Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dear Sponsor

As part of Blog Month, we've been asked to write from the perspective of a sponsored child.  I got this assignment on Monday and I've been mulling it over all week.  This is definitely the hardest assignment yet.

As of last Friday, 2006 children have been sponsored, that means there are still 1102 children left to go by Sunday night.  Please, please, please, if you have been thinking about sponsoring a child for some time, please do it now.  You can make a huge difference in the life of a child living in poverty.  With Compassion, you can release them from poverty in Jesus' name.  Please click here to view children in need of a sponsor.  Older children need sponsors too!  If you're not sure that you can commit to sponsoring for many years, choose an older child, as their time left in the program is much shorter, and you can make a huge difference during their last years at the Compassion project.

The following letter is fictional, but based in reality.  The children named and linked in the letter are not related to my knowledge, but they have both been waiting a long time to be sponsored.

Dear Sponsor,

I want to greet you in the name of Jesus Christ and thank you for being my sponsor.  My name is Erika  and I am 10 and the oldest child in my family.  I have 3 younger brothers.  My mother works at the market and my father works as a farmer, but often there is no work.  I pray that you will write often.  I have had 3 other sponsors and none of them ever wrote to me.  It made me very sad when the letters arrived month after month and lots of kids got letters, but I never did.  My little brother Andres  just got sponsored for the first time and he wanted to know when his sponsor will write to him.  I told him that hopefully it will be soon.  

I am responsible for some chores at my home, like getting our drinking water, doing laundry and cleaning the house.  I love going to the Compassion project because there we get to learn about Jesus, the tutors help us with our school work and we get to have a snack.  It takes me 20 minutes to walk to the Compassion project in the afternoon and usually it is hot and dry but it is so good to be there.  My tutor's name is Elena and she helps me with my mathematics homework.  I don't like mathematics, it is very hard, but Elena helps me every time at the project, so that is good.  Please pray for me that I will do well at school.

What is it like where you live?  We live in a city and it is always noisy and smelly.  There are many people and animals everywhere.  People keep chickens in their yards and that is good except when there is a rooster... then it is loud every morning and night.  My favorite food is chicken and rice.  What is your favorite food?

Please tell me about your family and please be my sponsor always.  I will pray for you everyday.

Strong hugs,


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Life in Rural Nicaragua Video

Because we sponsor Katherine in Rural Nicaragua, Compassion sent me a link to the following video.  I want to share it with you!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Bring Christmas Joy to Unsponsored Compassion Children

Yes, you may think it's a little early to be posting about Christmas joy, but in the time frame it takes to get letters & cards to children in the developing world, it's not too early.  Candy Entingh of Compassion International shared the following message with the Advocates in the North East Region;

"Sponsors may again write Christmas cards for unsponsored children this year. Unsponsored children will receive a Christmas gift (via the Christmas Gift Fund), and Christmas cards are a great way to send a personal blessing to children without sponsors. Christmas cards will be mailed to the field by the Sponsor Correspondence team.:

Cards should be received by Compassion by November 5, 2012 to be mailed to the field before Christmas. Cards received after November 5 may be held until next year.

An individual sponsor may send up to 25 cards without attachments (i.e. photos, stickers, etc.)."

Cards should be mailed to:
Compassion International
Attn: Suzanne Hall. 
12290 Voyager Parkway, 
Colorado Springs, CO 80921-3668

Michelle at Blogging From the Boonies also has a post about these cards with some additional guidelines that she's used in the past.  Please check it out!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Compassion Pinterest Contest

So the newest twist to Compassion's September Blog month is a Pinterest Contest.

So head on over to Pinterest and look up boards called My Sponsored Child.  If you repin the "Pin it for my Sponsored Child" 15 bloggers will win prizes that are gifts for their Sponsor Children and their families.

Thanks for your support!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Five Minute Friday: Focus

Joining up with Lisa-Jo for this week's Five Minute Friday.  Here are the rules:

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule. And the fun. And the heart of this community..

Oh and Ahem, if you would take pity and turn off comment verification, it would make leaving some love on your post that much easier for folks!
OK, are you ready? Please give us your best five minutes on:::


Focus.  Focus. Focus!

I tell myself this several times a day.  It seems that in a multi-tasking world just accomplishing one job completely without starting another is something that eludes me.  And I'm pretty sure that I'm not alone.  How many times have you gone to your computer with a specific task in mind and then as soon as it boots up, your e-mail opens automatically and there's something pressing (or not so pressing) that needs your attention.  Then you deal with that item, go down (if you're lucky) just a few rabbit trails and shut down the computer only to go back to the spot you were when you thought of that task you needed to do on the computer.  Aarrgh!

This is just a little example from the minutia of life, but it is also applicable to the larger scale of life.  If our lives don't have a focus then much of our time can be wasted going down little rabbit trails (days without focus that turn into weeks, months, and sadly even years).
What is your focus?
What takes up most of your time?
Do you feel good about this use of your time?
Or do you feel regretful?
Will you feel regret when you come to the end of your days?  "I should have done _____" or "I should have done ____"...

In the passage where Jesus states that He is the Good Shepherd in John 10 there is a great verse that helps me focus on the larger picture:
John 10:10 (NKJV)  

10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I [Jesus] have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

If our lives are focused on what the Lord has for us and our days are lived out seeking after His purpose for us then our lives should be full.  Because if we have life in Him then we will have life more abundantly. What is His specific purpose for you? For me?  That can vary and can change depending on who you are, but the top two commandments don't change depending on us:

Mark 12:29-31 (NKJV)
29 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. 31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.


Monday, September 10, 2012

A letter to God

Dear Heavenly Father,

I am so overwhelmed by Your goodness to me, Your matchless love to me, Your grace extended to me and I thank You for who You are: the Creator of the universe, the Author of life, the Almighty, the Forgiver.

I am so thankful to You for each breath that I breathe, even though many of them occur without thought or thanks.

I am so thankful to You for my family and friends; these people that you've blessed my life with and the people that you have on my path in the future.  These paths have not crossed by chance but by Your will.

I want to thank you for the joy that child sponsorship has brought into my life.  You know how much these lives have changed ours and You knew exactly which children would come into our life even before we did.  You have orchestrated this for us together.  Please continue to inspire us to write regularly to these precious children: Maria, Andres, Allan, Katherine, Loury, Denisse, Loveda & Danna.  Lord, help me not to forget Tania who has moved on. May we pray for them all often.   Father, I pray that you would be at work in each of these children's lives this day and everyday.  I pray that you would be at work in the local church members who operate the Compassion projects that our children attend.  That these caring, loving workers would be tangible evidences to these children, that Jesus loves them.  I pray that on letter day each child in these projects will receive a letter from their sponsor and see once again that Jesus loves them.  I pray that they will hear of Jesus' love at their times at the Compassion project and that their families will attend church with them on Sunday or allow them to go to church also.  Father, please be at work in the families that these children come from, there are so many difficulties that they each face.  Help these families to grow together and Father help hurts to be healed and forgiven and salvation to be found in none other than the Lord Jesus Christ.

Father, I wish that there was more we could do, half a world away... that we would be able to wrap real arms around these dear kids and love them in person, not just through letters and photographs.  Help us to speak on behalf of these children and encourage sponsors to really get involved.

I pray for the many children who don't yet have sponsors Lord, and I pray that you will work in the hearts of those on this side of the world who have the means to make a difference in the life of a child for Christ and to release them from poverty in Jesus' name.

Father, You are able and I trust You!

In Christ's name, I pray.

Sponsor a Child in Jesus Name with Compassion

Friday, September 7, 2012

3108 children to be sponsored by Sept. 30!

And I'm back!  It has been a several month hiatus from blogging as we didn't have a permanent home or even know where our permanent home was going to be when we left Virginia, but now we do and I'm blogging from my basement "office" nook.  More details about the saga in the following posts.  But now for the main event!

September is Blog Month for the Compassion Bloggers.  Compassion has set a goal of seeing 3108 children sponsored by the end of September and I'm here to share about why you should sponsor a child through Compassion International.

My own journey with Compassion started just under two years ago.  After moving to the US in 2009, from Canada, I *discovered* blogs  (apparently, they've been around a lot longer than since 2009, but that's the first that I started reading them regularly).  Lysa TerKeurst's was the first blog that I read after hearing her "Proverbs 31 Minute" segments on the radio.  She belongs to a group called (In)Courage, which in turn has other members who went on a Compassion Bloggers trip to Guatemala in September 2010 (Ann Voskamp & Lisa-Jo Baker).  I followed these posts avidly and felt very convicted to sponsor a child in Guatemala and another in Ecuador.  On October 1, 2010 that is what our family did.  We started sponsoring Andres in Guatemala and Allan in Ecuador.

Before I started sponsoring, I came across another blog:  Blogging from the Boonies.  Michelle's fervent passion that sponsors write to their children rubbed off on me and I committed myself to the Lord and to my sponsor children that I would write to them often.

Why sponsor with Compassion?
Compassion is Christ-Centered
                       - the good news of Jesus Christ is shared with all the children in the program
Compassion is Church-Based
                       - the Compassion projects are operated out of the local church
Compassion  is Child-Focused
                       - Compassion seeks to develop the whole child, spiritually, physically, economically and

Our family has been impacted by our partnership with Compassion.  The letters we receive come from very real children half a world away.  We are able to pray for them and send them love through this relationship.  Likewise, they share love with us and pray for us.  Our monthly sponsorship money provides so much for them, from school fees (if required by the government), to supplies, to tutoring, to Bible teaching, to medical assistance and in some cases supplementary food. 

I would ask you to click over to Michelle's Blogging from the Boonies blog  and then visit the Compassion site by clicking on one of her banners because the person who gets the most traffic and sponsorships referred from their blog this month has the opportunity to win a trip to visit their sponsor child and Michelle works tirelessly to help sponsors and children connect and I would love to see her be able to go to Ghana to visit Precious!

Even if you feel that this isn't the time for you to sponsor, I would beg of you to go to the Compassion site via Michelle's Blog and pray for 3 of the children listed there.  Pray that they would get sponsored.