A Week of Bittersweet Goodbyes

 

 

“’Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” – Alfred Lord Tennyson

 

This is not the first time we have loved and lost, but that still does not lessen the ache. Just two weeks ago, I wrote our Compassion International children’s long-awaited update letters. Her letter was the last to be sent…

This week though, as I obsessively counted our children on the Compassion website, something was not right. I counted again… We were missing someone. Out of all of them, why did it have to be her?

I fought back tears and sudden breath-taking panic as I spit out the heart-wrenching words no sponsor wants to repeat as if they were grains of sand stuck helplessly in my mouth. “Um, we’re missing someone… She’s gone…” Andy knew exactly who, without me even mentioning her name, because my husband is just like that. He also knows me enough to know that I would not handle the ensuing phone call well, so without questions he picked up the phone.

Due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control, our precious Kate is no longer part of Compassion International’s program. We welcomed Kate into our Compassion family after watching the above video in May of 2009. After five beautiful years, her frequent and affectionate letters and words of love will be dearly missed.

 

That was Monday…

On Wednesday, after some tears and moments of raw vulnerability, we received an unexpected phone call…

 

In April of 2012, I needed a reason to continue teaching voice lessons beyond myself. Naturally, my reason came through an addition to our ever-growing Compassion family. His name is Miguel.

 

I came home from running errands this past Wednesday to Andy saying, “I received a call from Compassion today…”

Miguel was not supposed to graduate from Compassion’s program until 2016, but he apparently has the motivation I have lacked this past semester. While I counted down the days until my Christmas break began on December 12, Miguel completed two years of college in just one-year’s time! Therefore, he will be graduating in 2015—a year earlier than expected!

Thank you precious son for giving your sponsor mom and dad a few months of forewarning, and please know that we are so very proud of you!

 

As I shared with a friend recently, this is kind of like being a foster parent. While many are afraid to be attached to their foster children, anyone who has ever loved one of these precious ones will tell you that attachment is what they so desperately need. Child sponsorship is similar, in that it is easy and equally important to become attached, no matter how long God places these children in our path. For us, I can say that the blessings far outweigh the losses, and we truly reap the benefits maybe more than we even know. So, while this has been a week of bittersweet goodbyes and goodbyes-to-come, we rest in the knowledge that every word written, tear shed, prayer lifted, and penny spent is more than worth the price. We have loved and we have lost, and we plan to continue doing so as long as the Lord allows.

 

In honor of our precious Kate and Miguel, would you prayerfully consider sponsoring one of these Sunday’s special children?

Day 26: Write a letter to your sponsored child

Today is Saturday. For children registered in Compassion’s program, this is usually a day of the week when they attend the local Compassion child development center hosted by a local church in their community. Amidst the meals, recreation, vocational training, Bible studies, and other classes, one of the most favorite activities for the children is writing and receiving letters. When writing about her time spent at her Compassion project, Tatiana in El Salvador once wrote, “What I like most is writing letters to my sponsors.” Then, as one of the benefits she shared with us she wrote, “I get letters from my sponsors.” As all children registered with Compassion, Tatiana enjoys writing and receiving letters!

 

Letters are very important to your sponsored child!

 

If you do not believe me, and you think a letter will not make a difference, grab a box of Kleenex and read this. It will change your life and letter writing habits. After reading this and drying my eyes, I never thought of writing to our sponsored children the same again.

 

Write your sponsored child a letter today

 

If you have never written a letter to your sponsored child, it is not too late to start that life changing relationship. We can help you write your first-ever letter, and we can also help you take your letter writing relationship beyond “hello”. If you need some letter writing ideas, or you want to know how often to write your sponsored child, we can answer those questions as well. Whether you use Compassion’s online letter writing tool or send a letter in the mail, I know your sponsored child will be eternally grateful for the time you took to write words of love and encouragement just for him or her. Your letter does not need to be long or detailed. You can send a short note just to say, “I love you and pray for you often.”

 

Have you written to your sponsored child lately?

 

If so, what did you write about? Did you reply to a letter you received from your child? What news did he or she share? What is your favorite part about sending and receiving letters? What is your sponsored child’s favorite part of receiving your letters? Please share any questions or comments with us, and thank you for taking time to nurture the relationship with your sponsored child today.

 

31 Days of Compassion

Day 25: Make sure you’re not alone

Child sponsorship can seem like a lonely calling at times. You have such a joy, love, and passion for this ministry, and while you share about your sponsored children with everyone you know, it can be difficult to find someone who truly understands. You wish there was at least one other person who is excited when a letter from your sponsored child arrives in your mailbox, or when a surprise photo is included in that envelope. You wish you had a friend who joins you in praying for your sponsored child’s prayer requests and is there when difficult news arrives. You want a friend who will eagerly listen as you share about the extra goodies you’re sending with your letters this month, or when you show off the gifts you’re sending with a friend traveling to your sponsored child’s country. Your family and friends try to be patient and bear with your incessant chatter about letters, gifts, photos, and the dollar store deals, but you know they do not share your passion for this ministry. As you shrink back in your little corner, you wonder if there is such a friend who truly understands.

 

Good news: There is more than one such friend, and they truly understand!

 

 

What is OurCompassion?

 

OurCompassion is an online community of like-minded friends from all around the world who have a shared passion and love for children living in poverty. It is a safe place to connect and learn more about the ministry of Compassion International, child sponsorship, and your sponsored child. Being part of OurCompassion for a few years now, Andy and I can tell you that the blessings we have found via this community are innumerable.

 

Blessings of OurCompassion

 

• You can learn more about the ministry of Compassion International and ask questions in a safe and welcoming environment

• If you are a child sponsor with Compassion, there is a private forum dedicated to the sponsor community

• There is a private forum not open to unregistered users where you can post prayer requests and praise reports, whether related to child sponsorship or not

• There is a forum to exchange ideas for sending letters and gifts to your sponsored child

• You can connect with sponsors who have sponsored children in the same country or Compassion church partner as you

• You may have the opportunity to send gifts with sponsors visiting your sponsored child’s country. We have had this blessed opportunity extended to us twice!

• If you travel to visit your sponsored child, you may be able to get to know others traveling on the same trip! We found a new friend going to the Dominican Republic with us this coming April!

• You can learn about other cultures, both by being involved with Compassion, and from your new friends all around the world!

 

Child sponsorship can seem like a lonely calling at times, but it does not have to be this way. Since we have joined OurCompassion, Andy and I have noticed a growing passion for the ministry of sponsorship. It is through this community of like-minded friends where we learned about the importance of writing letters. We have received creative ideas and bookmarked enough websites to browse for too many days. We have prayed, laughed, and cried together. These people are our family, united by hearts in love with children around the world. We want to extend a warm welcome to you as you join us on OurCompassion.

 

Are you part of the OurCompassion family?

 

If so, we want to hear from you! What blessings have you found while being part of OurCompassion? How has this community helped you in your ministry to children living in poverty? Please leave your feedback in the comments, and tell us why you love OurCompassion.

 

31 Days of Compassion

Day 24: Sponsorship Part II: Correspond with a child living in poverty

Yesterday, we shared how you can release a child from poverty in Jesus’ name through financial sponsorship with Compassion International. As we have written here many times before, child sponsorship is much more than the $38.00 sent to Compassion International each month. While that financial gift is very much appreciated, letters and the relationship built between the sponsor and child makes an eternal impact on all involved. Go here to learn about the importance of letters and how you can build a beautiful letter-writing relationship with your sponsored child.

Today, we want to share with you another way beyond financial sponsorship in which you can bless a child and be blessed in return. My husband Andy and I can attest to how life changing what we are about to share has been for us and many sponsors and children around the world.

 

Questions to ask yourself

 

• Do you love to write?

• Can you commit to write letters on a consistent basis?

• Do you want to minister to a child who needs to know the love of Christ?

• Do you want to spread God’s love around the globe through a tangible act of compassion?

• Are you interested in learning more about another culture?

• Do you want to instill a spirit of giving and Christ-like compassion in your children before they leave home?

• Would you like to build a relationship with a child prior to making a substantial financial commitment to the ministry?

• Are you struggling financially, but wishing you could do something significant for the kingdom of God?

 

If you answered “Yes”, then correspondence sponsorship may be for you!

 

There are many children who are financially sponsored, but they do not receive any letters from their financial sponsor. The reasons for the lack of letters could be numerous—the child is among a number of children sponsored by a business, corporation, or as part of an individual’s last will and testament; the financial sponsor lacks time or interest to write; health or other concerns may be preventing the sponsor from writing, ETC. In such cases, a financial sponsor is welcome to request that a correspondence sponsor be assigned to write to his or her sponsored child in their place.

 

A few frequently asked questions about correspondence sponsorship

 

“How do I become a correspondence sponsor?”

 

If you are in the United States, call Compassion International’s Global Ministry Center at (800) 336-7676.

If you live outside the United States, go here to locate and contact Compassion’s global partner nearest you. When you contact the Compassion International office in your country, you can ask for more information about becoming a child correspondent.

 

“Can I choose the child with whom I correspond?”

 

While you are not able to choose the exact child with whom you correspond, you can request a specific gender, region of the world or country, age, ETC. Please know however, that such requests may not be able to be filled depending on the current children needing correspondent sponsors at the time of your request. Furthermore, such specific requests may delay the process of you receiving a correspondent child, again depending on the current children needing correspondent sponsors at the time of your request.

 

“Does my correspondent-sponsored child know I am not his or her financial sponsor?”

 

It is our understanding that the child usually does not know that the correspondence sponsor is writing on their financial sponsor’s behalf, and instead they believe they have received a new sponsor. Moreover, it is also our understanding that this is in no way meant to be dishonest or deceitful, but instead to avoid any confusion on the part of the child and his or her family. When we write our first letter to a new correspondent-sponsored child, Andy and I simply say how blessed we are to be his or her new friend without mentioning anything about “sponsorship”.

 

“Does my correspondent-sponsored child receive the same benefits as a financially-sponsored child?”

 

Yes, your correspondent-sponsored child receives the same benefits through Compassion, because they are in fact financially sponsored. The only financial difference between sponsorship types is that you are not the one providing the funds for these benefits.

 

“Can I visit my correspondent-sponsored child?”

 

Yes, as with a financially sponsored child, you are encouraged and invited to visit your correspondent-sponsored child. Please contact the trips and visits department of the Compassion International office nearest you to learn more about this life changing opportunity. You will be glad you prayerfully considered meeting your sponsored child face-to-face!

 

“What happens if my correspondent-sponsored child’s financial sponsor discontinues the sponsorship?”

 

If financial sponsorship is discontinued, you will be asked if you would like to financially sponsor that child and continue nurturing the relationship. If you are unable to financially sponsor your correspondent child, then he or she will be placed among the children awaiting sponsors. If in the future you are able to financially sponsor that child, please do not hesitate to contact your nearest Compassion office and ask them to see if that child is still available for financial sponsorship. The best way to request this information is to have that child’s number available when you contact Compassion. This number is on the letters you receive, and it begins with a 2-letter country code.

 

For more answers to frequently asked questions about the correspondent sponsorship program, please read this post on Compassion International’s official blog.

 

Are you a correspondence sponsor?

 

If so, please share your experience in the comments. Why should someone become a correspondence sponsor? How has this changed your life? Has this opened your eyes to another culture or poverty around the world? What frequently asked questions have we missed here that are not covered in the aforementioned blog post? Please feel free to ask them in the comments as well!

 

31 Days of Compassion

Day 23: Sponsorship Part I: Release a child from poverty in Jesus’ name!

We are entering the home stretch of our 31 days of compassion. This has been an incredible month filled with many challenges and blessings. We have defined and shown compassion, heard God’s heart for the poor, discussed spreading God’s love in our local communities, and learned about poverty and specific issues faced by people living in poverty around the world. We have been challenged to pray, watch, read, blog, and eat with a global focus. Children have been encouraged to show compassion, and Christmas joy is being sent. Our hearts are filled to overflowing, and we are not done yet!

 

In response to all that you have learned over the past few weeks, we want to challenge you to step out in faith. We recently advocated on behalf of a child living in poverty, but we can take this advocacy one step further. Will you please pray about sponsoring or corresponding with a child living in poverty? Today, we will share with you about child sponsorship, and tomorrow we will discuss becoming a correspondence sponsor.

 

Reflections on our child sponsorship story

 

My husband Andy and I have been child sponsors with the ministry of Compassion International for close to nine years, and we can tell you that this experience has blessed and changed our lives. Our perspective on life, finances, faith, and what it means to spread God’s love has shifted. Our world has spun and tilted, and we have a global focus in our line of vision now.

 

Sponsorship is not about the $38.00 we send each month. It is about building a relationship with our sponsored child through letters. It is about praying for their studies, health, dreams, and family. It is about rejoicing with them when they pass to the next school grade, win baseball trophies, or see the Lord answer prayers miraculously. We evangelize, encourage, and disciple. They pray, send Scriptures, and give us unconditional love. We started sponsoring with the intent to bless a child, but we are the ones who have received the greatest blessings and rewards. We have become uncle and aunt, and mom and dad. Our family is spread across the globe, but we are all bound by the blood and love of Christ.

 

“Why should I sponsor a child?”

 

For $38.00 a month, just over $1.25 a day, you can release a child from physical, social, economic, and spiritual poverty. Through a local church in his or her community, your sponsored child will receive many benefits including medical check-ups, educational opportunities and support, a safe place to play, nutritional meals, life skills training, and the opportunity to hear about the love of Jesus and build a personal relationship with him. Through your prayers and letters, your sponsored child will know that dreams are possible and life is worth living. He or she will know that someone loves them, and the whispered lies of poverty will be drowned out by your words of encouragement.

 

Please, do not just take our word for it!

 

A recent independent study was conducted that shows the immensely positive impact Compassion International’s child sponsorship program has had on the success and lives of formerly sponsored children in the areas of education, employment, and leadership. Here, four formerly sponsored children share their stories of success and the impact sponsorship has had on their lives.

 

$1.25 a day—enough to buy a coffee or a song from iTunes. Or, enough to change the lives of your sponsored child, his or her family and community, and you. We have learned that every child is close to the heart of God. What is $1.25 worth to you? Is it worth a cup of coffee, a song, or releasing a child from poverty in Jesus’ name?

 

“How do I choose a child to sponsor?”

 

As you pray and seek the Lord’s guidance about the child you will sponsor, we want to introduce you to some children waiting to be released from poverty in Jesus’ name. Maybe one of these children is waiting for you.

 

Denelson

 

Six-year-old Denelson lives in Haiti with his aunt and three siblings. He is in preschool and enjoys soccer. This precious little boy would love your letters of encouragement, and you could be the one to share with him about his father in Heaven.

 

Hector

 

Hector is seven years old and lives with his grandparents and four siblings in Mexico. Hector has partial hearing loss and is struggling in school. Will you pray for and encourage him? Will you let him know that he can trust in Christ and reach his dreams despite his circumstances? Will you tell Hector he is special in the eyes of God?

 

Ruhama

 

Ruhama is six and lives in Ethiopia with her foster parents and one sibling. She is in kindergarten and enjoys running and playing volleyball. Will you please end Ruhama’s long wait for a sponsor? As of October 27, she has been waiting 244 days for someone to step in the gap for her. Will that someone be you?

 

Jackson

 

18-year-old Jackson lives in Tanzania with his uncle, aunt, and three siblings. This young man is excelling in his college studies. As he enters adulthood, he could use a mentor to walk beside him and encourage him with prayers and letters of love. Will you let Jackson know he is not forgotten today?

 

Layanel

 

Living in the Dominican Republic with his grandparents and four siblings, 6-year-old Layanel is in kindergarten and enjoys baseball. Will you give this sweet little boy an early birthday present by ending his too long wait for a sponsor? His birthday is on November 23, and as of October 27, Layanel has been waiting 330 days for someone to release him from poverty in Jesus’ name. Is the answer to Layanel’s birthday wish going to be you?

 

31 Days of Compassion

Happy 10th birthday Tatiana!

When a child joins our Compassion family, they truly become part of our family. This means that we have the joy of celebrating their birthdays, and this is just what we did this evening in honor of our precious Tatiana from El Salvador! Tatiana turns 10 years old today. We are blessed to have her as a part of our lives.

As part of our birthday celebration for Tatiana, we listened to Spanish Christian music and made our own version of chicken tacos for dinner. After dinner, we then took time to send a birthday letter to Tatiana using Compassion’s online letter writing tool. We chose a special birthday template and shared in our letter just how precious Tatiana is to us and some specific prayers we are praying over her life in this year to come.

Do you celebrate special holidays that are important to your Compassion children? Do you have any special ways for celebrating your Compassion children’s birthdays? Have you incorporated any of their traditions into such holidays as Christmas or Easter? We would love to learn how you celebrate your Compassion children throughout the year.

If you would like to change the life of a child in El Salvador, we want to introduce two precious children to you!

Gabriela

11-year-old Gabriela attends the same Compassion center as our precious Tatiana, and she lives with her mother and siblings. Gabriela enjoys art, playing with dolls, and hide-and-seek.

You can learn more about the urban region of El Salvador  where Gabriela lives here.

Howar

7-year-old Howar shares his birthday with our Tatiana, and this precious boy has been waiting 333 days for a special sponsor to change his life! Howar lives with his parents and siblings and he enjoys singing and playing with marbles and cars. Howar is struggling in Kindergarten and could use some words of love and encouragement. Would you give this special boy the life-changing birthday gift of sponsorship?

Two stories to be shared

Story one: Your Story

 

If you could write an autobiography of your life thus far, what would you title the chapters? Moreover, what story would the pages contain? Would you have a chapter entitled “childhood”, where you share about your growing up years? Would you have a chapter on “education”, where you share about graduating from high school and maybe even attending or graduating from college? Maybe you’d then write a chapter called “employment”, where you tell about landing your dream job. You may have a chapter called “marriage and family”, introducing your readers to your spouse and children. Your autobiography may even have a chapter called “Jesus”, where you share how you allowed Jesus to write the story of your life. While your story may or may not contain all of these chapters, it is as unique as its main character, and it has the power to inspire and change the stories of others as well.

 

Story Two: Their Story

 

If you could write a biography of a child living in poverty, what would you title the chapters? Moreover, what story would the pages contain? Would there be a chapter entitled “family” that shares of heartache caused by the loss of parents by death, the need to work far from home, or abandonment? Would there be a chapter on hunger that describes the child’s family’s desperate attempts to find food each day? Would there be a chapter called, “dreams”, detailing the dreams of this child and the lack of education available for him or her to reach their dreams?

 

One Story

 

What if these two above stories were intertwined and crafted in to one? Could you add a chapter called, “hope” to the story of this child living in poverty? Could you help this child to have access to education enabling them to reach their dreams? Could you help introduce this child to Jesus, so he can forever write the story of their life?

 

If you want to change your and their stories for eternity, here is your opportunity. Andy and I have had our stories changed by changing the stories of children in poverty. Will you join us? Will you share your story to change the story?

The Little village that breaks my heart

It has been said, “It takes a whole village to raise a child.” Well, God is using a village of children to continually break my heart and raise me into the child he wants me to be.

In the eight years we’ve sponsored through Compassion International, we’ve loved 18 children from just over half of the countries in which Compassion works. I recently had a Compassion phone representative comment, “Hey! It looks like you have a little village here.” I had to laugh, because it’s more true than even he realized.

I knew God was calling me to sponsor a child through Compassion long before we picked up Mayara’s profile 8 years ago this month. I’ll admit that I used to go on Compassion’s website after my homework was done in my senior year of high school and browse through the children waiting for sponsorship. Honestly, I don’t know why I did this, because I was in no position to sponsor a child myself. I had never been on a mission trip, and I did not know much about poverty. Although I grew up in a broken home and had my fare share of struggles, “the least of these”, “abject poverty”, “Malaria”, and “the third world” were pretty foreign concepts to me. HIV/AIDS was just a subject in my freshmen health class, and I had access to food, education, and safe water every day. Friends had traveled on various mission trips, but I couldn’t grasp the devistating reality and lies of poverty. I was literally Blinded to the truth.

As I now look back at the 2.5 years in which we sponsored Mayara, I’m ashamed to admit I still didn’t fully understand. We exchanged some letters back and forth, and we paid our monthly support. But, we were not truly engaged in the relational aspect of sponsorship. We were helping this precious child, but what did we do to deserve her innocent trust and love? Absolutely nothing! We were unworthy of Mayara’s love, just as much as we are unworthy of the unconditional love of Christ.

When we found out that Mayara had left Compassion’s program, I grieved for lost hope and the fear of the unknown. Once the questions that could be answered were, I was able to move on.

Although I was still unfamiliar with many terms and aspects of poverty, losing Mayara put a chip in my heart.

In May of 2009 while preparing to facilitate a benefit concert for Compassion, we began to really research this ministry and dive deep into the realities of poverty. The stats were hopelessly overwhelming, but the hope was found in knowing that the light of Jesus shines brighter. By the time the event was over, my heart was shattered and burning with a true passion for children in third world countries, who live in abject poverty, face life-threatening diseases like Malaria and HIV/AIDS, and do not have daily access to safe water, education or food.

God has used our Compassion children to teach me many valuable lessons in these past 8 years. A financial gift that seems small to us is not small in the eyes and hands of God. Joy is not found in possessions, but in possessing the faith to say, “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” Children send Scriptures and words of encouragement that speak wisdom beyond their years. Family members can live on the other side of the world, and still share a deep bond of love. Learn to pray with the faith of a child, and you’ll be humbled to know that your children are praying for you. Sponsors’ letters are priceless treasures, and as such they should be sent often. Hold lightly the gifts God gives you in the form of these precious children, but know that God never lets go of them.

Some children have come and gone from our “little village”, but the lessons learned will always remain in the cracks and crevices of my fragile heart. I pray God will continue to break my heart for what breaks his, and I praise him for his love that overflows from my heart to their’s.

Not that different

I could never pretend to begin to understand everything that’s in the heart of a child in poverty, but if we were to sit down together, this might be what they would say.

Do you remember when you were a child? What were your fears? What did you think about? What did you dream about?

Did you like to sing, read, play sports, or draw beautiful pictures? What was your favorite color? What was your favorite Bible verse? Were you afraid of sickness? Did your parents ever lose their job? Did you struggle in school? What did you want to be when you grew up?

Do you think your childhood thoughts and dreams are all that different from mine?

I live with my parents and 5 siblings in a one-room mud hut with a straw roof. When it rains, our roof leaks. Some of my friends are very sick, and a couple have even died. I am afraid that someone in my family will get sick, and we won’t have enough money to afford medical care. This is why I dream of being a doctor when I grow up, so I can care for those in my community who are sick.

My parents work very hard when they are able to find work, but this is not very often. When they are able to find work, they do not make enough money to buy food, clothes, and school supplies.

Sometimes, I am told I am ugly and worthless, and that I will not amount to anything. I am told that dreams are worthless, because my family does not, nor will we have, the money for college education. I wonder if I will need to quit school to work to support my family. I already struggle in my studies now, because I did not learn how to read or write until I started attending Compassion International’s program.

When I go to Compassion each week, this is where I feel safe. I learn songs and Bible verses about the love of Jesus Christ, and I just memorized John 3:16 last week. I like to play soccer and draw pictures with my friends, and my favorite color is red.

Compassion gives me nutricious food, school supplies, clothes, and access to medical care. They tell me I can have a sponsor who will love me and write me letters, and I am excited to write letters in return!

I am a child living in poverty, but I do not have to be a product of poverty. I can be a child with hope. I can be an agent of change, if you will help me. Help me rise above the hopeless circumstances that surround my life. Help me know that you and I are really not that different. Please, become my sponsor, and release me from poverty in Jesus’ name!

Although this is a fictional account, these words could have been written by any of the children still waiting for a sponsor to step up and change their lives. These children are waiting for you. Not only will your $38.00 per month provide your sponsored child with access to education, nutritional food, medical care, clothing, and the opportunity to hear about Jesus, but your words of love and encouragement will be treasured for a lifetime.

*Update:

Thank you to those who have stepped up in faith and love to change the lives of Christabel in Ghana, Jose in Mexico, Pascal and Elijah in Uganda, Muthumuniammal in India, and Isuru in Sri Lanka!

Precious little Miranda from the Dominican Republic is still waiting for you to love her. If you sponsor Miranda, please let us know, and we’ll take a doll for her to the Dominican Republic when we travel.

We want to thank you on behalf of the child you choose to sponsor. Thank you for loving your sponsored child, and helping them reach their dreams. Thank you for releasing a child from poverty in Jesus’ name!

Dear God

Dear God,
I’m sorry. I’m sorry for my apathy and living in my own little bubble for so long. I’m sorry for turning a Blind eye and a deaf ear away from the sweet faces and the silent cries of your precious children. I’m sorry for breaking your heart.

 

Dear God,
Thank you. Thank you for opening my eyes, ears and heart. Thank you for showing me the bigger picture that is much more than my little bubble. Thank you for bursting my bubble and guiding me out of my comfort zone. Thank you for breaking my heart.

 

Lord, the words just won’t come today. I have too many emotions, too many things I could say, but I’m left in awe and speechless. Nothing seems right or worthy enough. I’m not right or worthy enough, but you still choose to use me; you still choose to love me. You still choose to use these hands to write the words our Compassion children so desperately need to hear. You still choose to use these lips and this voice to lift prayers to you on each child’s behalf. You still choose to use this broken heart, this shattered vessel to pour out your love for these precious ones. You choose to use this imperfect life to teach lessons that I learn right along with our children. You choose to use children whose earthly circumstances tell them lies to speak truth to my heart. You choose to create a family that stretches across the world where broken homes exist. You choose to give us a heart for the older children who may feel forgotten. You choose to give us love for the special children who the world sees as unlovable. You choose to bind us to our children by love that flows from your precious blood.

 

In return Lord, I choose to not be silent. I choose to speak up for those who can not speak for themselves. I choose to bend my knees, bow my head and pray. I can not save the world, but I can change the life of the children you have placed in my world. I can share the honest experiences of child sponsorship, believing that you will use these mere words to burst someone’s bubble of apathy and break someone’s heart.

Lord, I’m sorry for not choosing sooner. Thank you for giving me the choice.

Jesus, I pray all of this in your precious name.

Amen!