This week I’m sharing the letter from the Country Director of Colombia. The director, Jose Carrasco, mainly serves as the South America area director, but helps as country director with some of the South American countries, too. He is a very busy man, I’m sure! I really hope to be able to go to Colombia someday soon to meet Luna, who I sponsor there.
“Dear Alisa, Greetings in Jesus’ name! My name is Jose Carrasco. I am the South America area director, and I’ve been privileged to serve as the interim country director of Colombia since 2014. I was born in Peru. I am married to Laura, and we have two wonderful children, Jose Alonso and Natalia.
Compassion has been serving Colombia for 45 years. We currently have more than 240 child development centers in Colombia, and we are serving 77,000 children and youth. Through sponsors’ generous and selfless giving, children feel loved, cared for, nurtured and supported in many ways. You have made all this possible for Luna through your sponsorship and your prayers. You truly are making the difference in your child. Thank you so much!
Unlike a child who is not in a program, a sponsored child has a safe place to go each day. At the centers, children have the opportunity to learn about the love of Jesus and to identify their strengths, develop their gifts and talents, and overcome difficulties. They are taught, among other things, that they are special because they are children of God.
We do face struggles daily. Compassion serves Colombia’s most impoverished children and their families. The children are at high risk of sickness and even death in their early years. Every day, they are surrounded by violence, the absence of one of the parents, etc. They also face economic crisis, in which unemployment and the cost of living are extremely high, making life increasingly difficult for those who live in poverty. Lack of water and access to good medical attention is a daily struggle. Hospitals lack medicine and equipment. The families cannot turn to government education or its agencies, as these do not offer the help they require.
By God’s grace, we will continue to go forward and overcome any obstacle that presents itself. Compassion Colombia has improved its program and materials to better empower the church to fulfill its mission. Churches work hard and diligently to serve the children better through training, materials and mobilizing local resources. We are developing child protection networks and early childhood and youth development strategies so we can help more children to become responsible and fulfilled Christian adults. It happens when the church of Christ gets mobilized in prayer and action to intervene in children’s lives.
Nourishing the relationship between the sponsor and the child is of utmost importance. I encourage you to write letters. When a child receives a letter, it means more to a child than you will ever know. Your words really affect your child positively. Knowing that someone who lives so far away is praying and thinking about them makes children feel loved and appreciated.
I cannot express my gratitude for your sponsorship for Luna. Your giving has changed the destiny of your child, and that is priceless! My heart fills with joy as I express my appreciation and recognize your generous giving. May the Lord bless you and your family. We covet your prayers and promise also to pray on your behalf.
Sincerely in Christ, Jose Carrasco”