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Lies, Letters, Bondage and Hope….

April 30, 2009

Ok friends….I know some of you might be getting tired of these posts. I realize that reading about fun stuff, silly stuff and lighter stuff is probably more appealing to many of you. I get that, and I’m sorry that I just can’t write about those things right now. I need to share a few things with you. Things that really matter. Things that are the heartbeat of God…things that are about justice and hope and freedom in the midst of darkness. If you would…please open you heart as you read this.

brothel-girls-in-india

These girls may not look unhappy in this photo, but I’m almost certain that  their hearts are broken and empty. They are the young prostitutes selling their bodies on the streets of a slum in India for as little as $1. Yes…you read that correctly – $1.  Pete wrote this about the photo:

Every day 20,000 men seek out the services of the some 6,000 women who work the streets. Many of these women are just young girls. There are tens of thousands of these girls throughout India. Many are tricked into leaving their homes with the promise of a well-paid job. Some are abducted. Others are sold by their own families.  They are drugged, terrorized, locked in brothels and raped repeatedly. They’re rented out for sex for as little as 15 minutes at a time, dozens of times a day for 30-50 rupees… which is equal to less than one US dollar.

The soaring number of prostitutes believed to have contracted HIV in India’s brothels has helped give India the second-largest number of people living with HIV/AIDS in the world, just behind South Africa.

That, my friends is darkness at work. That is hopelessness. That is Bondage.

Take a look at this picture and see the difference….

kiren2

What you see in Kiran’s face and eyes is hope.  Patricia Jones  of Jonesbones5 wrote this to Kiran’s sponsor in America:

Dear Mary,
I met your sponsored child today.  I don’t know who you are or where you live, all I know is that you live in the United States.   I wanted to share with you about her.  Her name is Kiran Manig Mallik and she lives in Kolkata.  Her home is the smallest home that I have ever been in.  It’s about the size of a 2 person tent, maybe even smaller.  There are 5 people who live in the home and at night, Kiran’s father and brother sleep outside on the street because there is not enough room in the home.  The area where Kiran lives reminds me of the movie “Slum Dog Millionaire”.  The poverty was severe and the conditions were horrible.  I kept crying as I walked her neighborhood.  It’s also a dangerous neighborhood.  There are brothels about 2 blocks away from her home where young girls are enslaved and sold to men.  We walked by the brothels and my heart broke.

Kiran was a blessing to be with.  I think she is around 11 years old and she is just beautiful.  Her personality is very joyful and outgoing.  Her project worker said she is very smart.  She walked with Keely and I through the slums and held our hands.  She would kiss our hands and hug us periodically.  She sang “Lord I Lift Your Name On High” and said it was her favorite song.  At one point she enthusiastically said, “I am so happy”.  Both Keely and I burst into tears as we looked at the conditions of where she lived.  Keely had sunglasses on so she could hide her tears; I just had to look away because the tears were streaming down my cheek.   At one point Kiran declared us as her new best friends.  I don’t think that all this love was for us; I think it was for you.  We just represented you.   Mary, she said she loves your letters.  She said that you have encouraged her and she would love to meet you.  She said she loves you very, very much.  She wants a picture of you and said you have not sent one.  It would mean a lot if you sent her a picture because she wants to see your face and pray for you.

Thank you for sponsoring her.  You are very lucky to have such a sweet little girl,

Blessings,

Patricia Jones

How can somebody living in such poverty have such joy? How can she radiate peace and hope? Jesus…..Period.  She knows peace because she knows the author of peace. She knows joy because she knows the giver of joy. And she knows these things because of people like you and I who have given to the ministry of Compassion that has introduced her to this Jesus!

compassion-international-india-5121

Do you see the difference?

And then you can read this from Angela over at Bring the Rain. She wrote this post about how she has been lied to. Here is a little taste:

And as you will see from the following pictures, Compassion isn’t really making that big of an impact.

The kids in the program look just like the others.

They don’t have any sense of hope or purpose.

There isn’t a shred of joy to be found on their faces.

They are starving, suffering, and desperate like the rest of the people they sleep close to on the streets.

You didn’t really think that they would learn about the Lord when you sent that check, did you? I’m afraid I will have to expose the reality to you. To them, He is nothing but a faraway God who has forsaken them.

Not Someone to be trusted.


Not Someone to be worshipped.


In fact, this whole thing is just one big scam.

Although, there was 11 year old boy on crutches who makes his way to the project every day after he has led his Hindu family in Christian prayer. He also hung several pictures of the Lord around their home, right alongside the idols, in order to teach his parents about the God Whom he loves. The same God he prayed to when his brother was ill, and shortly after, had a miraculous healing. His parents now attend church.


And then there was another girl (who lived in the 24 square foot house, and slept on the floor, which we refer to as a sidewalk) who told us that she had joy in her heart because that is what Jesus wants us to have and she desires to be like Him. Then she proudly waved her hand around the tiny space that was barely tall enough for her to stand in and asked, “How do you like my home?” as if she were in a palace. Then, she told us how desperately she wanted a picture of her sponsor so she could show it to all the kids around and tell them who was helping her. She walked with us through filthy streets and held hands with Keely, and at one point she began to cry. When asked what was wrong, she explained that nothing was wrong, she was crying tears of happiness because she was so excited to meet real sponsors.


I really could go on and on. I’ve never been on a trip with Compassion although it’s my prayer that I someday am able to. I’ve never been to India or Uganda or any of the other nations that struggle with levels of poverty that we can only imagine…but I don’t have to go to know that I can make a difference. I can make a difference in the life of one child who has the potential to touch the lives of countless others in his or her lifetime. My small amount of money can literally CHANGE hundreds or thousands of lives.

And the good news? It doesn’t stop there. My amazing God wants to capture my heart…your heart, with love and mercy and compassion for the poor. He wants to give us a burning passion for justice. He wants to see us released from the brokenness and poverty in our spirits as we release others from their physical poverty. And dare I say…he wants US to be changed by touching, loving, serving and being with THEM.

We have so much to learn. I have so much to learn.

I’ll leave you with this quote that Pete wrote on his blog from India today…

“Sometimes I would like to ask God why He allows poverty, suffering, and injustice when He could do something about it.”

“Well, why don’t you ask Him?”

“Because I’m afraid He would ask me the same question.”

We can ask why…or we can be part of the solution.  To read more from the Compassion bloggers go here. To sponsor a child go to Compassion.com

And if you don’t…. I would encourage you to ask God what he would have you to do. Their are so many ways that you can make a difference – He will tell you if you ask.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. June 18, 2009 4:46 pm

    Thanks…..You made my month if you did go visit Compassion to sponsor a child. There IS something we can do and we can make a huge difference!

    Blessings!!!

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