In January 2013 I had the privilege to spend ten days in Ecuador with Compassion International. The very first day we visited a Compassion project, my team split up into two groups to go take tours of some homes where Compassion-sponsored children live. My team got into the back of a truck, waved at the children as we pulled away, and headed to Washington’s house. Washington is a teenage boy who is sponsored through Compassion at project EC-472. He lives with his mother, three sisters, and his grandparents. We were told that they had a new house, but first we were going to see where they used to live.
My team leader had been to Ecuador in 2012 and had met this family and seen the house they were living in at the time. I wouldn’t even call this structure a house. It was a dilapidated structure with a dirt floor, consisting mostly of pieces of wood and wrapped in garbage bags. It’s horrible to think that people have to live in such conditions. There were two structures like this, right next to each other. I don’t know how it was divided, perhaps boys in one and girls in the other, but the family slept in both of these structures. Washington’s little cousin who tagged along for the tour also told me that the animals used to live in there as well.
Washington’s mother, through the help of a translator, told us that when they lived there, she would listen to Washington pray every night, asking God to provide a new house for his family. This young man’s faith is incredible. He wants to be a pastor when he grows up! He never gave up on asking God for a new house, and sure enough, God provided. Washington’s family, working together with their community, had to raise some of the money for the house themselves and Compassion provided the rest. Today they live in a house that is much better, and we got a tour of it as well.
As we entered the house, which is made of concrete blocks (and even has some glass windows!), Washington’s youngest sister was talking to us excitedly in Spanish. There was so much joy on her face as she and her other siblings showed us the house: the bedrooms (one for the parents, one for Washington, one for the sisters, and one for their grandpa) and the kitchen. This was a much better environment for these children to grow up in. We could tell that they were all very excited to have this house for their family. Washington’s mother was equally happy and seemed much more relaxed than when my team leader had met her the year before.
Washington’s younger sister sang some songs for us in Spanish while we were at the house. The first one I had never heard of, but I recognized the second song based on the actions that she did. In English this song is called “My God is so Big”. I’m sure many of you have heard it before. It goes like this:
My God is so big, so strong and so mighty there’s nothing my God cannot do. My God is so big, so strong and so mighty there’s nothing my God cannot do. The mountains are His, the rivers are His, the stars are His handiwork too. My God is so big, so strong and so mighty there’s nothing my God cannot do!
There is truly nothing that God cannot do! When we come to Him in prayer, trusting that He will provide for our needs, amazing things can happen. (Yujie posted the video of her singing "My God is so Big" here - There's Nothing My God Cannot Do! - YouTube)
I recently told Priyanka, my family’s sponsored child in India, this story of how God answered Washington’s prayer for his family. She said “I know God has plans for each of us. God gave a new home to Washington, it’s amazing!”
I hope that this story of Washington’s faith will be encouraging to you as well.