Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Meeting our Compassion Child

On rare occasions, you have redefining times in your life. For me, this was one of them...We got to meet our Compassion child in the Dominican Republic! It was so amazing. First of all, our translator and guide from Compassion International was a former Compassion child from The Dominican Republic. His sponsors live in Pennsylvania. Ivan is his name. That's one reason I love this organization. They use the locals to run everything. It just makes sense.

Ivan drove us three hours northwest into the mountains closer to Haiti. The people in the small town that we were in felt the quake so much more than they did in Santo Domingo. They said that the house shook and they all ran outside. It scared them, but nothing was damaged. We estimate that it was up to a 5 there. They also experienced the after tremors.

Bariela, our Compassion child, just turned 8 on Christmas Eve. You can imagine that she was a little shy with all of the attention she was receiving. I could tell that she had her best clothes on and her hair was so cute! She melted our hearts as soon as we saw her. We gave her a little backpack with a few things in it. One of the things was a picture album of us and our friends and family, so that she has a better idea about our lives. We also gave her a couple of coloring books, and she and her friend began coloring.

Brock did a little magic for them (watch the video at the end of this post to see one). As Brock began doing magic, neighbors and family members began pouring inside. Bariela's house was very small maybe 15X15 and she had two doorways but no actual doors. At one point, I counted 22 people in that little house. It made me think of that TobyMac song, "When love is in the house, the house is packed..." They definitely could teach us a few things about community. It came so naturally to them.

Toward the end of our visit, Brock asked them what they needed. He said that he wanted to pray for them. He did, but I know Brock. He was fishing, too. He likes to fulfill people's needs. Bariela's father, whom was an impressive leader in his family, answered the question. You are not going to believe what he said! "Pray for our health and the people in Haiti." Brock and my mouth dropped. They don't even have a door, and they only asked for that? If we were to ask that of anyone in this country, they would have a list of things they "needed." We have much, and we want much. They have nothing and want for nothing. It was a special time when Brock prayed over Bariela and her community.

As we were leaving, the father said that they only wanted to serve us. As Brock shook his hand, he also shook his head, and said that we want to serve them. As I hugged Bariela's grandmother, she held onto me tightly and then looked me in the eyes and said, "Blessings." I cannot imagine that we blessed them as much as they blessed us that couple of hours that we spent hanging out with them. I will always remember and treasure that time sitting in Bariela's house on that Friday morning.
Us and BarielaBariela and her parents and siblings
Bariela opening her gift
Everyone hanging out in the house
Ivan is the big guy holding the baby
The backside of their house
Their neighborhood


Haley said...

The video was great! Their faces were priceless.
True story: The other day Eva was telling me about her "sister". She said that her sister had a black face and had 3 ponytails. Kinda weird that your compassion child kinda fits that description.

Mom in Shepherd said...

Great blog!