How did we celebrate our sponsored child’s birthday?Part 2 – Experience
If you have followed along on Part 1,then you may understand that next thing we asked ourselves was, how do we make our kids tangibly experience what a life must have been for the birthday girl,we are sponsoring in India?
Easy answer is,take a trip to India to visit Apeksha. (Read Part 1)We are praying that this will happen one day for us. Until then, there are couples of ways that I can think of, to bring the experience closer to home.
It is an excellent initiative by compassion. They set up a ‘mock trailer house’, similar looking and feeling like what some of these sponsored children might be living in different locations throughout the country.
I was pleasantly surprised that it was happening close to where we live in birthday weekend. Could God have planned any better?
What can you expect at compassion experience?
We arrived at the location and waited for our turn. We got our headphone gears with mobile devices. We had a choice to ‘tour’ the home of 3 of these children in three different countries. These self-guided tour lasts for around 20 minutes.You can hear the narration in the child’s voice.You can tour each of these children’s ‘home’ , if you want to, in little over an hour.
My daughter naturally picked India. We watched our kids as they curiously looked at very small rooms.They noticed the lack of bed as family must have squeezed on the floor to sleep. Noticed the pictures of the family and God(s) on the shelves. I can confirm that room was pretty good representation of what the actual house of some of these children might be in India.
We heard the story of how sponsorship brings transformation in the life of a family. Biggest of it being the family coming to Christ.
If you have never stepped your foot out of US to witness the poverty that many Asian, South American, African countries faces, you may have the moment of awakening. If you have never sponsored a child before, you will feel encouraged to sponsor one as you look at the walls filled with the photos of some of these children who are waiting to be sponsored. We came back with the strong desire to sponsor another child.
What if compassion experience is not possible for you logistically speaking?You must have heard that pictures are worth a thousand words. We have indulged our children with Hindi songs on YouTube and books on Indian culture. There are many documentary and still images out there depicting correctly the plight of these children. Some may be too hard to watch for young children. Use your parental discretion .At the same time; please remember that poverty is not pretty. That’s the reality of these children and our children need to grasp that.
Family Mission Trip
I have talked to my friends who are originally from South American countries.One thing i have realized that despite of cultural difference poverty looks very similar in India or Guatemala or Brazil to name a few. If you cannot visit the country where you are sponsoring your child from, pray about going on a family mission trip to visit some of the countries closer to you, if it is feasible.
If you are sponsoring a child already, I pray that you continue to be the light and encouragement to these children by your words, by your visits God willing. If not, why not? What is holding you back?