Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Ecuador!


If you popped over here from the Proverbs 31 devotions, I'm so glad you did! Welcome!

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I promised to write about my trip to Ecuador with Compassion but since I'm a fashion writer I never did that. With my devotional running today, I thought I'd take this opportunity to tell you about my trip.

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The trip was amazing. Honestly, I was a little apprehensive to go because I had never done anything like that before so I didn't know what to expect. There were about 20 of us who attended. Suzie Eller, one of our P31 speakers, my assistant Patti Curlee and myself represented Proverbs 31. It was a joy to get to know Suzie better. She's got lots of good stuff to say on her blog so I'd recommed visiting her site soon. Patti is always fun to be with so that goes without saying!
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I could tell you all kinds of things about the trip but there are a few that stick out more than others so that's what I'm going to share.
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First of all, poverty REALLY has a whole new meaning for me. Here's a link on my facebook site to all the pics I took. It is a public way to post pics so I hope you'll take a look at them by clicking here. You will see poverty in all kinds of ways but you'll most likely always see smiling children, too. Amazing.
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My VERY favorite memory, though, is the day I got to spend with Christian. My daughter, Carly sponsors him thru Compassion and how blessed I was that I got to meet him. There were a few sponsored children that were coming to spend the day with us and we were supposed to meet them in the lobby at 9am. Patti and I got downstairs a little early and as we were walking to breakfast we passed this little boy, a man and a woman. The boy was about 9 years old, though he was so little he could have passed for 5 or 6. But when we walked by him, I noticed he was walking very hesitantly, yet, fast...if that makes sense. It's like he was putting one foot in front of the other, but doing it quickly, but almost in a skipping kind of way. I thought to myself, "Oh, I hope he's mine!" And then went to breakfast.
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When we got back after breakfast and went to meet the children, lo and behold, that little boy was mine! It was Christian, Carly's sponsored child. When you look at the pictures you are going to see that very rarely is he NOT smiling.
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Christian brought something new to my life. He was so special, so sweet and so grateful. I brougt him a stuffed animal and you will see from the pics that he held on tight to it most of the day. His mother came along as well as the director at the site where he goes to school. I have NEVER seen anyone eat chicken to the bare bone before. But he did. I have NEVER seen anyone so grateful for a stuffed animal before. But he was. He held my hand for most everything we did and it was so sweet getting to be with him and his mom.
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You know, one of the things that sticks out to me is that she is like you and me. She wants the best for her child. And she was sooooo grateful for Compassion because her child is able to be cared for thru them.

When the day was over, they both hugged me like I was part of the family. And we cried. Alot. It was sad, but in a happy way.
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In my devotion I told you about Eric and his mom. Wow. Eric has Down Syndrome and the whole village loved him so much! I truly have never seen a house so run down in my life, as I described in my devotion. But again, his mother was so very grateful for Compassion because her son and his brothers were able to receive the kind of care they needed.
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Another neat thing is you'll see pictures of me and Patti painting the nails of the little girls...they LOVED that personal touch and attention. What a treat for all of us!
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Want to hear something funny? I asked Christian what his favorite food is and he said "guinea pig". Ooohhhh.....my son just texted me a picture of one at the pet store yesterday cause he wanted one as a pet! Gracious.
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I truly loved that trip. I know many people think that "what's the big dea to sponsor someone cause who knows where the money goes". Let me tell you...it goes to real live children and families. It was the most eye opening experience of my life. I pray you will consider sponsoring a child thru Compassion. One of the coolest things was the day we got to visit the Compassion office and saw all the letters that come in each day from sponsors. The system they had set up to get those letters to each of those children was so exciting. The children actually SAVE every letter you write to them...and will carry your picture around. I'm not kidding. I saw it with my very own eye.

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I hope you enjoyed this little post today because I enjoyed remembering my time there. I hope I get to go back again. I'm excited to be traveling to Guatamala this summer with Susie Magazine and Compassion. It is a 2 week mission trip for teenagers and about 400-500 teens will be going. I'm one of the speakers on the trip so if you're looking for a wonderful way for your teen to spend a few weeks I can't think of anything better. I'm taking my teenage son Luke with me, too. We will all fly into Miami for 3 days and the kids will learn street drama for evangelization purposes. I can't wait!

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Meet me back here tomorrow for my regular Wednesday post about What to Wear!
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The Winter E-Newsletter started going out yesterday so if you signed up to receive it, be on the look out for it! If not, go get yourself signed up...it's got some good info in there, including The Plan! What's that? Read it and see! Make sure you visit my home page to see my updated website...it's so exciting!

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Love you all!!!!!

Shari

8 comments:

Amy Carroll said...

Beautiful, beautiful devotion and post today, my friend. Don't you love the work Compassion does? I'm going to give to them for Haiti relief, too, because I know that they will funnel that money through local churches to help local people.

Meeting our sponsored child was one of the most memorable days of my life!

Eagles Wings said...

Wow, I'm just crying sitting here reading and looking at the photo's...
I've had the opportunity to travel to Honduras and Guatemala - and it's an eye opening experience. And yes they are much happer with Jesus and without all the stuff we as Americans think we need!
Thanks for sharing and the reminder!God Bless!

KELLY said...

How fortunate you are to have experienced visiting these countries and sharing the word of God. I sponsor a child through Compassion in the Philippines....began the journey at a time my husband was unemployed and my salary had been cut 20% due to the recession, but God spoke to me that day and it was a wonderful decision! I pray that one day I will have the priviledge to visit these poverty stricken countries and spread the word of Jesus to all! Enjoyed the devotion and really enjoyed your blog! Kelly

A Seeker of Divine Moments said...

I read your devotion on crosswalk.com today. I enjoyed reading your thoughts & heart. I went on a Mission trip to Ecuador a few years ago and it completely changed my life. My husband has now been twice. I understand exactly what you met when you said your heart was changed forever. It really puts things in perspective.

Zuri said...

Ecuador is one of the most beautiful countries of South America. Nothing compares to the landscapes of the Highlands, the lush of the Amazon Rainforest, the exotic Beaches of the Coast and the mystery of the Galapagos Islands.

Karrie said...

My family sponsors a little girl in Ecuador also. We (my daughter and I)had the privilege of meeting her and her mom when we went on a mission trip in the summer of 2008. I hope to go with Compassion on their next trip to Ecuador. We will see what the Lord has in store for us. Compassion is truly a God-ordained organization. The local physician we worked with in Ecuador had only good things to say about Compassion. Blessings.

Vanessa said...

I went on a Brio Mission trip (the old name of Susie mag) when I was 16 (I'm now 19) and I loved it! I went to Lima, Peru and it changed my life! It grew my faith and helped me understand God and people in a whole new way. If you have a teen girl who is looking for a way to make an impact on her world and learn more about her God, SEND HER!!! You won't regret it.

P.S. When I got home I started sponsoring a boy from Lima!

Anonymous said...

Your jewelry is a "work of art" and shows your creativity of heart. I'd be privileged to win one of the "give aways." Kathy