Welcome to the Compassion House in Tanzania!

Come and see the home we helped to build !

After years of fundraising, our Freeride 836 effort was combined with the Women of Compassion annual fundraiser. Together, along with many other generous donors, the Compassion House in Tanzania was built, at three times it’s original size! Because of this home, 30 orphaned girls in Africa will have a family.

Dedication day was a glorious celebration of the completion! 
IMG_3499

The home is so much bigger than I expected and the first 10 little girls have moved in!

Here’s one, meet Zawati!

IMG_3502

Zawati giggled as I painted the bottom of her feet for this picture.

I wanted to capture an image

of her “small steps” in life !

IMG_3730

Zawati’s Story

Zawati  was orphaned as a very little baby and was taken to a local orphanage. In African orphanages, children are subjected to poor living conditions and malnutrition. Zawati’s condition began to deteriorate. Her grandfather heard that she was dying of malnutrition in the orphanage. He went to the orphanage and brought her home to live with a relative. The relative was unable to care for her. The grandfather contacted Juma, who is the local operations manager of the Compassion House, in Tanzania. He told Juma that a beautiful little girl needed a home. Juma visited Zawati and brought her to her forever home at the Compassion House.  She was confused and cried when she was taken away from her relative. She didn’t know what was going to happen to her as she was loosing the person she thought would be her caregiver.  Within minutes of stepping into the Compassion House, she was laughing and giggling with her new sisters and house mothers. She realized she was in a safe and secure home, where all her needs would be met with love. I enjoyed watching her play during my stay in Tanzania. Seeing the joy on her face, I could tell she is happy to be a part of the family at the Compassion House.

IMG_3783

This home is not your typical institutional orphanage.

Inside this beautiful home you smell the scent of fresh baked bread each morning.  Life-giving sounds erupt with joy from little girls laughing and playing. Food is served fresh and hot on a family style table where the girls gather to say grace and share three delicious meals a day.

Jerry and Christi Haag,  Florida Baptist Children’s Home President and wife,  came to the dedication in Africa !

IMG_3806

They toured the grounds to see the beautiful self-sustaining property-

The property grows coffee, vegetables, bananas and fresh fruits.

There is a community well and a Tilapia fish pond for protein.

IMG_3812

Scripture is written above the door of the home.

IMG_3847

We are so grateful for the partnership of  Orphans Heart and Florida Baptist Children’s Homes.

We continue to appreciate their care and concern for orphaned children in this world,

and especially the ones in Tanzania.

Ribbon Cutting Ceremony! 

IMG_3834

Just remember today,

every small step of compassion matters in your life #smallstepsofcompassion Click To Tweet

You never realize the impact of generous giving until you see the faces and smiles of the children you have helped.

 

Do you have a heart of Compassion?

Do you have a heart of compassion for children ?

Each year, women from all over the state of Florida gather for the annual Women of Compassion event at the Florida Baptist Children’s Home in Lakeland, Florida.

Women of Compassion is a society of women who are passionate about giving to change the lives of children throughout Florida and in countries throughout the developing world.  The cost of joining the giving society is $1000 for one year and includes:

  • The opportunity to truly impact precious children in desperate need
  • Free entry to an inspiring Women of Compassion event (this year, the event is “God-Sized Dreams”)
  • Inspiring mailings, including the Women of Compassion Newsletter
  • Advance notice of exciting mission trip opportunities exclusively for Women of Compassion
  • Special events

We collectively raise around 50-70 thousand dollars each year. In addition,  we raise money for international projects through Orphan’s Heart. Last year the project was Tanzania! While our family was raising funds through Freeride 836 for a home in Tanzania, Women of Compassion was raising money for another home in Tanzania on the same property. We thought there would be two homes. As it turned out, the funds were combined to build one BIG home for 30 children.

As a counsel member of Women of Compassion, I was thrilled to discover a special woman in our organization personally funded this project. This week at our event I was able to meet her for the first time as we were both given gifts for our efforts with building the home. To my surprise her name was Wendy Russell! We share the same last name and the same love for Tanzania.

I cried as I hugged her for the first time. I couldn’t believe God had given another woman the same desire as me to help save little babies in Africa and give them a home. It was such an honor to meet her and I want you to meet her too! Here is her picture!

Meeting Wendy Russell

Meeting Wendy Russell

Another amazing gift was given to my friend Shannin Pickle, founder of Small Steps, the property in Tanzania. The land she owns came with a small home that she had renovated to house the babies as they awaited the building of new homes. An artist painted her a beautiful portrait of the original home on the property. I accepted  this award for Shannin who could not attend. I was able to hand over the lovely painting to her mother and sister in law.

Portrait for Small Steps

Maybe you have a heart of compassion to help save children, like me? It is amazing for me to find that God has women in this world who are uniquely called to care for “the least of these” in the world.

It is no surprise to me that Jesus blessed children saying the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these..

If you are in the state of Florida, please consider joining me next year if you have a heart of compassion for children.

Live repurposed for children !

Re-Joycing today-Tracey