Friday, February 20, 2009

Home Visits

One of my favorite things that we did in India was home visits. Families involved in Compassion, whose children are either in the child development program or are in the child survival program, opened their homes to us and shared intimate pieces of their lives with us.

I was able to visit 6 families, all of which have had their lives changed by the ministry of Compassion. Some families have been converted from Hinduism to Christianity, and some are still following other religions and serving other gods, but are beginning to see the love and power of the one true God through Compassion and the churches that they partner with.

Each family had an amazing story of their own, but a few stand out in my mind. Here is one of those stories:

One morning at a CDC this little angel in the pink dress came and sat by me. During the morning welcoming ceremony she played with my hair and rubbed my back and did not want to leave my side. After the ceremony we had time to play with the kids, and she stuck by me. She played with me, but she didn't say one word.

A few hours later the team split up to go visit different homes. I was so excited to see the same sweet little face pop out the door, and the excitedly run down to greet me. She grabbed my hand and led me inside her one room home. She had a huge smile on her face, but still, she didn't say a word.

As the visit went on our translator was getting very frustrated, as the little girl refused to talk, and the mother stayed quiet as well. My team asked questions, gave friendly smiles and words of encouragement, and slowly the mother came around. It broke my heart to hear that the father is a drunk and is very abusive. In the home the kids and the wife remain silent in order to avoid his rage. She is not allowed to be a kid. Laughing and playing and even talking bring about a nightmare, so she has learned to stay silent.

We prayed for the family and gave them gifts we had brought and went on our way to another home. After visiting a good amount of time with the family we got ready to leave, and as I walked to the street I saw my sweet little girl there waiting for me. I walked her home, and as she entered her doorway, with a huge smile on her face, she turned to me and said, "Goodbye!"

My prayer for this family is that the father would accept the counseling and support being offererd by Compassion's partner church, and that he would find the love of Christ and be transformed. I pray that these children would know what it is to have a loving Heavenly Father and a loving earthly father. I pray that this little girl may be able to speak and play and laugh, and that these sounds of childhood would bring joy rather than rage.

The next home visit was a story of hope. The family below has found the love and power of Christ. The father was given a job helping build the church that partners with Compassion. Through the influence of church and Compassion staff, he became a Christian. Most of their family has come to know the Lord through his example, and recently his wife was healed through the prayers of Compassion staff. Their nephew is severly physically disabled, and although children with disabilities are often viewed as a shame and a burden, they love the little boy with a love that is pure and selfless. They told us that although they still face hard times, they have joy. Amen.

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