“Through the praise of children and infants you have established a stronghold against your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger” (Psalm 8:2).
We hear it all around us. The sound of war and violence. The effects of a pandemic. The pain of an unprecedented global food crisis. Today’s global problems continue to impact our lives in many ways, especially children living in poverty—limiting their access to education, healthcare and food.
According to UNICEF, eight million children worldwide are directly affected by wars and violence, while millions more face preventable diseases every day due to the contamination of rivers and drinking water sources.
Nevertheless, children in Compassion centres in the countries we serve continue to learn about the love of God, the importance of prayer during challenging times, the power of forgiveness and love for their neighbour.
So, when six creative children from a remote rice-harvesting community on the coast of Santa Clara were asked to share their thoughts about some complex global issues, they raised their voices through their art.
Their wisdom will inspire you!
Ten-year-old Jixon is raising his voice against war. “I think that war is horrible because innocent people die, and it causes a lot of pain in families. I pray for all the children in the world who are affected by war. I ask God to take care of them and protect them. Love defeats war.”
Jixon also believes that the pandemic taught us that Jesus is stronger than any virus. “I pray that God will put presidents and leaders who promote the protection of the world because this world is our home.”
“Suffering and pain cause more suffering and pain. I think that love is bigger and stronger than war and that all the people in the world are brothers and sisters and we should always love each other.”
When asked about the pandemic, 14-year-old Abigail shares that she believes that God allows everything for a purpose. But she’s thankful that He takes care of each one of us. “I continue to pray to God to eliminate this virus from the world.” she shares.
Twelve-year-old Kristel is fighting against pollution. “It is deplorable to see how people pollute the environment. It scares me to think that nature will be destroyed if we don’t do something. We must realize that if we pollute the rivers and the seas, we will not have food or water.”
“A great way to help the environment is by recycling. At church, I learned that plastic, cardboard, paper, and other materials can be reused, so we avoid pollution,” she says.
“The pandemic was a time of tons of fear, but at church, they taught me that I should pray to God when I feel fear. I no longer feel fear,” 11-year-old Ruth boldly shares.
“In Sunday school, we constantly pray for all the children who get sick, and we will continue to pray that there are no more sick children. Now I ask God to take care of all the children in the world, so that they don’t get more viruses.”
“Violence is not the answer. At church, we were taught that we should love our neighbour; I think attacking is terrible because it hurts our neighbour. It makes me sad to know that children are suffering in other countries. I ask God to bring peace to the world and to take care of every child suffering right now,” Wilson prays.
Twelve-year-old Kelly challenges us to take responsibility for our world. “Pollution is a problem for all of us, including children. We should take care of the environment and teach other children to do the same. In church, I learned that nature is God’s creation, and that’s why I want to take care of it,” she says.
When children pray, they pray bold prayers with a childlike faith in the God that is able and willing to do that which they ask. We are thankful that children in Compassion centres across the world are being taught the power of prayer, God’s love and peace. When children from a remote community raise their voices about global issues, it’s because they have learned to be confident that their feelings matter, that their voices have power and that their prayers are effectual.
When you sponsor a child, you give them the opportunity to learn about God’s love and how they can share it.
Field reporting by: Nico Benalcazar, Compassion Ecuador Photojournalist