Sunday, February 3, 2013

No mama, that is trash...

We sponsor two kids in Burkina Faso, a small landlocked West African country adjacent to Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire. 

A couple of weeks ago, Compassion sent a letter with a brief 4-page newsletter containing pictures and information about life in Burkina Faso.  Since we haven't sponsored for very long, we haven't gotten many letters from our children yet, so this was a piece of mail I could share with my 2.5 year old, Michael, to help him better understand who these strangers are that we pray for at dinner every night and that we talk about at home.

I pulled the newsletter out of the envelope and showed it to my sweet little boy.  "Michael, we got some mail about our African friends, Mohamed and Korotimi...would you like to look at it?" I asked.  He was so very excited as we examined photographs of the capitol, looked at the market and talked about how that was like our farmer's market, and talked about the landscape and how it looked different from ours.
Traditional Burkina Faso Huts from Wikimedia Commons

Then we came to a photograph of Burkinabe houses. Traditional Burkinabe houses reflect, in part, the nomadic history of the people, as well as the materials they have available for building.  Most houses in rural areas are made with mud brick with dirt floors and thatch or corrugated tin roofs. While many Burkinabe houses (though of course quite small) appear to my Western eyes to be lovely, in this particular photograph one of the houses had what looked like a piece of black plastic on top as a rain barrier.

I showed my little boy the houses and explained that our friends Mohamed and Korotimi probably don't have a lot of rooms in their houses; they probably have a one-room house with dirt floors, and that they look a little more like a tent.  I pointed at the photograph and said "here is what their house might look like."

Innocently, Michael looked at the picture, then shook his head, "No, mama, that is not a house. That is trash."

My heart broken, I explained to Michael that not all people have access to the same resources we have in our country. He said, "Well, let's bring them to our house, and we can hug and kiss them."

The love of a child.  The simple, sweet solutions of a 2.5 year old.  In that moment, the heart of a child truly humbled me.


  1. I love what your son said!!!! That's so precious!!!! It's so sweet to see how much he already cares for them. My 11 month old loves to look at the photos of our kids...and if I ask him where his Compassion brothers and sisters are, he look and points to the wall where all their photos are hanging!!

    1. I know, it was so sweet... Your 11 month old must be really smart!!

  2. Wow, what your son said is precious! Don't you wish you could do just that? I know I do :)