Nicaragua (MNN) – Compassion International is a ministry devoted to releasing children from all forms of poverty, in the name of Jesus. What that process looks like depends on the needs and challenges of a particular area. But wherever Compassion goes, some things stay consistent: children are given a chance for the future, and they know that people are reaching into their lives because of Jesus’ love.
Last week, we shared how the protests in Nicaragua have negatively impacted some Compassion operations. However, despite the challenges, Compassion workers continue to reach out to the children and their families to make sure they are provided for.
Compassion International works alongside the local churches, called Implementing Church Partners (ICPs), to run Child Development Centers. Here, children enrolled in their program receive holistic care.
Virna Segovia of Compassion International says in the area near the protests, the programs usually look a little like this:
“Depending on the number of children that an ICP has, children attend three times over a week, or daily to the church. And they will receive four hours of essential content. That includes spiritual teachings, help in their studies, it includes things like medical checkups or social activities like birthday celebrations, trips to the zoo or to different places.
“Children learn how to pray, how to do handcraft, how to read the Bible, study the Bible, learn Bibles verses. They learn how to relate with each other.”
And it’s the impact this simple program has that inspires Segovia and the other workers to keep doing what they’re doing.
“When you see a child that is new to the project and you ask them, what do you dream about? What is your dream for the future? And you look into their eyes and you see there’s nothing—there’s no dreams.
“After a few months at the project, after a year in the project, you see those children laughing, smiling, you see they have gained weight. You see their [hair] is looking really nicely combed. And you ask them again, what’s your dream for the future? And they have dreams.”
Segovia says these child development centers are a safe haven for children and that the program gives hope because it breaks the cycle of poverty. She explains that children even begin to aspire to have a career.
“For me that is what is amazing about this program. And that’s what keeps us moving. That is what keeps teachers and pastors and the people at the projects the hope and the energy to do lots of work, because there is a lot of work at Compassion projects on a daily basis. There is a lot of work at the office.
“But when you see those smiles—when you see that boy that used to be in the program is now working at Compassion as an assistant to the accountant— that for us, it’s a blessing. It’s a dream come true.”
Segovia says we can be praying that God will continue to be in control over the civil unrest taking place in Nicaragua. Pray for the nearly 60,000 children under Compassion’s care who are depending on these projects. Ask God to give them hope for the future, and to touch their hearts so they might come to know Him as their Savior.
Segovia says thank you to all the people who are praying.