Joy, by definition, is a feeling of great pleasure and happiness. Synonyms of joy are jubilation, triumph, glee, elation, euphoria, and the list goes on and on.
Joy can be a fleeting feeling for some. Our days ebb and flow between moments of joy, frustration, challenge, discouragement, and sometimes sadness.
For us in America (or wherever we may be) I have found that joy can often be circumstantial. I am joyful because I got the job or promotion. I am joyful because I have vacation. We are joyful because we have 2 million active sponsorships in our program.
However, joy, for the kids and families we serve is anything BUT circumstantial. As you see the faces of our children, and visit the homes of their families, there is a deep-rooted joy that only comes from one source alone – God.
For Alexandra and her family, joy overflowed from their home and was tangibly felt upon entrance. At 2 months old, Alexandra lost her father. He was a fisherman, traveling out to sea to secure income, and never came home. Alexandra’s mother has raised her and her older sister since then, working as hard as she can to make tiny coin purses, selling each for 18 cents. Her kidneys are fails as she increases in age, leaving daily accomplishments to be very difficult some days. These circumstances would be more than enough reason to have deep sorrow, sadness, and discouragement! And yet, there was great joy!
As we sat in their home, hearing the family’s story; hearing of how Compassion has helped Alexandra, I could not help but smile. This 11-year-old has had tough challenges in life, and yet, she smiles with glee and shares of how much she loves Compassion and her friends at the center. She knows she is loved and cared for by her sponsors, and God, and is overflowing with sincere, deep-rooted, joy.
Seeing Alexandra not only have joy, but sincere love for her friends (so much that she shared 1 Altoid with her friends by biting it in half) challenged me. The love, care, sincere generosity, hope, and most of all, her joy, inspires me to have deep-rooted joy in my heart and carry this exuberant spirit as I go through each and every day.
By Rachel Moser, Trips & Visits Team