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Hope in Their Eyes

October 6th, 2010

STACEY GAGNE -

On our daily trips around the city of Addis Ababa it was common to encounter people begging for money.  Sometimes they would be trying to sell us something and others they would yell “Money” or approach our vehicle hoping for some spare change.  I wished that I could help out each and every one of those people… but of course there are many reasons why me giving a few birr (Ethiopian currncy) to every person that asked was not going to work for many reasons.

The children, of course, were the hardest to pass by.  On our first day we did some sight seeing and a little gang of boys followed us around trying their hardest to get us to give them money.  At that point I hadn’t even changed  over any of my American dollars so giving them money was literally not an option.   Another day 2 boys approached the van while we were stuck in traffic and asked for money then began singing the chorus “This is the Day”.  I had to wonder if they even knew what it meant … and it broke my heart.

I can tell you that there is an obvious difference in countenance between the children out on the streets and the children in the program.  Their home life situations are probably quite similar… but there is a light of hope in their eyes.  The children in the Compassion projects are being taught ways to earn a living such as wood working, sewing, among other life skills.   They are being instructed that there are better ways to survive than begging.  They are being cared for,  fed, and clothed.  Most importantly,  they are being shown the love of God both tangibly and through scripture.

I am confident that Compassion International is making a difference in the lives of children and their families because of what I’ve seen in Ethiopia and therefore trust it’s the same way around the world.  This, to me, makes sponsoring a child an obvious choice.




  1. Courtney Bender
    October 10th, 2010 at 22:46 | #1

    I always hearing about people’s mission experiences- especially when it involves children and Africa! Someday I want to get to Africa. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Tina Bender
    October 11th, 2010 at 15:02 | #2

    I remember the same sort of thing when I went on a missions trip to Slovakia. The children are very hard to pass by. They just flock to you and you see such a need for love. Blessings!

  3. Theresa
    December 21st, 2010 at 20:30 | #3

    Stacey,
    I have been following your Compassion International – Ethiopia Sponsor Tour and am so excited that I will be doing the same in May 2011. I will meet my sponsored child after 13 years. I would deeply appreciate any advice you can offer to help with my preparations and when I arrive. Your video is wonderful, thank you for doing it. I plan on doing some video myself. Thank you for sharing your experience and the tremendous difference Compassion International is making for the children, their families and for us.

  4. Joan Pérez
    February 24th, 2011 at 19:24 | #4

    I to had a wonderful awakening when I visited Haiti. We just don’t realize what we take for granted. We are so blessed. Our church sent our about 15 of us start to builid a building for worship. The need is so GREAT. People so friendly. But again just like others say they do flock you for handouts. We took over some old hats, The children just raved over them. The next day when we went back to that village, the children were still wearing the hats proudly.

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