Colombia Day Four: Building for the Future

When working at Compassion events, a couple  of the most frequently asked questions are 'How much of the money is going to the children?' and 'What is the difference between the $38 per month and the $45 per month option?'

Having traveled with Compassion twice now, I have seen firsthand that the 'at least 80% of each $38 per month' is making a difference the lives of many children. Children are being clothed, children are being fed, children are receiving medical attention, children are being tutored, and children are learning that Jesus is their Savior.

But what about that extra $7 per month? Often at an event, we share with potential sponsors that the extra $7 they can contribute goes toward disaster relief, malaria prevention, medical needs, and other priorities in the country where their sponsored child lives.

On this trip to Colombia, our group was able to see how one project used the funds from this 'extra $7 per month' for the benefit of many children in their community.

David, my greeter at this Compassion project

When we arrived at this center, we each had our own personal greeter. David was my greeter (I just love his hair!) I have to tell you, these centers really go out of their way to make each one of us feel so special. In a way, I feel like a representative for many sponsors when I have been blessed to go on these trips. Which is one reason why I love to share my photos and experiences with you.

After our initial greeting, we split up into groups to spend time in the classes with the children. But before we got to the classroom, this pretty much stopped each one of us...

Sponsors names on the wall of this Compassion project

...wait a minute...those are our names on the wall! We were all overwhelmed that this church and these children would be so excited about our visit that they would spend the time to remember us this way! Wow!

So, our little group spent time with the little guys. The kids in our group were pretty quiet to begin with. The teacher handed out some plasticine (modeling clay) to each of the children. And a couple people in our group did a bit of face painting on the children.

Compassion Colombia sponsor tour
Compassion Colombia sponsor tour

Soon, most of the children started warming up to us. But little Angelica, oh! She ended up being a delightful chatty little one!

Angelica, she loved making animal sounds for us

I noticed there was an ark painted on the wall of the classroom, so we started asking the kids what sounds the animals made. Angelica spoke in such rapid Spanish and she made many animal sounds. She was such a delightful and energetic young lady!

Compassion sponsors covered in stickers

Before we left the classroom to prepare for serving the children lunch, the kids covered us with stickers. And yes, we kept them on for most of the day!

Lunch duty at this Compassion center

We had quite an assembly line going serving up food and washing dishes to feed the children in shifts. It was quite hilarious at times (and warm with all of our serving gear on!)

One of our fearless Compassion tour leaders

And if you ever let someone else use your camera while on a trip, you never know what you might find on your memory card when you get home!

Complementary Interventions Funds in use

After lunch, the staff and volunteers shared with us one way they were able to apply for and use some of the Complementary Intervention Funds. Basically, that extra $7 per month that I talked about earlier in this post.

Finished Complementary Intervention Fund Project

The staff showed us a binder filled with applications, receipts, and many forms that were necessary for them to apply to have some of the Complementary Intervention Funds available to help them build onto their existing building to add more classroom space and another bathroom. Many community members came alongside the church to help with the building process. So this was truly a community project to help build the future for many more children in this community. More children will come to know Jesus because this church, and this community see the importance of investing in the children.

 Thanks to Cassandra for this photo!

Thanks to Cassandra for this photo!

Before we left this project, the staff and volunteers painted our hands so we could each leave a handprint on the wall.

Pieces of my heart left in Colombia

I don't think any of us realize how much love we have to give until we leave bits and pieces of it on these trips. Praying that one day I will have the opportunity to go back to this center and love on these children and this church body again.