Love in Action

Love in Action

By: Brandy Campbell, with Tonny Tunya in Indonesia   |   Posted: April 23, 2007

Aan plays with his puppy outside his new home. Ian's family was helped by the local Compassion-assisted project when they lost their home.

Aan Sunaryo had spent his life trying to be like his father, Mario. When Mario, who sold construction material, would load heavy bricks onto a cart in front of their home, Aan would follow along until his skinny arms were covered with scrapes.

When Mario used the family's meager savings to purchase a small plot of land and crops, Aan helped his father work the dusty earth until blisters formed on his hands. And when the crops failed and the money ran out, Aan helped his father pack up the family's belongings as the bank repossessed their home.

Desperation to Hope

Mario moved his family to a one-room shack in Setgur, Indonesia, a tiny community of just 500 residents. His only consolation was that Aan would still be able to attend school and get at least one meal a day. As a child registered with Compassion in the Samuel Student Center, Aan's basic needs would be cared for by his sponsor's financial support. But Mario had no idea just how much the child development center cared for his son and his entire family.

Aan will never forget the afternoon, just months after his family moved to Setgur, when he heard a commotion in the street outside his home. As he peered out of the window, he saw dozens of people walking up the street toward his family's barren lot, their arms loaded with tools and supplies.

As the crowd drew closer, Aan recognized the project director from the child development center. Walking behind him were several project tutors and Bible teachers, all prepared to show the love of God in action.

Never Alone

Even in those months when Mario felt utterly alone, his plight had not gone unnoticed. Project staff had witnessed the struggles Aan and his family were experiencing, and they partnered with the Setgur Assembly of God Church to provide relief.

While sponsorship supplies food, education and other basic needs, situations often arise that require an extra measure of help. Compassion's Complementary Intervention program exists for those situations. Through this program, partner churches are able to provide critical assistance to families like Aan's.

With Aan always just a step behind, Mario worked side-by-side with project staff, church members and friends over the next several weeks to construct his new house.

"They are very kind people," says Mario. "Together, we were able to build this house with the church and our friends in the community. They gave us money and supplies and also energy to build our home."

"We thank God for Compassion."

Mario says his family had always appreciated everything Compassion had done for them, even before their new home was built. Despite their financial difficulties, he believed that Compassion was changing Aan's life.

"We thank God for Compassion," says Mario. "It's my biggest hope for Aan to complete school and get a good job. I don't want him to have to worry and struggle like I have."