Today I went to Sector 30. I know it sounds like some quarantined, alien invaded area from a movie, but here in Burkina Faso, it represents one of the poorest communities near Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. Nothing surrounds this area. Few trees, no plants, no water, just dirt, dust and a few goats. The houses are built with dung and the visual signs of poverty are everywhere.
3000 children are eligible for the Compassion program in this community, but only 250 kids are lucky enough to be a part of the Compassion program, because this is the maximum capacity the center can handle. The difference sponsorship makes in this community is life and death considering one out of every ten children die in Burkina Faso before the age of 10. Our kids, the Compassion kids, beat those odds.
Our arrival into Sector 30 brought many of the children from the community to see us. While we sat in the classrooms with the Compassion children listening to their music and joyful songs, outside the building stood a hundred other children wishing to come in, not sponsored. Standing in the hot sun, with their skinny little legs, half-naked little bodies, dirty bare feet, they stood there to catch a glimpse of us.
How do you turn them away? How do you decide who gets fed and who doesn’t or who gets sponsored and who doesn’t when they all need it? And their eyes tell a story. Are we the ones that turn them away? It’s just a question I have to ask myself when I look at all I have and want, and I see them hungry and naked in a place like this.
It’s been a long time since I have seen bloated belies, red colored hair, sunken eyes, and tear stained faces from hunger. I can’t show you all the pictures because I want to preserve the dignity of the children, besides, they are beautiful, precious children and God sees them as priceless gems despite their circumstances.
25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
3000 of them want to come inside to where the music plays and dancing begins, where meals are served and doctors treat their malaria, and vaccines are given so they don’t get polio, typhoid and other diseases, and where Christ’s love is professed. It takes $38 a month to spare a child from the clenches of death and a life of hell on earth.
You can see the visual difference sponsorship makes in their faces. I have wept today once again because I would rather see the beautiful smiles and joyful children, than bloated bellies of babies. So I plead to you tonight, if you can hear me, and feel my anguish, and you can sacrifice a little more, then please please please help these kids, sponsor another child if you can. You can go today or tonight to the Compassion website and sponsor a child right here. I stayed up until 1 am tonight to share this and to pray someone will respond. I leave at 5:30 am for the bush. That should be an entirely new experience filled with an 8 hour dirt road ride to who knows where. Love you all my friends and family!
Life, Family, Faith and Travel...the life of a Jones
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