Green is the color of nature. It represents balance and symbolizes self-respect, growth and harmony. It also symbolizes freshness, – like a fresh opportunity, a chance to succeed and break the cycle of poverty.Continue Reading ›
The girls teaching me to bake were part of a baking class at the Compassion student center I was visiting in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. As part of the class, they make snacks for the nearly 400 students at the center. They also make baked goods they can sell in the community. With that money, they have been able to construct new classrooms at the center.Continue Reading ›
There is nothing in the world like visiting a Compassion-assisted child’s home. Absolutely nothing. Nothing can prepare you for the sights, the sounds, the smells. Most of all, nothing can prepare you for the beating your heart is about to take. It’s like you got in a fight with the Holy Spirit. And every time, the Holy Spirit leaves you limping and bruised and, thankfully, a better person for the battle.
The Dominican Republic is divided into 31 provinces. Eight are in the southeastern region of the country: Distrito Nacional, El Seibo, Hato Mayor, La Altagracia, La Romana, Monte Plata, San Pedro de Macoris and Santo Domingo.
People are passionate about food. Celebrity chefs and the popularity of the Food Network and competition / reality cooking shows like Chopped, Iron Chef, Hell’s Kitchen and Masterchef demonstrate this. But for the 1.4 billion people in our world living on less than $1.25 a day, food and cooking isn’t entertainment. It’s survival.
But for the 1.4 billion people in our world living on less than $1.25 a day, simply feeding themselves is a daily challenge.
I found out today that the word “batey” is Creole for a shanty town. I find it hard to imagine feeling good about wearing the word “batey” on a uniform. I would have difficulty feeling a sense of belonging with that polarizing label sewn across my chest.
For these kids, that does not matter. Where they come from is more than a degrading label. Where they come from is their family, their friends and their God, who does not distinguish between Batey Aleman and Beverly Hills.
No one in their right mind would call the earthquake that hit Haiti a good thing. It was utterly devastating. And yet still there is good.
Because of the earthquake’s destruction, Haiti is now having to start with what feels like a nearly clean slate. The [corrupt and inefficient] government was toppled. The [inadequate] school system was destroyed. Proof of [unjust] land ownership is now virtually impossible. The [enormous and unbridgeable] gap in economic status was decimated, putting government officials in tents next to poor slum-dwellers.
Yesterday was Father’s Day in the Dominican Republic. It’s no coincidence that the day we handed out uniforms to these young men and boys is a day that represents the absence of a father for many of them.
When we arrived at the batey, we assembled all of the parents for a meeting. The assembly was mostly mothers and the lack of fathers present at the meeting was very noticeable.
Yesterday, I made it into Batey Aleman, during a complete rainout. Tropical Depression Bonnie paid a visit and the rains haven’t ceased.
Right before going to the batey, I stopped at the Compassion Dominican Republic office and saw the 87 boxes of Rawlings and Nike equipment lining n entire wall three feet deep. I also learned quite a bit about Albert Pujols involvement in all the details of this league, including the discussions he had with Nike and Rawlings about what the team would look like.
Blue symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth and heaven. It is the color of the sky. And it is the color of Compassion. It represents the unlimited potential of the children we serve.
A batey (buh-TAY) is a sugar plantation in the Dominican that mostly uses the labor of Haitians. Most bateys are defunct, but in some case the Haitians have been permitted to stay on the land, living in slums with little clean water or any means of support.