Father, forgive me for I did not know

Girl in blue sweater--just a moment before her father hits her ©2011 Amy Conner for World Vision

The father is drunk and I watch him haul off and hit his daughter straight in the face. She staggers back a bit from his blow, but she is still smiling at him, hoping for his approval. He waves her off and collapses against the adobe wall. His other children scatter around him like windblown leaves, staying close—but not too close.

Father, forgive me, for I did not know.

Our bus rumbles away and I stare after the girl in the knit blue sweater. Who will love her? Who will be a good father to her?

Father, forgive me, for I did not know.

Today we learn that alcoholism and drug abuse run rampant in this community—a rural village two hours outside of Cochabamba. The golden beauty of the countryside is marred by the devastation lurking under these trees, on these hills, in these adobe huts. The despair is palpable, layered on the children’s souls like the dirt that layers their skin.

And with each layer of despair, the child retreats a little more. Nobody comes to help. Nobody sees.

Father, forgive me, for I did not know.

Four months ago, World Vision entered this community to offer after-school programs to these very children. And on the first day, the children wouldn’t talk, wouldn’t play, wouldn’t run, wouldn’t—-COULDN’T smile. But now, they sing. They cheered the arrival of our bus louder than any group that had met us previously. These children now stay for hours and hours after school because for many of them, it is their only safe place.

Father, forgive me, for I did not know.

I see you, sweetheart. I WILL help you. ©2011 Amy Conner for World Vision

There are 15 month old babies wandering alone by the side of the road, caked in dirt and mud. There are sores on their faces, snot running from their noses. The toddlers are filthy and the smell is overwhelming. Nobody sees. Nobody comes to help.

Blue Sweater Girl's little sister ©2011 Amy Conner for World Vision

Father, forgive me, for I did not know.

I can’t handle anymore. The need is endless. And so are my tears. I let my heart break today and it broke and broke and broke and broke and broke again….

Oh, Jesus, full of mercy, give me strength to help.

I will never be happy again unless I know I am helping these children. I will NEVER be happy again knowing there is so much suffering in this world—unless I am doing something to relieve it.

And I’m just going to say it: did you know that my pageviews and stats are the LOWEST they’ve been in at least 6 months? Did you know that only TWO people have sponsored a child through my page?

That breaks my heart again.

Father, forgive us, for even when we KNOW, we do nothing.

The least of these ©2011 Amy Conner for World Vision

I’m closing comments because honestly, what we’re experiencing here is SO INTENSE that I can’t handle potentially negative comments. When you sponsor a child, please email me directly. I want to thank you personally.

Please. Sponsor a childCLICK HERE. Please.

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