Today I walked the muddy streets of Nairobi, Kenya. I stumbled over the rocky path littered with filth and entered the home of a young mother, named Caroline.
She kept her small one-room-home that sleeps six, tidy and greeted her guests with a warm smile, holding her one year old on her hip. She wiped the corner of her baby’s mouth with the edge of her dress as she explained how the Compassion Child Survival Program had made an enormous difference in her life.
She’s not so different from me, really. Sure, our worlds are like night and day, one American living in opulence, the other African, living in squalor. But there is a chord that binds our hearts together: we are both mothers.
(her daughter, Eunice)
I recognized the look of fierce love in her eyes for her children. I understood the bent of her back as she knelt and stirred the charcoal fire she used both to provide food for her family and roasted peanuts to sell for income. I saw her heart and it beat for her babies.
As I walked the streets with the Kenyan Compassion workers, who visit the mothers and babies in their program monthly, their words pierced my heart. “We are like social workers, caring for every part of these people: their emotional, physical, socioeconomic and spiritual well-being. We are social workers like Jesus.”
Jesus was the great social worker. He walked the roads and encouraged. He cared about the hunger pangs of children, the fishing careers of the disciples. He wasn’t afraid to get His hands dirty. He touched the people, healing their blind eyes and opening their spiritual ones.
Compassion does the work of Jesus.
I saw Him today in the slums.
I recognized Jesus in the eyes of Caroline, no truer Proverbs 31 woman have I ever seen. She toils day and night, investing her shillings carefully to plant an amazing garden outside her home to feed her family.
Selling peanuts she carefully wraps in plastic bags and sells for five shillings, doubling her money. Caring for all four of her precious children and believing God to meet their every need.
Water is the life of these villages. The people work so hard to haul it, store it, preserve it. Caroline and her children have tasted of Living Water. It is evident in their home, their beautiful smiles and the joy that radiates from them.
But so many are thirsty. The water they carry won’t quench the deep thirst of their souls. Through Compassion International, their physical needs are met and they are taught about Living Water.
I believe we cannot ignore the thirsty. Jesus’ message is clear to us in Isaiah 58:6-7 on how we should live: “What I’m interested in seeing you do is: sharing your food with the hungry, inviting the homeless poor into your homes, putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad, being available to your own families. Do this and the lights will turn on,and your lives will turn around at once. Your righteousness will pave your way.”
YOU can be an answer to the prayers of thousands of mothers in Kenya today. 3,000 Kenyan children are waiting on a child sponsor today and for the cost of just over $1 a day, you can change a life.
Would you consider sponsoring a child today? Children are waiting.
You may or may not be a mother by flesh and blood, but I believe God gives every woman the instinct to nurture. From one woman, one mother, to another, if we walked in Caroline’s shoes, we would hope, pray that someone would hear our voice in the world.
If you sponsor a child with Compassion now, you’ll receive a $30 gift certificate to DaySpring.com, including the (in)courage shop! Just click here.
ABOUT KRISTEN WELCH
Kristen writes at her parenting blog, We are THAT family, and offers an honest mixture of humor and inspiration. Her first book, Don't Make Me Come Up There, a book for busy Moms, will be in...