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El Salvador Day 1: Selah’s 1st Compassion Trip

Today my group Selah left for El Salvador on a “Vision Trip” with Compassion International.  It’s called a vision trip because it’s purpose is to give us a better understanding about what Compassion is all about in developing nations.  A chance for us to soak up the culture, to be with the national staff, and to see the results of child sponsorship in action.

Amy Perry Allan Hall Todd Smith by Pacific Ocean

Our (Selah) concerts provide an opportunity for us to share with thousands of people about this ministry.  We want to get people involved by sponsoring a child, but we don’t want to manipulate them.  As we share stories that are emotional we don’t want to mislead people’s emotions.  I’m hoping and praying that I will come away broken and angry.  Angry about the injustice and poverty I see.  That the next time we share from stage it will be more authentic, honest, hopeful, and passionate.

Sure we look good sharing about children in need.  We show that we have a global look on life with our ministry, but I want Allan, Amy, and I to be so changed by this trip that when we share people will know we are speaking from a place of conviction and urgency.  It’s easy to share about kids.  It’s easy to play with people’s feelings when it comes to children.  We want the Holy Spirit to impact our lives so much that when we talk about our experiences in concert people will be compelled to sponsor.

I have my questions.  There are some things I’m skeptical about.  My wife Angie, my girls, and I sponsor two kids in India.  We get great joy out of doing this.  Right now Mohit and Sangita are young and impressionable.  What happens when they get older?  What happens when they are done with the program?  What percentage of kids grow to adulthood and live better lives than the other children around them who weren’t in the program?  How do we know they are getting a good education?  What opportunities do they have for jobs?  Why should we care about these kids when we have so many in need in the United States?  How do I know Compassion is handling the funds well that my family, and other families send who sponsor kids in El Salvador?

I’m hoping these questions will be answered in a way that I am satisfied over the next few days.  Not only satisfied, but where we feel confident in sharing with people who are trusting Selah as we ask them to give to Compassion.

Selah, David and Neil of Run Kid Run, and the Compassion staff at Dinner (all photo’s by Keely Scott)


Todd Smith

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