Posted by: Douglas Bailey | November 7, 2010

Jasmin and Ruth

I met Jasmin and Ruth at the Compassion Field Office (the country headquarters) in San Salvador. Jasmin is 9 and Ruth 12.


You can see part of one of the local volcanoes in this picture but don’t get sidetracked the focus is Jasmin!


Jasmin and her mama. We’re still on site at Compassion Field Office.


Here I am reading a card and poem from Ruth. Scratch that, I’m looking at the card, Carlos had to actually read it for me.


This is where all the hard work is taking place… in my heart. Oh, and in the Compassion office too.


Carlos and I had run out of time to pick up bears for the girls. So we took them out to the mall to select bears themselves. After a look through the Wal-Mart equivalent we said the girls could look in another store – BOMBA – and come back to Wal-Mart if they didn’t see anything else they liked. Well what you can see from this pic – if you skipped ahead – is that they chose the exact same bear that I had chosen for Veronica! They are a hit!


It can take a while to co-ordinate a shot when you don’t speak the same language.

And then when you get set up…


You try to get a couple of shots. But often the project coordinators also have cameras and getting everyone to know which camera to look at can prove difficult.


Waiting for a table at Pizza Hut.


In fact by the time we had finished lunch there was often a queue of at least 20 wanting lunch at Pizza Hut.


Pizza Hut is said to have the best customer service of any company in Central America. To the extent that corporate companies will come and head-hunt Pizza Hut staff. I think I’ll encourage my kids to get jobs a Pizza Hut.


Carlos had the brilliant idea to pick up the game of Memo (Memory) at the Wal-Mart and it’s has proved a each day since he got it.


I think Ruth felt she was a bit old to play around in the kids area. But Jasmin had a blast.



After lunch we went to a place called El Mundo Feliz : Happy World.



The kids took an electric vehicle for a spin – Ruth was a bit big for hers but gave it a go. Save running out there and getting hit in the shins it was hard to get a good shot of Ruth. Jasmin fitted her car well enough.


I love this kind of game.


Neither kid is ready to drive.


It was hard to get a smile from Ruth. It could be that girls her age are camera-shy but Carlos believed she might lack some confidence because she wasn’t in school this year. The not-going-to-school part was a surprise as Compassion expects parents to do their part in securing the best for their child’s future. Carlos strongly encourage Ruth and her mother to get into school next year and as host it’s part of his job to put this type of thing in his report to Compassion. They will of course take care of it Compassionately! All that being said, Ruth certainly proved she has intelligence while playing the memory game.


Jasmin wanted to read a short passage from the Bible I had given her.


Here are the pictures I printed on the spot and but inside the cover of the kids Bibles.



So we had a great day. Jasmin was certainly excited to see me and didn’t sleep well the night before. During the day she even spoke to me a couple of times without Carlos being around. She was either forgetting that my spanish was very poor or she believed that I was in tune with the Holy Spirit enough to understand what she was saying… God bless her heart. I pointed to Carlos and said ‘Yo no hablo español.’ I don’t speak spanish.

Ruth asked me to please come back. Which was encouraging after getting only a few smiles from her.

Fellow Sponsors: I think many of us may look at the photo’s we receive and wonder why our kids aren’t smiling, especially in a follow-up photo where they know they have a sponsor right? This can extend to when we meet them. Remember your kids may be very shy the first time you meet them and they may not smile much in general because of many reasons; they may have a sore stomach, they may not like their teeth and be trying to smile without showing them (I do this and I probably look in pain in most of my photos because of it!). They may live in poverty. If that last one felt like a slap… it was a slap to me. The kids may have gone years without having reason to smile and just not be practiced at it! So just because they don’t smile does not mean they don’t love you and appreciate you with all of their heart. That sounds like something out of ‘The Five Love Languages.’ Well, it’s a great book, have you read it?

I prayed for the families and the kids. I prayed that God would keep them in health and prosper them. I prayed he would give these girls dreams in their hearts of ways they can serve Him and be a blessing to others.


And we said goodbye… for now.



  1. Thanks to all who follow the blog. Only this post will go up tonight as I was out till late at a thank you dinner for my host Carlos and my driver Alex. I’ve still got two more days to blog about and they were really fun, a lot of firsts for me. I’m flying tomorrow so will just have to see where I can get internet access. Qantas doesn’t have it connected on their flights yet but I think I’ll let that slide for now as they have some bigger things to worry about. Certainly I don’t want to give the pilot opportunity to say, ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m sorry to report that we’ve lost engine two however I am happy to report that we managed to get the wi-fi working so that Douglas Bailey can blog.’

    Bless you all.

  2. I love your sense of humor — I think we can all be patient for the last 2 days of visits 🙂 safe travels

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