Do you ever wonder what is going on in their little heads?
Today, here in Manila, we met mothers and babies who are in Compassion’s Child Survival Program.
I love watching moms with their babies.
I have three girls. I love my children with all my heart and with all my life. Last week, my daughter Julia got her drivers license, and while I am happy for her, I am freaked out. It’s scary watching your precious child drive off in a vehicle that can injure them. So I pray for her.
I pray for all my kids. I clasp my hands together and I lift my head toward heaven and I cry out prayers for my girls.
“Oh God, keep her safe while she is behind the wheel.”
“Oh Jesus, help Grace as she transitions into high school. Protect her heart.”
“Oh Lord, help Isabel as she walks into adolescence. Help her with her emotions.”
I have never had to pray that my baby wouldn’t die today.
I have never had to pray that God would provide the money for antibiotics to save my child.
I met this mom today. She lives on the 3rd floor of this crazy squatter house where the rooms are piled on top of each other, and to get into her space, you crawl up a ladder.
As we talked, she told us how the Child Survival Program has helped her family.
“We have a hard time making enough money to eat. My friend told me about Compassion and the church, so when I was pregnant, I went to them for help. We now have food, we can see a doctor, and my baby is healthy.”
As I looked out the window at the street below, I could see the dirt, the garbage, the sweaty man across the street without his shirt, the barefoot child below playing in the street, and all the signs of poverty, I had a hard time imagining this life. This family doesn’t even make enough money to live in a home with an address.
Poverty steals life. I have learned that in some parts of the world, mothers won’t even name their child for the first year of life, or look into their babies eyes simply because they fear bonding with their baby, because the odds are against them. How do you raise a child when you can barely survive yourself?
As I watched and listened to this mom tell her story, and as I sat in her small room with her family surrounding her, I loved what she said before we left her home.
“I am so thankful. I am thankful for what I am receiving. God has answered my prayers.”