Compassion, Calcutta and Kids

by Guest

This post was written by guest contributor, Robin from Pensieve, who is in India this week with Compassion Bloggers.

Compassion, Calcutta and Kids

That’s not fair! 

How many times does a mother of young children hear that through the day?  What’s your standard response?  My husband and I consistently replied “LIFE isn’t fair!” when we’ve heard that from our own kids.

They never seemed to appreciate our wisdom on the matter when a bitter serving of Great Injustice landed on their plate.  If one of them got a larger scoop of Chocolate Chip Cookie dough ice cream or the other got to have a friend spend the night, if they thought there was inequity for whatever reason, those three words were destined to spill from their lips.

I’m in Calcutta, India with a team of bloggers this week, traveling to observe the work of Compassion International.  The depth and breadth of poverty here defies imagination.  It’s not just about dollars and cents, it’s an assault on generations that lingers in the every day.

Suddenly I hear “THAT’S NOT FAIR!” ringing in MY ears….

calcutta boys in poverty

It’s not fair we have an extra bed in our guest room that goes largely unused.

water in Calcutta

It’s not fair clean drinking water is available in my home with the spin of a faucet.

impoverished Calcutta man bathing in pond

Bubbles and bath toys aren’t fair; neither is taking two showers a day.

poverty in Calcutta home and table fan

It’s not fair I use a table fan for white noise, not to cool my entire house.

Little Calcutta girls roaming, in poverty

It’s not fair my daughter earns in one hour baby sitting what a man in Calcutta earns in a week.

oven in poor Calcutta home

It’s not fair I have a gas stove, electric and microwave oven, and a grill.  It’s not fair we use gas for our grill and people living in poverty in Calcutta use dried cow dung mixed with hay for fuel.

Indian woman stuffing corn sack

It’s not fair I have a Publix, Super Walmart and Bi-Lo within a five-minute car ride.

I have over 300 more pictures taken over the past three days which could keep this post going for days, but I think the message is sufficiently clear:

Inequity can be viewed from a perspective of void or gain, it just depends on which side you’re sitting on at the moment.

Compassion International exists to release children from the choke-hold of poverty in the name of Jesus.  Though the core of Compassion’s work is through monthly child sponsorship, today we got to visit another element of their organization–a Child Survival Program.  In keeping with their holistic approach to ministry, this program begins before the child is born, teaching pregnant mothers how to care for themselves and eventually to care for their child.

In a room filled with mothers and children, I saw how Compassion’s work has equipped these women to care for their children in a way they wouldn’t know how to otherwise; I saw benefit not only to their immediate families, but during home visits, we saw how these trained mothers, in turn, teach and train their neighbors who aren’t in the program. 

These women who have little of material value are paying it forward.  That’s a lovely thought….

As I looked around the activity room where we met the moms and played with their adorable children, it occurred to me we might sit on opposite ends of the “fairness of life” spectrum, but in the economy of God we were one in the same.

If you’ve thought about sponsoring a Compassion child before, would you click the badge below and think a little harder? :)  If you’ve never heard about Compassion, would you take a few minutes to learn more?  This organization sets the standard in child advocacy….and because I’m meeting unsponsored children who are hopeful that will change, I’m pleading with you to do something about it {if you do, will you please let me know?  Also, please feel free to email questions to pensieve(dot)me(at)gmail(dot)com}.

Thank you, Susan and Janice for letting me share today’s adventure with your readers!  As a sponsor of two children, I’ve always thought Compassion International was a fantastic group; but now?  Seeing these children and processing what it means to them and their families?  I’ll do everything I can in the future to help tell their story, so more children can break free from the cycle of poverty.


This post was written by guest contributor, Robin from Pensieve, who is in India this week with Compassion Bloggers.

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