We all need it. We all struggle in one way or another on any given day. But honestly, in my life, those struggles are sometimes…many times…blown way out of proportion compared to the beautiful people I have met in Ecuador.
I am so grateful for having met Rosa–a beautiful widow raising 6 children in a humble home on the mountainside in Otavalo. Her winsome smile as we worked alongside her was one of those pictures that is forever etched in my mind. She was proud of what she had. She was willing to share even in her lack. And the way she clutched to her chest the devotion book I gave her as a gift showed me that she was holding onto hope. She was not going to give up.
I also met Anna Maria. A mother of 5. A widow and also a woman who had the father of her 5th child leave her. But Anna Maria has found hope. While she was pregnant with her 5th child, she saw a sign inviting young pregnant mothers to register for Compassion International’s Child Survival Program. She was accepted and through the help she received, was able to deliver a healthy baby girl. She has come to know Jesus as her personal Lord and Savior, and now opens her home for small group Bible studies on Sundays. A woman who could have chosen to be bitter and angry is holding onto hope.
And Ricardo. He is a young man in Compassion’s Leadership Development Program (LDP). Ricardo took free music lessons at his local church as a child. Through those lessons, he learned about salvation found in Jesus. He received Jesus as his Savior and, at 9 years old, was enrolled in Compassion’s child sponsorship program. A missionary prayed over him as a child…that he would be a great leader in his community. After he completed the child sponsorship program, he was accepted as an LDP student. He believes in dreaming big and allowing God to help those dreams come true. As the leader of his LDP division, he and his fellow LDP students visit children in local hospitals and share the love and hope of Jesus with them.
All three of the dear people have experienced what it is like to live in very hopeless conditions. But each one of them has decided to hold onto hope. There are countless others who are facing hopeless situations all over the world. Most of them are children. But you have the ability to encourage them to hope and to dream big and let God do the rest. Won’t you please look at these faces today? Each face has a story. Each face has a dream. Each face needs hope. You can pray for those children as you look at their pictures…that would be wonderful! But if God tugs at your heart to be the ANSWER to their prayers for a sponsor who will lead them to hope, please don’t delay. Give HOPE to a child today.
Hope. We all need it.