Heart-Prints from Our Journey to Ecuador
The people of Ecuador left Heart-Prints on each of our souls and we have been forever changed.

I have drawn close to some things that I know must break God's heart and they have broken mine as well. Though I know I can't help every suffering family in the world, I can help those I have been made aware of. Most of all, I will continue to pray and ask God to make me a person who is forever aware, forever willing, forever compassionate, and forever courageous enough to step out of my world into someone else's. ~ Lysa TerKeurst

I had seen what an impact the Compassion project has already had on these kids. They had hope in their eyes, despite their circumstances. But I wondered how many kids in the nearby neighborhoods feel like there is no hope - no one who cares about them, or at least no one who cares who also has the power to do something for them. ~ Rachel Olsen

Sweet Smiles-Sweet Memories

The people we met live in what we would consider to be unbearable conditions. Most of the dwellings were concrete walls and floors. Some had windows and doors. Others only had sheets covering the openings. The children slept 2 or more to a bed. Yet these precious people were unashamed of their surroundings. ~ Charlene Kidd

My trip to Ecuador was more than a visit to a beautiful country to observe how a charitable organization impacts the poor – it was a journey into God’s heart where I experienced the miracles that occur when His children obediently unite to care for one another. My personal encounter with poverty opened my eyes to see how God's power is unleashed when His armies unite to do His work. This was truthfully a journey into a Holy and Sacred Place that I can only describe as the inner chamber of God's heart. From that vantage point He illustrated for me in full living color: The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The work of Compassion International is proof of God’s commitment to the needy, God’s hand touching the poor, caressing children, healing deformed bodies, feeding hungry tummies, sharing the gospel, educating willing minds… ~ Van Walton

I must tell you, Compassion International is the program I've always longed to discover. For years we have worked with missions in our church, both inner-city and abroad. I often felt we were just placing a band-aid on a gaping wound. Was there really any way to impact a single life forever? The answer is YES! I am a sold-out believer in this program now that I have seen it with my own eyes. ~ Luann Prater

Out of the corner of my eye I couldn’t help but notice a boy, Hydro, on crutches in the corner. I went over to him and we spent the next hour together in his mountain top church. Later, I had lunch with his mother and discovered that she used to carry her son on her back for miles to see the town doctors, only to have them turn them away. Compassion heard about Hydro, paid for his operation and bought him his first crutches. ~ Carrie McGinty

We were graciously invited
into the homes of sponsored children

I grew up thinking that everyone ought to take care of themselves. I thought given enough hard work, people can accomplish anything they want for themselves. However, this past summer, God showed me that we weren’t designed to rely on ourselves for help and hope. He designed us to rely on Him and others for help. There are people in this world who can not help themselves. The implications of that are life-changing. This means that it is my duty and privilege to help those who cannot help themselves. ~ Glynnis Whitwer

The trip to Ecuador was an inspiring reminder that God still uses His people to join Him in helping to transform the lives of those that He calls into His kingdom. The testimonies of former sponsored children were truly rags to riches--from the rags of poverty to the riches of living as a child of the King! ~ Amy Carroll

As I walked through the iron gates to head back towards the bus, I heard my sponsored child Marlon’s soft voice again. He was running across the yard waving at me, yelling “Adios! Adios!” Tears again filled my eyes, as I suddenly felt as if I was losing a family member. A little boy whom I had never met until that day, and would probably never get to meet again, had become someone that my heart would long for for years to come. I feel so privileged that God has allowed me to be, as his mother called me, his earth angel, from thousands of miles away, and pray that God will give me the opportunity to be an earth angel to many others in my own neighborhood, city, state, country or world. Never underestimate the power of caring for your neighbors as much as yourself. ~ Tracie Miles

I experienced God like never before on this trip. Meeting the children sponsored by Compassion was definitely the highlight for me. They have hope thanks to their sponsors and the love they are discovering in Jesus Christ. If you could see their surroundings, their difficult daily lives, you would think that hope was lost. But because Compassion has shown them that someone does believe in them, they believe in themselves. It's absolutely beautiful. I will never forget the moment I met Maria Jose’, the child that my family has the privilege to sponsor. She called me Madrina, which means Godmother, and she had tears as she threw her arms around me and thanked me over and over again for sponsoring her. I will never forget the people I met during our trip and I cannot wait for the when I can return. But until then, I will continue to pray for Maria Jose' and her family, send her letters, pictures, and encouragement, and pray for the work Compassion is doing all over the world. ~ Melissa Taylor

A few of the Compassion International
Project Centers we visited

Further Reading