From Trash to Treasure, Marietta’s New Shoes

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My name is Marietta and today I have new pair of shoes. Though not brand new from the store they are brand new to me.  I found my new shoes in a rubbish pile at the city dump.  I really can not understand why someone would throw such a good pair of shoes in the trash.  They fit my perfectly and they are so beautiful!

Nine years ago I was found in this same dump.

I was born to a woman who really did not plan to throw me away but she felt like she had no choice.   At the age of 12 she was sold by her father to a man who had promises that her life could be so much better. The man told her father that he could give her a nice home.  He told him that he would even pay him to let her live with him.  He told her father that by living with him she would be able to attend school and receive an education.  Her father wanted so much more for his daughter than he felt he could give her and the man seemed sincere.  He believed the things the man told him. Though he would miss her her, her father wanted his daughter to have a better life.  He let her go with the man all the while thinking that he was protecting his daughter by sending her to live with the man. He didn’t know that the man was bad man and that the man was using his desperate situation to take advantage.

A few days later his daughter did arrive at nice home but soon found out the man had lied to her father. Instead of going to school she was forced to work without pay and she was also physically and sexually abused for the next several years.  At age 15 she found herself hiding a pregnancy and eventually alone, giving birth in the city dump behind a pile of rubbish.  She was afraid that if the man ever found out about her baby he would hurt it by turning its life into a life of slavery too.  So that day she made a desperate decision to do the hardest thing she ever had to do in her life.  She kissed her baby and then she turned and ran away leaving her baby there at the dump, tossed away with trash.

That baby was me, Marietta.   A few hours later I was found by a woman who came to the dump to find things to sell.  The woman was poor, barely having enough money to feed her own self but she still took me home anyway.  She began the task of nursing me to heath and she began raising me as her own child.

Nine years have passed and the woman who found me is my mother now.  I love my mom so much.  We laugh and have fun together.  She always tells me stories and gives me the best hugs. Every day my mother and I walk 3 miles to the dump where we pick through the rubbish looking for things we can sell in the market; this is how we make our money. Today while we were searching I found a pair of shoes! These shoes are the most beautiful shoes in the world! I have never had a pair of shoes before I am so excited about this!  I just have to try them on!

As I put the shoes on my feet they I notice they are a perfect fit.  I feel like dancing… I leap and spin and twirl.   As I joyously spin around I notice a tear in my mother’s eye.  I run over and wrap my arms around my mother’s neck and I ask her why she is crying. I love her so much and I do not do not want her to ever be sad. My mother smiles at me and she tells me that she is not sad at all.  She tells me that that her tears are tears of joy and that my dancing makes her happy. My mother then tells me that she wants me to keep the shoes.  Wow! I am so happy I have new shoes! This is the best day ever!

Later as we are walking home I ask my mother why someone would throw away something that was so beautiful and perfect.

She told me that these beautiful shoes were just like me, she said they were beautiful and perfect and though we found them here at the dump looking as if they were tossed in the rubbish that they were NOT thrown away, but left right here where they were supposed to be.  That the shoes had been put here by God for me because he knew I needed them.  She said that they were a beautiful treasure and a gift from God to me, just as I was a beautiful treasure and I was a gift from God to her.

Dear Readers,  As you know this is blog month at Compassion.  Today we were given a picture to write a story about.  Though the picture I wrote about shows a pair of worn shoes that to some may look like trash, I believe they are on the feet of a beautiful child. Though this story may be fiction the things written about in it are all too real and are happening in our world.

I have heard that we do not know someone until we have walked a mile in their shoes. Today I tried to take you on a small journey in the shoes of a child in poverty (or no shoes).  The children pictured below live in areas that experience high incidents of child right violations.  Things like child prostitution, child trafficking, physical, emotional and sexual abuse, neglect, child labor, early marriages and harmful cultural practices. Your sponsorship of an At-Risk Child will help provide child-protection, education, action planning and an immediate response to abuse if needed.  You can click each child’s picture and find out more information on how you can help by sponsoring one of them.  Once you sponsor a child you can write them letters and tell them they are special, let them know they are beautiful and that they are loved.

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You can also click the picture of the beautiful shoes above or below and visit Compassion’s At Risk Child page

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Please consider sponsoring a child today.

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A Letter to My Childhood Self from My Grownup Self.

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It’s blog month at Compassion again!  I am not sure If you remember but last year during the month of September we had the goal of 3,108 children we wanted to find sponsors for and we achieved that goal! This year our goal is to  get 3,160 children sponsored online by 11:59 p.m September 30th.

This is my first blog assignment…

Dear Childhood Self,

I am writing to you today to give you a bit of advice.  When you are grown you will see things differently than you do now and I hope these things will help you as go through life.

I would like to start by saying your worth is not in what you have, what you do, have had done to you and it’s not what others think of you.  Your worth is in God and to Him you are worth more than anything.

The second thing I would like to tell you is….The summer between 4th and 5th grade you will attend Bible school and will give your life to Jesus.  you must always remember to not believe anyone who tells you he is not real, not even grownups. He is real and your life will be so much easier if you allow him to stay in it now instead of meeting back up with him when you are in your 40’s.  Trust me on this.

You will move 11 times between 4th grade and 9th grade during some of these moves you will be moving to different states.  The other kids will pick on you because you talk different and dress different.

  • Remember People will like you for who you really are so be yourself, do not try to change to be like them.  Those who like your fake self don’t really like you.
  • Don’t do things you don’t want to do or follow the crowd just so other kids will like you.
  • Don’t act tough, you are not tough, you are a sweet girl, stay that way.

If someone is mean to you forgive them, you don’t want to carry that anger around your whole life.

Pay attention in school especially History class, I know you think its boring right now but trust me on this, one day you will love History and wish you could go back to school.

Don’t ever say you can not do something.  It’s not a failure to try something and not succeed.  Failure is not ever trying at all.

Always do your best.

Don’t be rushed to be a grownup, you have your whole life to be a grownup.

You are not what happens to you.

You are loved and very special, don’t ever believe anything less.

Never cut yourself down and when someone gives you a compliment believe them and say thank you.

Love others, Love yourself but most importantly love God.  If you put him first in your life the  everything else will fall in place.

I know I probably have missed a lot but these things I have listed would have probably made my life a bit easier had I known them when I was your age.

Written with love,

From your grownup self

The month of September is blog month at Compassion again and this is my  first assignment. The assignment was to write a message from my grownup self to my childhood self.  I think a lot of the things I wrote to myself could also be written in a letter to my sponsored children.  Writing to a child can make a world of difference in their life.  Sometimes children in poverty have low self esteem and nobody to tell them how special they are and to love them.  This month our goal is to find sponsors for 3,160 children.  You can find out more information about sponsoring a child by clicking the picture below.

Sponsor a child today

Click to find out more information about sponsoring a child

You can also join us by using your own blog to help us with our goal.  You can get more information by clicking below.

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If you decide to sponsor a child or use your blog come back here and let me know 🙂 Have a blessed day and thank you for reading!

Where are the Toys?

IMAG1359Friday I received a letter from my Compassion child Walkiris who lives in the Dominican Republic.  It is always an exciting day when I receive a letter and it just so happened that day I had picked my granddaughter up from school so she was with me when I checked the mail.   I had the blessing of reading the letter together with her.

My granddaughter Bre is 8 years old.   Bre I have talked about Compassion children in the past, but this particular day she seemed more interested than she had before.  I think maybe she was more interested because she is getting older and understands more, she and Walkiris are almost the same age.

Today was the first time Walkiris was able to write her own letter which was very exciting to me!   It was a blessing to see that she is moving along in school and finally learning to how to read and write.   After Bre and I read the letter we started talking.  She had a lot of questions for me about Walkiris’s life so I got out my sponsorship packet that Compassion had sent me when I first sponsored Walkiris.  The packet contains pictures and information about the way of life in her area.

In the pictures it shows typical homes and schools for each child’s region.  My granddaughter seamed very shocked at the living conditions and we discussed how things are a lot different there than they are in our home .   We looked at a picture of a  home that was dark with dirt floors, no running water or electricity.  We talked about how many children go hungry and can not go to school because they can not afford it.   I explained to her that Walkiris and the other children in the Compassion program get meals each day, healthcare and are able to go to school.

Then I showed her the Compassion Christmas catalog…. in her child eyes she saw a difference that I had known about all along but today I saw differently than I had ever seen it before.   Today I saw that catalog through the eyes my granddaughter, through the eyes of a child.   My granddaughter immediately saw the difference between a Compassion Child’s Christmas catalog and her own Christmas catalog ….”where are the toys?’ she asked.

Wow! I had seen that Christmas catalog many times, but I had never seen it in the way I was seeing it at that moment!   In my grandchild’s world children ask for toys for Christmas, in some children’s worlds they ask for things like safe drinking water, livestock, medical care and food.

My own children used to believe in Santa Claus and that he would provide them with toys, these children believe in God and that he will provide them with what they need.  They do not expect elaborate gifts, they just hope for things that in my life I take for granted.  I flush clean drinking water down the toilet and they don’t even have running or clean water. I throw away leftover food and some children go hungry, I dislike going to the doctor and some children do not even have a doctor.  Try explaining that to an 8 year old.

Try explaining to an 8 year old child why Santa covers her so lavishly in toys yet other children in the world want food, water and chickens for Christmas.  I am not trying to start a whole ‘should we tell our children there is or is not a Santa Claus discussion’ here but gosh it seems really unfair when I think about it and I will admit I did not take that opportunity to tell my granddaughter there is not a Santa Claus.   Instead I decided to take the opportunity to tell her what I do believe.

What I do believe is this…God loves us all and He loves us all the same.  We are all His children and sometimes things may seem unfair to us.  I could not even begin to explain to her why some people have more things than others.  In the Bible it says we are to share what God has given us with others and I do know we can make a difference one person at a time, one child at a time.   We talked about how when we have Jesus we are blessed. Having a bunch of stuff is not always a blessing, having God’s love inside us is the blessing, we are blessed by love.  God loved us so much he sent us a savior.  He loved us first and now we are to love others by sharing his love.

After our talk my granddaughter drew my sponsored child a picture of Jesus and Heaven, to me that is really what Christmas is all about, It is about Jesus, He is the reason and sharing Jesus is the greatest gift of all.

Thank you for reading and Merry Christmas!!

If you would like to give a one time gift to help an unsponsored child you can click the catalog below.

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 Or you can give a child the gift of your sponsorship this Christmas and tell him about Jesus

You can make a difference, one child at a time.  Do you hear God calling you to make a difference today?  You can answer that call by clicking this picture

Matthew 25:44-45 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’  “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

#itsaboutgiving