The last two weeks have been crazy, amazing, and crazy amazing. It started with finals week and packing for the Dominican Republic and my trip back to Idaho and then turned into dealing with my car being stolen. Not knowing if I would have a car or not when I returned from the DR, I took off on a flight with my sister and a group of about 30 other incredible people.
There were so many amazing experiences from this trip with Compassion, so for now I will just share one.
Her name is Esther.
Before leaving for this trip, I had the honor to sponsor Esther, a 5 year old girl living in poverty. In my eyes, I saw this sponsorship as giving her $38 a month to help with food, school, health, and other costs. I also saw it as writing her a few letters back and forth to get to know her a little bit. But this past week, I learned that sponsoring a child through Compassion is so, so much more. (If you want to learn more about Compassion International and the work they are doing, or if you are interested in sponsoring a child, please message me and I'd love to tell you more about it!)
On Friday, I had the privilege of meeting Esther, who turned out to be the most incredible 5 year old I've ever met. She is fun-spirited, kind, grateful, joyful, and absolutely beautiful. Through Compassion, Esther's family not only receives physical help, but they also receive emotional, social-cognitive, and most importantly spiritual help. Esther and her mom attend church and are proud to call themselves Christians, who find hope in Jesus Christ and their future home with Him, even when their earthly home seems insufficient by my own standards. In a third world country where hope is merely an idea, Compassion is giving families and children a concrete hope by serving them in the name of Jesus.
One of the first things Esther did when I met her was asked if she could pray for us. Then, she recited the entire Lord's Prayer in Spanish. After that, she immediately asked me what my favorite Bible verse was and went on to recite one of her own favorite verses. Keep in mind, this little girl is only 5 years old.
As I spent time playing with her and learning about her and her family, I was continuously amazed not only by Esther’s wisdom, but how much joy she had even in the little things. When I asked what her favorite subject was at school, she quickly answered with a smile, “All of them!” When I asked her mom how far they lived from school and the Compassion Project that Esther attended, she was happy to say that it was only about a 10-minute walk. This is a family that takes nothing for granted. This is a child and a mother who love Jesus for who He is, and not for any worldly blessings they might have. This is a mother and a child who prayed, thanking God for the things they did have, instead of asking for the many things that they didn’t have.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 says,
“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Esther and her mother are living and breathing this verse. The joy they find in Christ is more than sufficient for them. Thankfulness seems so, so simple sometimes, but yet I struggle with it every single day. I find myself approaching God’s throne with requests and all my wants and needs, rather than with my gratitude and thankfulness.
This picture is now my desktop background. Not just because Esther is absolutely adorable, but because it serves as a reminder to find joy in the little things, and to be grateful in all things. Her smile came from a place of pure and genuine thankfulness, her joy was absolutely contagious, and her child-like faith will forever inspire me in my own walk with Christ. When I grow up, I want to be just like Esther.