Thursday, February 4, 2016

Ecuador Through Calvin's Eyes

When we realized Calvin would be making this epic trip to Ecuador with me, he said he wanted to blog for me one of the days. I have to say, I've enjoyed sitting here chatting with my friends tonight while he sweats it out at the laptop. :)

He and I talked a couple of times over the course of the past few days, jotting some notes so his post didn't end up a bullet list of fascinating facts about the country. No offense to bullet lists. But I want you to know, this is his heart, typed hunt-and-peck-style with his two pointer fingers. I encouraged him to think hard about what he most wanted to say, and allow God to speak to his heart about what to share. I helped him with some very minor edits (oh, commas!) after he completed his draft.

I gotta say, I'm quite fond of this young man. (Sidenote: I am not alone! The Ecuadorian women have been fawning all over him all week as though he's the Prince of a foreign land. Yesterday alone he was kissed five times by strangers!)

I present to you, Calvin Lee.


 

Hello, I am Calvin Martin and I am almost 11. My mom and I are on a missions trip for Compassion International. It is a group that releases kids from poverty through Jesus' name. They have set up stations in 26 countries! Well, my mom and I were lucky enough to go on the trip to South America. It has been a powerful trip so far and it ends tomorrow! My family is sponsoring a child named Josue. He is the cutest, sweetest 5 year old boy in the world. We are so lucky to sponsor a child like him.





Our second day on the Ecuador trip we met him in his home. It was a small house painted yellow. The mom and the children were so welcoming and they let us walk right in. Three of the family members were sponsored including Josue. Josue had a toy truck and a deck of cards and was so content with what he had and wanted to share his toys with me. His cousin and sister that were also sponsored gave us probably the only bracelets that they had. Now that we are sponsoring I feel like I have a brother from a different mother. Which God has actually used to impact my life because it showed me that there are people from different countries that have less than me but are the same age as me. It showed me a new perspective of the world.

Yesterday we helped with the daily life in a mountain home. It was the most inspiring thing I've done yet. This family had 13 people, 11 sons and daughters and the parents. They were so poor that they did not eat breakfast and only had corn soup for every meal. We helped shuck corn and make a stew. The people that were there were severely poor but what I thought was that the poorer the person the larger the heart because the whole time they were laughing and singing and talking. It's almost like people who have less maybe have more, in the spiritual side of life. 

 

One of my favorite verses since I was little says "The LORD doesn't see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7) This makes me think of my new friends from this trip.


When I get home I think I will be changed because I will compare myself to Josue and the people in Ecuador and will see the difference between us. But also the similarity in our lives, for example we both like soccer but we play with different equipment. We both have dreams.

If you sponsor a child, the child will be closer to Jesus and get the care and education they need. Please sponsor, it changes lives.

{Also see the trip through Calvin's travel-buds, Corbett and Caleb.} 

 http://compassion.com/shannan

55 comments:

  1. I read this to my own 5 year old love from Korea. He was really interested in the whole story and how it relates to our Compassion child in Uganda. Thank you Calvin for sharing. Nathan thought it was so cool to read a post from another Korean adoptee.

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  2. Thank you, Calvin! I'm in tears because my husband is from Ecuador, my daughters are growing up with both cultures and nationalities and the way you have fallen in love with the country and the people is so heart warming. You are so special to see these people how God sees them. It's personal to me and my family because we are deeply connected to Ecuador, but this is also such an amazing tribute to the people of Ecuador for the whole world to see what an amazing culture and country it is. Thank you for loving them, thank you for sharing your experience. May God bless you! P.S. we sponsor a child in Ecuador as well, and you've inspired me to be even more involved with him than I have been. Thanks!

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement I appreciate it.

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  3. Calvin you're a star! Not only because you wrote your first blog, because you were willing to be used by Jesus and accept the fact that sometimes the poorest really are the richest with joy and happiness.
    God is done a great thing in you, and as much as your new brother from another mother has impacted you – you have also impacted him. Only God knows when you will meet again face-to-face. You have both left such a lasting legacy behind in one another's life and memory. That in itself is a gift. Thanks for letting God use you in Josue's life and the lives of so many in Ecuador.
    In the meantime, continue to reach out for those who need Jesus more, in your school, neighborhood, taekwondo class. Jesus takes us further than anything else in life. And I know you live the truth daily in your own life.
    I love you! I'm proud of you!
    Xx Auntie Keisha

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    1. thanks I will see you soon Aunt Keisha

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    2. By the way we (Hans-David and myself) have a NEW SPONSOR from EQUATOR. He's nearly 2 years older than HDTV and I hope they'll be pin-pals in time :) Maybe you'll even be able to take HD to Equator someday and meet our little Jeferson. Thanks for encouraging us to join COMPASSION in their efforts of sharing Jesus and basic care with little Jeferson. xx Love you Calvin

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  4. "We both have dreams." How beautiful is that?

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  6. Calvin - Thank you for sharing your story here. It has been so much fun to get to know you and watch you this week. Corbett is going to have such a hard time not seeing you again soon. Maybe you can convince your mom to bring you to Oklahoma! This post is amazing and so very good. You are one incredible young man!

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  7. Calvin, thank you for sharing your experiences from this week, sounds like you have learned a lot!

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  8. This is great Calvin! It's so thoughtful..... just like you! :-) It has been such a blessing to go on this trip with you! I am going to always remember our time together. You're a fantastic friend.
    -Caleb

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  9. What great insights, Calvin! It is so wonderful that you were able to see how others live and how what we do, even from as far away as America, can make their lives better. I pray you will continue to allow God to grow you up to be a man who honors Him with your life...

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  10. The verse you shared is a favorite of mine also. God looks at the heart and He has made something beautiful in yours. Thank you for sharing with us Calvin!

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  11. "It's almost like people who have less maybe have more, in the spiritual side of life." <-- I think that's in the Bible somewhere ;) Thanks for sharing with us, Calvin. You've blessed us.

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  12. Calvin, my friend, you are wise and compassionate beyond your years. I'm so glad you got to meet Josue and experience daily life in his country--I'm praying this is just the start of a lifelong kinship between the two of you. Thanks for sharing your heart.

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  13. Thank you Calvin for sharing your experience with us. I love that Jesus is using you to show people all over the world (I'm in Australia) more about him. Great blog post.

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  14. Calvin, I hope when I grow up I'm as wise as you! Thanks for sharing your story--your words made a difference in my heart today. Enjoy the rest of your trip!

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  15. Thanks for sharing about Ecuador and Compassion through your eyes! I see it more clearly and am grateful!

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  16. I think this trip is something you will remember for your whole life. (I remember a missions trip I went on when I was about your age. And like you said, it did change me...in a very good way.) Thank you for sharing your side of the story. I have loved following you and your mom through the blog. P.S. I have a grandson about your age and his name is Calvin too!

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  17. It will and I was happy to share my stories.

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  18. Beautiful job writing Calvin! You must take after your mom :) I loved seeing Ecuador through your eyes. I love the Bible verse you quoted too. THanks for sharing!

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  19. You must be such a proud momma! Calvin, your heart beats Jesus....it's evident buddy. Great job sharing your experience. Very inspiring! Thank you.

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  20. I am slayed by All. Of. The. Feels.
    Precious :-)

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  22. Wonderful job Calvin. You and your Mom are changing lives.

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  23. Calvin!
    You're an old soul, man. And that's a good thing!!! Jesus is showing you things about His world and His people that it takes some of us grown ups years to learn. Praying your heart continues to hold all the good things that you are being given. I love watching choose to people like you to glorify Himself.

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  24. Calvin,thank you for sharing your heart with us! I loved reading about this week through your eyes! Seeing the pictures of you with Josue and the other kids was SO beautiful! You have a BIG heart, just like your momma, and you brought joy and hope to your new friends, by being the amazing guy you are! Thank you for going - I'm sure parts of it were hard, but your willingness to go has changed lots of people this week. You are SO awesome!!

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  25. Calvin! I'm so proud of you for following Jesus and for your love for the people of Ecuador and Josue. Your story is amazing! I LOVE when your mom posts pictures of you because you look like you could be my little brother. We look so similar and we are both adopted from South Korea! Always be brave! I know you're going to do amazing things in your life.

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  26. Calvin, what an awesome young man you are! I love seeing the trip through your perspective. God bless you!

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  27. Oh this post really tugged at my heartstrings. I'm so proud of both of you and it's been a real honor to follow along with you on this amazing adventure. Well done, Calvin. This is a great post!

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  28. This was so touching Calvin. You have learned more in a few days than most adults learn in a life time. You are experiencing the power of a mighty God. Hold fast to this truth. No one's opinion or words ever stop you from dreaming BIG. Ephesians 3:20 We love you so very much Cal.

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  29. Calvin! This is an awesome post, buddy. I truly felt what you felt as you walked into each of these family's lives. Thank you.

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  30. Calvin, This is very well written and I enjoyed reading your perspective on the trip! It sounds like this is an amazing and life changing trip for you and for your new friends. Thank you for sharing!

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  31. "A brother from another mother." "The poorer the person the larger the heart." Oh my goodness, what wisdom right there. Calvin, your beautiful heart just shone through every word of this post. In your honor, I am going to try to see everyone I meet as my "brother from another mother." Thanks for touching my heart today.

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  32. Wow.... I read this with tears in my eyes. What a blessing this trip has been not only for the families you have met, but for you and your mom. I can "see" it in the posts. May God continue to bless you all.

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  33. oh my goodness. I've read all your posts so far and have been praying. I just loved hearing Calvin's heart in this, such a wonderful testimony. Thank you for sharing!

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  34. THANK YOU SO MUCH for letting your son share this! I'm going to let my 11 year old daughter read this & the other 2 boys' stories as well. We sponsor a girl in Ghana, but my daughter has not got involved, with out my "prompting". I will pray that these young men's stories will be a tool in God's hand to touch her heart. Please thank you son for me? ~Nancy

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  35. Thanks for introducing us to your new friends, Calvin!! What fun to get to meet them and learn more about Ecuador. Thank you for teaching us grown ups how easy it is to make friends no matter if we speak the same language or live in the same country or not. That is such a great lesson!

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  36. Thanks for introducing us to your new friends, Calvin!! What fun to get to meet them and learn more about Ecuador. Thank you for teaching us grown ups how easy it is to make friends no matter if we speak the same language or live in the same country or not. That is such a great lesson!

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  37. Oh, my goodness! Calvin...when are you going to write your own book? So many things you said are so powerful.."the poorer the person , the larger the heart"..I learned this to be true as well, when my family lived in the Dominican Republic. My girls were about your age when we lived there and the people they met, the lessons they learned about less being more, carry on with them in their adult life. I am so thankful you got to go and so thankful that you shared so much with us and because of you and your mom and the other bloggers, I am choosing a son or daughter to sponsor from the Dominican Republic in hopes that one day I will get to meet them , but more importantly that through the sponsorship, they will know the love of Jesus. Thank you again, Calvin , for touching so many through your words!

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  38. Dear Calvin - Do you feel different, now that you've been on this trip? I am guessing that you DO feel different. I an see a difference in your face and in your countenance. I see & feel Joy in you when I see all of the photos of you and I also hear it in the words you have written here. I admire your willingness to just fit in and play with the other kids you've met.
    I am so excited to watch you change and grow in the coming days, weeks, months and years, You are a super cool kid,

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  39. Calvin your words made me cry. God does shine through you. We sponsor a little girl named Yupita. It is so wonderful that you meant this group of people. We all smile in the same language. Hugs

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  40. Calvin, I loved reading your post. It is clear that you are an amazing young man with a very kind heart. Already at your young age you have a lot of insight and wisdom. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences.

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  41. These young men! These mamas! This trip! So much life and breath given. Thanks for sharing, Calvin!

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  42. Calvin-Your post touched my heart. God's blessings to you and your sponsored child!

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  43. You are blessed to have raised such a warm and loving child. I am so touched by his comments. Continued blessings to you and yours.

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  44. . . . I will be changed because I will compare myself to Josue and the people in Ecuador and will see the difference between us. But also the similarity in our lives, for example we both like soccer but we play with different equipment. We both have dreams.

    LOVE. and love your sweet boys heart. <3

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  45. I have no words. Please tell him this is awesome!

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