Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Balancing Act

Yesterday I received my second-ever letter from one of my Compassion Kids, this time our correspondence child Florance, who is from India. I was so excited to read her letter and discover that her favorite colors are pink and black, and that she can read and write in English (wow, that makes corresponding so much easier for me, and opens up worlds of possibilities for sharing with her!)

In the same bunch of mail, I also received information about the country of Togo from the Compassion office in Colorado. I love getting these bulletins because it makes it so easy for me to share with my son how other people live. You may recall in one of my earlier posts when we read the bulletin about Burkina Faso, and Michael was a bit taken aback by the houses they live in.

Well, in this bulletin, Michael was very impressed with the way women and children carry vegetables and other goods to and from market--on their heads! After reading the bulletin, we decided we'd try it out and see if we could "make it" in Togo with our sponsored child, Marcelle. We dug a large plastic mixing bowl out of the cabinet and took turns trying to balance it. Michael was getting discouraged until I showed him a photo from the bulletin of a young child who had his basket on his head, but was using one arm to help balance it.

"It takes a lot of practice to learn to balance produce on your head," I told him (not something I really thought I'd ever be saying to my son...). Well, he really took to it, then, making trips to the "market" in the living room where his play kitchen and vegetables are kept and carrying them on his head back to me to "cook."


When we finished "cooking" our vegetables we looked at the photos of the wells the Togolese people were collecting water from, and Michael asked what they were. I explained that not long ago at all people in the United States were getting most of our water from wells, and it was just fairly recently that we had running water in our homes. In fact, my husband and I had well water at a home we lived at about 7 years ago (though it was pumped to the house, we didn't trek miles with it balanced on our heads).

Michael found that fascinating, and he enjoyed pretending to pull water from the well, balance it in his bowl, and share drinking from the bowl with me.

It's amazing how much a small child can learn from a 4 page bulletin about another country when there is a connection with that country. Knowing that we have a friend in Togo that we pray for nightly by name, and that we talk about during the day makes the world seem accessible and interesting to him.

It makes me think, if my 2.5 year old can feel that way about a child from another country, imagine how my sponsored kids feel about our family. We are a current of information and encouragement to them, and we are making the world an accessible and interesting place for them, just like they are for us! What an amazing reciprocal relationship.

I would encourage any family with children (or without!) to sponsor a child, not just for the sake of lifting up a child in poverty and introducing them to the love of Christ, but also for the sake of sharing the joys and sorrows of other cultures with your own children. There is nothing more satisfying to me as a mother than seeing my own child exhibit compassion towards others. I am grateful to Compassion and to my sponsored children for giving me the opportunity to share this experience with my son and husband!

6 comments:

  1. So inspiring! I know that if I ever get married and have kids that I would love Compassion to be a part of their lives. I mean, for one, you are teaching them about poverty and how Jesus can save people from them, and then (much less important, but still) teaching them about different countries and cultures!

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    1. Thanks! Sharing with Michael has been such a rewarding part of my Compassion experience!

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  2. what a great story!

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    1. Thank you! And thanks for stopping by!

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  3. That's so neat that Florance speaks English!! That will be corresponding really fun!! And I love those bulletins too....they're so informative. I can't wait until my little guy is big enough to relate and enjoy learning about our kids. I love hearing about your interactions with your little guy!!

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    1. Hannah, I'm so excited that she does! I'm already on the hunt for great things to send her :) Thanks for your comment!

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