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Compassion Gets on the Floor
by Ronne Rock
Posted on Tuesday, January 19, 2016
We have so much in common - far more in common than we ever could imagine. And for Women for Orphans Worldwide (WOW) Atlanta, a Saturday in Honduras revealed that theme over and over again as part of a week of compassionate care in the country chosen by the new chapter for ministry.

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The team began their day delivering groceries to families in a slum area of La Paz, a village about two hours from the capital city of Tegucigalpa. Most homes are constructed of corrugated metal or mud and wood. There are no bathrooms, little electricity, and minimal kitchens with open fire stoves. Water is gathered in a nearby river or at one of the few homes in the area blessed with plumbing. The homes are rarely owned – most residents are at the mercy of landowners. Life is harsh and jobs are hard to come by.

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Jenny, a single mom, wants her sons to be proud of their heritage and not ashamed of their life. She gets up before dawn to peel, slice, and fry plantains that are sold as concessions to those taking the bus to other cities. She hopes for a better life for her sons, and makes sure they receive an education. The boys sell the bags of crispy chips before attending classes - each bag sold means a little food on the table.

Louisa wants her children to get a good education and receive good jobs. Her son has medical challenges and money isn’t always there to care for him – but she encourages him to be strong.

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Allan is so proud of his daddy, a man who learned to make aluminum cookware and is now passing on his craft to the next generation. His dad now has six manufacturing centers, each providing hard but stable work. “I don’t consider them my employees – we are all co-laborers.”

Jenny works hard to provide for her kids. Louisa wants a better life for hers. And Allan’s dad is transforming his community by offering jobs.

We have so much in common.

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The team then worked at NiCo, a local Christ-focused tutoring center. Twenty-two children showed up for activities, science projects, a gift of new underwear and socks, and a hot meal. Most took portions of their meal home to share with their families.

As the afternoon shadows grew long, the team spent time with the 23 children who call San Jose Orphanage "home." The women talked to the older girls about their value in Christ, and talked to the young kids about the fruit of the Spirit. There was dancing and laughter and heartfelt tears when it was time to say "goodbye."

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The kids at NiCo love to hear “you’re doing such a good job” and the kids at San Jose love to be hugged.

We have so much in common.

And it's that commonality that's at the heart of service for WOW. Commonality breeds compassion - compassion that doesn't step away when conversations grow challenging or shy away when ministry is hard. Compassion gets on the floor and helps find the words that a little one wants to write to God. It holds hands to say, "I'm here for you." It shares true things about value and beauty and grace to kids who have been rescued from dark places.

Compassion invests in others so lives may be transformed.

If you'd like to know more about Women for Orphans Worldwide's newest chapter in Atlanta - or learn how to start a WOW chapter in your town - contact Tiffany Taylor Wines at ttaylorwines@orphanoutreach.org.

 


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