Just because he is poor doesn't mean he can't live with dignity.
Compassion's Child Survival Program teaches that true human dignity is God given because He knew us before we were ever created. He created us in his likeness and saw that it was good.
I traveled down a long, narrow path through a banana plantation owned by the Compassion partnered church until we reached a little mud house. This is where Oscar lives. He lives there with his brothers, sisters, mother, father, and grandmother.
His house was small and made of mud.
There was no grass in front of the house, but the dirt was swept as smooth as a rug. The day's ration of plantains sat neatly on a mat in the sun, waiting for his mother to prepare the matoke.
I noticed that the father did most of the talking, and the mother sat quietly and smiled. She was being submissive towards her husband in order to show honor to him in the presence of their important guest. He passed around some photos of their wedding. He was so proud of his beautiful bride and wanted all of us to see how gorgeous she looked in the gown that she had created using the sewing skills that she learned at the Compassion center. The program had a year long plan. They would teach the women income generating skills and celebrate with a group wedding. Oscar's parents had been together 20 years, but through Compassion they now have a marriage covenant with God.
The reception was equally as nice with tables filled with beautiful cakes the women created from baking and cake decorating skills taught at the center.
We walked outside to help with the laundry, but we weren't much help at all. We planned to serve this mother who faithfully works to care for this family, but we knew very little about this type of labor.
The mother whisked us away from our chores. She wanted to show us the kitchen that her husband and oldest son had built for her. We did not see anything special, just a little hut built on to the back of the house. To her it was her dream to be able to cook under the cover of a roof during the rainy season that would soon be approaching.
This family does not have any of the modern luxuries that we consider necessary for survival, but what they do have, they take care of because they value and appreciate it.
The father showed us his harvests of millet and ground nuts.
He was especially proud of his silo that stores millet for use during the hunger season.
Compassion also understands that everyone likes to look nice, so they take pictures of these children in their best clothing.
Compassion teaches that just because a child is poor, it does not mean that a child is less valuable.
When a child knows that God values them, and that you value them, they find it easier to value themselves.