Todd Smith's Blog

A day in the life of Todd Smith

El Salvador Day 2: The heart of Compassion Staffers

We (Selah) are on Day 2 of our trip to El Salvador.  We are staying in the beautiful city of San Miguel.  Today we are visiting the Saving Fountain Church where Compassion’s Child Developement Center is.  We will be spending time with many national Compassion staffers, but primarily with Rocio, Carlos, George, and Diana.

Rocio, Jason, me, Amy, Brian, Carlos, Allan,
Diana, George, Nick

We spent all day with them yesterday.  I’m hoping to get to know them better over the next couple days.   If I’m going to trust Compassion I want to know the hearts of the people running the Centers here.  Last night I sat next to Diana and heard her testimony.  Looking at her you see this sweet, joyful, beautiful person.  You can tell she is caring and selfless.  I would have never known she was raised in heartbreaking circumstances.  I asked her how she found the Lord?  She gave me permission to share her story.

I was 7 years old when my parents divorced.  My father remarried and I lived with him and my step mom for 6 years.  My step mother was verbally and physically abusive to me.  She used to lock me and my brother in the bathroom for up to 6 hours at a time.  Finally, when I was 13 years old my brother and I moved in with my mother.  I quickly became friends with a girl who was a Christian.  She would share about Jesus with me all the time.  When my other girlfriends were making bad choices (alcohol, partying, or sex) I would always remember my friends words and abstain.  Much of the time I was with her so it kept me out of trouble.

After many “no’s” I accepted in invitation to go to her church.  The woman speaking shared about Jesus.  She asked if any of us had been abused, rejected, or felt hopeless. The more she shared the more the tears came.  That night I gave my life to Christ.

I continued to live with my mother, but over the next 6 months neither she nor my brother would speak to me.  I was alone.  They kept me from my friend and from going to church for a long time.  As time went on they saw a change in me. A change where I was making the right choices, and finally I was allowed to go to church again.  My mother is saved now, but I am still praying for my father and brother.

I told Diana I would ask you for prayer for her family.  Please pray that they will come to know Jesus fully.  I could relate in a small way because my mother prayed for over 40 years for my grandpa to come to Christ.  There were many days she thought those prayers were wasted and useless. One morning my dad woke up and said “Nancy, today is the day.”  He just felt the Holy Spirit telling him that.  Dad shared the gospel again with my grandpa and he accepted Christ that day.  He passed away a couple months after that.

I asked Diana why she believes in Compassion.  She said it’s a very hard job.  It can be very stressful and demanding, but she sees the hope these kids have.  She said “you will see the difference in the kids who are in Compassion’s program compared to the children who are not tomorrow.”  They have hope.  They have opportunity.  They have confidence that they can be so much more.  Many of them go on to Compassion’s Leadership Developement Program (college/spiritual formation program) where they become experts in their field and bring that experience and knowledge back into their communities.  Diana said “most of all we are sharing the life changing hope of Jesus.”

Diana and Rocio (all photos by Keely Scott)

Diana is what makes up the Compassion leadership.  Her transformation through Jesus Christ is what gives this ministry credibility.  Someone who had no hope and little chance is now devoting her life to seeing kids receive a future.  Seeing them get opportunities in a Christ centered environment that she was never given.

Diana’s life is inspiring to me.  She is what Compassion is all about.  This is one of many reasons why I believe I can trust what Compassion is doing.



March 15, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Todd, I’ll be praying for you and the rest of the team on this trip. The memories of my Kenya trip are still fresh in my memory so I’ll be anxious to again relive those memories through your trip.

    Comment by Brad Ruggles | March 15, 2010 | Reply

  2. What an incredible testimony! I had chills reading it. I also spent many, MANY, years praying that my dad would come to know the Lord. There were so many times when I just felt that it was “hopeless” and it would never happen. Thankfully, a couple of years ago, he did come to know the Lord and he is a COMPLETELY CHANGED man!!! It has been such a BLESSING!

    Praying for ALL of you who are ministering to the people in El Salvador right now. May you continue to bless those around you and be a light for them to see!!


    Comment by Jess :) | March 15, 2010 | Reply

  3. Oh I love Rocio!!! She is WONDERFUL! Praying for your trip! I know what you are seeing and know you will come back changed! It’s hard not to fall in love with Compassion when you see it in action!

    Comment by Kelly | March 16, 2010 | Reply

  4. Todd,

    Your wife has been praying for my father to come to Christ. It would be an honor for me to to pray for Diana’s father and brother to know Him too, and for her to continue to be a shining example of Christ in their lives.

    Looking forward to the rest of your trip…


    Comment by jd | March 16, 2010 | Reply

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