Sector 30 – Breaks me

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.

Some children in this area go up to three days without eating, so they wait to see if there might be some leftovers.

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.

I have to wonder to myself after seeing what I saw today. Did God intend these verses for them or for us? This are Isabel’s (my daughter’s) favorite verses in the world.

Matthew 6:25-34

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!

14 Comments on “Sector 30 – Breaks me

  1. Thanks for the overwhelming messages and comments and for those of you who have told me they are sponsoring another child! Another hard day today seeing so much need. Your comments encouraged my heart tonight!

  2. I am so proud of you and how much of your heart you are able to share with those around you! You are such a gift! Overwhelmed with you by what you are seeing. Me and the girls are all excited to get you home and hear what God has in this for all of us.

  3. Just shared on Facebook and will be praying for you and for these kids!

  4. This is where my children are. I had no idea the poverty was so huge—1 out of 10 die before ten?! My sponsored kids are 9. I cannot imagine.

    Praying for you and those pastors this week. And praying for my children there, too. If for some reason you go to Assemblies of God Central Church of Kaya CDC and see Alizeta and David hug them hard for me. I have tears in my eyes thinking of them and how God has loves them!


  5. I heard your plea loud and clear. Today I got a packet for a girl from Burkina Faso from Compassion – I had requested child packets so I could advocate for the children. I’m thinking this little girl needs to become part of our family. And if not her, then another child from Burkina Faso.

    Thank you. I was thinking our Compassion family was complete, but now I’m thinking we will open our hearts to another child.

  6. Here.
    Tears streaming down my face.
    Those verses? I’ve been memorizing those verses the last few weeks. And thinking the same things, Patricia. That you write right here.
    Yes. Tomorrow, making phone calls, to make sacrifices, so there is more for those who need.
    A thousand thank yous sister.
    When you give a cup of water to the least of these…
    to Jesus. to *Jesus*

  7. my heart is full. Praying for you. Praying for them. Will share …. thank you for sharing. My heart is overflowing…..

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