Posted by on Jun 8, 2009 in Compassion International, Faith, Good causes, On my soapbox, Personal, Photos | 9 comments

DSC_2189 You don't go to Calcutta, India without experiencing a lifetime of stories.  The people I met, even those I merely passed on the street, have burrowed deeply into my heart and settled quietly in my mind and I don't know quite what to do with them.  It's crowded in there. 

I think of them often, which leads me to prayer; there's no void of spirituality in India, but it grieves me to sense the hopelessness and oppressiveness in it.  There is no way, no truth, no life–just darkness and futility among a colorful, beautiful people.

DSC_2329 The exception was at every Compassion-assisted Child Development Center we visited–the atmosphere was charged, hope-filled, contagious.  There was order and intention and a proper sense of pride.  I didn't anticipate the contrast.

I've begun writing some of these stories, but in a practical sense they've silenced me.  Odd, I know, to write and not publish–a blogger keeping her mouth shut?!–but I suppose this is how I'm processing my experience…in an hermetically sealed vault.  {smile}

Something happened two weeks ago that I have to share with you, though, vault or no vault–

Though it was barely mentioned in the news (why some weather stories are hyped and others aren't is beyond me…), Cyclone AiIa ravaged areas in West Bengal (including Calcutta) and Bangladesh; 300 people were killed, 500 thousand were forced to abandon their homes, and millions have been affected.  The homes of almost 200 Compassion-assisted children were damaged or destroyed and several Child Development Centers suffered damage.  Two months ago, I would have received that news, said a quick prayer for The People of India, and quickly forgotten about it. 

Now?  I'm compelled to ask you to help in any way you can.   It's offensive to  me to guilt or manipulate you to respond, but I don't mind appealing to your conscience if it's already been softened by hearing our Compassion stories or asking you to extend generosity to those who can never pay you back, especially ~

I know your support IMPACTS those in need!

I've seen the difference Compassion sponsors make in the life of not only the sponsored child, but her entire family!woman, child, blind beggars on Calcutta streets

I'm not too proud to beg…but my imploring?  From the comfort of an air-conditioned home sitting on a cushioned sofa, feet away a closet full of clothes, a pantry and fridge stocked with food, while I bang away a post from a laptop if purchased new would cost enough to support two-three families in India for a year. 

Crap…I really wish I hadn't made that last calculation {s i g h…}.

Anyways……

It's a soapbox worth mounting and I hope you'll join me in whatever capacity you feel led.

  • Read more from Compassion International's website and make a one-time donation.
  • Visit the Compassion blog to learn more details, not just about India, but about the people who serve and are served, and how Compassion changes lives here and abroad.
  • Sponsor a childPlease.  It's the funnest pen-pal program in which you'll ever take part, and the best one I'm aware of that puts food in a child's mouth.  Literally.  {What a FANTASTIC Summer project to begin with school-aged children, too!}
  • Write a post that shares your impression of and experience with Compassion.
  • Stumble, Kirtsy and Tweet my post.  Yes, I just boldly (hmmm, and yet shyly) just asked you to do all three.

This is a fantastic "Do Something" opportunity…because doing something is always better than doing nothing :).  Heartfelt thanks and {{cyber hugs}} for whatever "something" you choose to do!

First two pictures are my own; photo credit of street beggars:  the gifted Keely Scott.