|The Beautiful Dancers of the Folkloric Ballet|
Today was our first full day here and our itinerary was intense. We started the day early with a visit to Compassion International's Mexico Office. I really enjoyed getting to meet this hard-working staff that do their jobs with such joy and dedication. We had a conference with several of the principal staff members who gave us an overview of how Compassion International works and what it takes to serve over 20,000 children in Mexico.
After the visit to the office, we traveled to the "Children With a Future" (Infancia con Futuro) Student Center in an area of Mexico City called Neza. This area is comprised mostly of homes and neighborhoods that were constructed by "squatters" on areas of the city landfill that are no longer in use.
This is one of the poorest of the poor areas in Mexico City and living here is hard. It makes people hard. But, in the midst of this strife, is a light being shined by Compassion International and the staff and volunteers at this project. They provide the children with hot, nutritional meals, medical attention, values education and bible study. More than anything, they provide the children and their families hope for a brighter future.
|The Doctor and Nutritionist who volunteer their time to keep the kids at the project healthy.|
We also had the opportunity to visit the home of a family who have two Compassion International sponsored children who attend the project. The family lives with four other families in a multi-family structure which is comprised of a courtyard/garden area, several small rooms (one for each family) and one bathroom which is shared by all four families. The family we met is made up of a father, mother and three children who share a 10' x 10' single room home. We gathered around the small dining table while the mother explained how through her children's participation in the Compassion International program, not only had her family had several physical needs met, but they have also become stronger Christians and a stronger family as well. She said the children are behaving better at home, performing better at school, growing in their faith and, for the first time, setting goals for their future. She and her husband are so thankful that their children have been blessed with this program.
This evening we ate dinner with 2 young men and a young woman who all grew up being sponsored at a Compassion International project. Johnathon, the boy I spoke with most, is now working almost full time managing an internet cafe in order to pay is tuition to the University, where he is Majoring in Computer Engineering. There is no doubt that this young man has a bright future. How cool that his sponsor, a woman from California, can know that she had a part in it!
Tomorrow promises to be another long day as we travel to Puebla to visit another Child Development Center. I'll keep you posted!