In my last post I talked aboutLive58, the Christian anti-poverty initiative made up of a coalition of ten leading anti-poverty organizations. From within the website you can either view or download the feature length (1hr:14min) documentary "58:The Film", which was the impetus for the Live58 movement. If you haven't seen the film yet, I highly recommend it. Life changing stuff!
Today I wanted to talk specifically about two of the young people in the film. The scene is set in India and the fathers of both of these children work in the same local granite quarry earning between 30-40 cents per day! Sanjiv is burdened with a large debt, which he owes to the quarry owner, and because of
the extreme poverty involved, Sanjiv and his entire family, his wife and five children, are all forced to work in the quarry in order to survive. In one heartbreaking scene, Sanjiv's children are asked, "If you could ask God for anything, what would you ask Him?" One of the younger brothers smiles and responds in typical fashion for a six year old and says, "sweets", then with prompting from an older brother says, " a bicycle". But then the oldest brother, who is around twelve years old, says, "I want everyone to be happy". Then, "I do have desires. But my dreams will never come true, so let me not have any dreams at all." (pause here a moment to collect ourselves). Here is a young boy who should be asking for a new soccer ball, or a new cricket bat, or a skateboard or something. He should be thinking about the fun he's going to have after school, playing with his friends. He should be thinking about being a kid! But instead he spends his days breaking rocks in a rock quarry, knowing that his fathers debt will one day be his, and that the rest of his life consists of working in that quarry, with no hope whatsoever of anything better. He knows that dreaming about a better life is pointless and only serves to deepen his sadness, so he would ask for the one thing that can at least take some of his sorrow away. He would ask God to take away his dreams! Poverty has robbed him of even the smallest glimmer of hope for a brighter future.
Now we move to another child in the film. Her name is Sandiri. She is also around twelve years old, and her father works in the quarry with Sanjiv. At one point during an interview he says that he has the same problems that the other quarry workers have, but with one exception. Sandiri is a sponsored child through Compassion International. Compassion has partnered with their local church and has set up a Child Development Center (the project) which is run by the church. Sandiri attends the CDC and receives education, nutrition, life skills training, God's Word, and much more! She wants to be a software engineer when she grows up. She is happy, energetic, and full of life. She knows Sanjiv and his family and says she is saddened when she sees them working in the quarry.
The stark contrast between these two children is truly amazing! Two children from the same area, who's fathers work in the same quarry, yet one child sees a hopeless future filled with hard labor, hunger, and poverty, while the other sees a bright future full of wonder and discovery. In Sanjiv's case, t he cycle of hunger and poverty will continue on to his children, and to their children, but in Sandiri's case, the cycle ends with her father. This is what happens in a child's life when they are rescued from the grip of poverty by someone who cares enough to sponsor them through Compassion. This story is not an isolated example. This kind of change is happening all over the world thanks to people who are sharing Gods love and abundant blessings with others who are in such desperate need. By becoming a Compassion sponsor, you too can break the vicious cycle of hunger and poverty and change a young child's life forever. So please, won't you consider sponsoring a child today? It will not only change the life of your sponsored child, but I promise, it will change your life too!
Soli Deo Gloria