Yuly and Yenny are excited about the Christmas gifts they've received from their Compassion sponsors! Most impoverished children in Colombia don't receive Christmas gifts because of their families' limited economic resources.
Shy smiles illuminate the two girls' chocolate eyes. Bending forward the two girls purposefully move their slender brown fingers, pulling bright-blue packages from shiny red and white plastic bags. Soon, their laps are filled with treasures every little girl loves - new jackets, jeans and shoes!
Yuly and Yenny Fajardo are thrilled with their sponsors' Christmas gifts. Judging by the sounds of ripping paper and the squeals of delight filling the room, the 228 Compassion-assisted youth are excited, too.
Many children in Colombia will not receive Christmas gifts because their families are too poor to buy them. So it's no wonder that Christmas parties - like the one thrown by Compassion-assisted child development centers around the world - are the highlight of the year for youth in Compassion's program.
A Compassion Colombia Christmas
At the La Sureñ¡ “tudent Center (CO-293) in Bogotá ·here Yuly and Yenny attend, the Christmas party begins at a local restaurant with Christmas carols and worship music, led by a team of children. Following the singing, a short, inspirational message is shared by the pastor of the church that administers the project. The children then dig excitedly into a delicious dinner of meat, rice and salad.
By this time, anticipation is at a fever pitch. Finally, the project director announces: "It's time for the Christmas gifts to be distributed!" Then, one by one, children's names are read, and each child walks to the front of the room to receive a Christmas blessing. Once back in their seats, children begin opening their brightly wrapped packages; as jeans, shirts, shoes, jackets, watches and toys (usually for the younger children) begin to appear, the faces of children begin to shine, as bright as the lights on a Christmas tree.
A Fashion Show
Meanwhile, at the La Sureñ¡ “tudent Center (CO-293) Christmas celebration, Yuly and Yenny are pleased with the styles and colors of their new clothes and begin to compare their new garments with the other girls. Suddenly, the restaurant where their party is being held is transformed into a fashion show. Every child begins to proudly model his or her new outfit.
Then, as the party winds down, Yuly and Yenny's mom, Patricia, helps them carry their gifts home. The two girls are happy about the blessings they received at the Christmas party and will surely share their gifts with their seven siblings.
Yuly and Yenny's father, Raú¬¬ ªust got a job doing masonry and electrical work after being out of work for four months. He doesn't know how long the job will last or where he will find his next job. The only thing certain for all nine Fajardo children this Christmas is that they will have the blessing of spending it together.
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