther from the truth. While God is not snapping his fingers and making everyone wealthy (because that would just be silly), He is doing work in poverty. God is calling us to help. God has lead many, many people to care for the children and families living in poverty. These people, these staff members, volunteers, teachers, pastors, tutors, sponsors, and many other supporters, have all come together to work through Compassion International. Compassion intervenes in the lives of these young children and provides them with support academically, socially, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Compassion works in all of these areas with each child, so that they will grow up to be a healthy, educated, productive, and God-loving adult. These are the children that will go on lead their country in many ways.
Believe it or not, this trip has made me love God even more. God doesn't cause poverty. He doesn't want to see his precious children living in horrible conditions. God wants them out of poverty and he calls us, who are able, to help pull these children out, in Jesus' name. I am eternally grateful that God has chosen me to be a part of the mission of Compassion. He has chosen me to love these children, to connect with them, and even experience this poverty firsthand. He has started a fire in my soul to see poverty eradicated completely. I feel so blessed to be called on this road, this path, this mission.
God is so good.
I urge you to look through your budget, and realize that $38 is not a lot of money. It's a meal at a restaurant for your family, it's a night at the movies, it's a cup of coffee everyday for a month. For me, it was too many fast food meals. What could it it be for you?
But, for a child living in poverty, $38 is everything.
Please visit Compassion International's Website and connect with a child needing a sponsor today.