Musical Gifts

As we settled into our seats in a theater in El Salvador, we had no idea of the awesome event we were about to enjoy.

This large group of sponsors filling the theater had spent that morning visiting Compassion projects in one of the most violent countries in Central America. It is a country ruled by gangs, and we learned of some of the challenges these children face.

We heard their stories throughout the day, sometimes from the children themselves, and sometimes from their tireless teachers and pastors at the projects. We worshipped and prayed with them, played games, danced to silly children’s songs and shared a meal. We laughed with them, and just as easily cried with them, as they made their realities known to us.

It was a day that left us with our hearts filled, and I could not imagine my heart could become even more full. But once the music in that theater began, it was clear that a heart filled by God knows no limits.

This was no ordinary show. It was an extraordinary musical experience, put together and performed by more than 100 Compassion children for a theater full of sponsors.

The conductor walked on stage, and as the music began, I was instantly lost in the beauty of the moment. The children played compositions including “Days of Elijah,” “Stand by Me,” “Ancient of Days,” “Open the Eyes of my Heart,” Agnus Dei,” and “Our God.”

Before my eyes was an entire symphony orchestra and choir made up of Compassion children, using their God-given talents, and playing at a level made even more impressive when I later learned how infrequently these children played together.

They could not take their instruments home, but had to leave them locked up, only to be brought out once each week when they gathered to practice.

Listening to these children perform, sharing their musical gifts with us, and feeling the music wash over me, I thought this must be very close to the soundtrack of heaven.

Please enjoy the following videos, and if you feel moved to do so, you can donate to this talented group by clicking here.


This Boy is Mine


Pastor Raul and Israel share their inspiring story to a group of Compassion sponsors.

“This boy is mine.”

These are the words Raul, a Compassion pastor in El Salvador, spoke to a local gang to reclaim his student, Israel.

Israel was only 7 years old when an accident with a kite and electrical wires severely injured his arm. After the incident, Israel spent two years in the hospital recovering.

When he finally left the hospital, young Israel returned to school, where he was bullied due to the visible disfigurement of his arm. His peers told him he would never hold a job or be able to support a family.

Desperate for acceptance, Israel later joined a gang, where he gained a sense of belonging. He stopped attending the local Compassion project where he was registered, and Raul noticed his absence and began to search for him around the community.

“Whenever he would see me, he would run away,” Raul said of Israel. But Raul did not give up.

Eventually, Raul spoke with Israel and asked him what the gang was giving to him.

Israel answered, “Two dollars a day and friends.”

Not to be outdone, Raul replied, “I will give you two dollars a day and a family.”

Israel self-consciously rubbed his injured arm as he told his story to a large group of Compassion sponsors, who later lined up to hug this inspiring young man.


Israel and his megawatt smile!

He explained how Raul convinced him to leave the gang and return to his Compassion project, where he did, indeed, receive a family.

And now, this young man radiates warmth and a humble spirit. With the love of his Compassion family and by the grace of God, Israel has even overcome his greatest fear: electricity.

Israel is earning a certificate in electrical engineering.

Which child will you claim as yours? When will you partner with Compassion to keep a child off the streets of El Salvador? Click here to see who is waiting for you.