It was summer, about a year ago. The mid-afternoon sun blazed hot and bright. Within minutes, my shirt was soaked with sweat. Gnats buzzed around me and large horseflies swooped around inside the barn. The air was still. And thick. The day was ripe for dehydration, sunburns, and all manner of nastiness.
My daughter was having the time of her life. She stood there, brushing the coat of a chestnut mare. The smile on her face could not have been erased by anything in the world. After she was finished grooming the horse, she learned how to saddle it. She walked it out of the barn and to the practice ground. Once on the horse, she listened to every instruction from the woman who ran the stables. This was heaven for my daughter. She only had an hour with the horse, but it was an hour she would remember always.
There’s little I would withhold from my children. My son didn’t enjoy the day as much, but there are many other things he does enjoy which we set aside time to do. No, I and my wife do not give in to every want and desire of theirs, but we cannot resist the infectious joy that pours out of them in moments like when my daughter is in the company of horses. Those are moments that we store up in our hearts. They are treasures that will be ours for time to come.
To say that I have been blessed is an understatement. The ability to give my children far more than their basic needs is not something shared by everyone in this world. Over 3 billion people live on less than $2.50 (American dollars) per day. That means that families do not have the ability to even meet their basic needs. About 600 million children live in what is characterized as extreme poverty. They do not get the food, water, and education needed so desperately. Violence is a daily reality. There is very little help.
However, help has not completely forsaken those that need it. Hope is still alive.
Groups like Compassion International fight against poverty every day. How do they do it? I cannot give proper justice to tell you all that they do. Many who know about Compassion think they are only a means to sponsor a child. They are so much more. Their projects provide more than food for hungry children. They are a means of education and community wide change. They empower families.
I am blessed to be able to provide for my family. There have been times when I’ve wondered how I would meet their needs. God provided, through many means, he provided. Compassion is a means to provide for those families who face obstacles I cannot fathom. With their help, and our help, poverty does not have to be the end of their stories.
So, click on the links to my side. Start with being a champion for a child. Empower a family. Change a community. Be a blessing.
It’s not impossible. Small changes make big differences.