This is a slightly different kind of post than usual, but I thought you might be interested in two things involving kids.
- Today only, you can listen to Faith Like a Sprinkler, a Keys for Kids devotional I wrote that was published today. (The link is always good for the daily devotional, but you can only read this particular story today.)
- A not-so-conventional story about my experience with Compassion International
Keys for Kids
Are you worried? Whatever it is, have you prayed about it?
“We’re a lot like sprinklers. A sprinkler doesn’t worry it’s not good enough to do its job. It’s not afraid to be empty. When it’s connected to the hose, the water’s power flows through it. It’s the same with us. Because we have faith in Jesus, we’re always connected to Him, and His power flows through us. He’ll give us the strength we need to do the things He wants us to do.”
To read the full devotional, click HERE.
What is Compassional International?
“Compassion International is a child-advocacy ministry that pairs compassionate people with those who are suffering from poverty. The ministry releases children from spiritual, economic, social, and physical poverty. The goal is for each child to become a responsible and fulfilled adult.” (from Compassion’s website)
They distinguish themselves from other child sponsorship organizations by their 3 C’s: Christ centered. Child focused. Church based.
There is so much I could tell you about the organization, but their website does a phenomenal job so if you’re curious to learn more, I recommend visiting their website: https://www.compassion.com.
My Compassion Un-Story
I’ve been a Compassion sponsor for nearly 20 years.
My story starts in college. My friend, Rachel, and I attended an outdoor summer concert and before we left, our senses were blasted with heart rending images on a big screen of kids dying in poverty coupled with background music reminiscent of the sinking Titanic.
Then we were forced to exit past the table with the sponsorship packets at gunpoint, and dared to defy we wore the blood of innocents on our head if we didn’t hand over our wallets right then and there.
Or maybe that’s just how I remember it.
Rachel and I were poor college students, but we went half-and-half on a sponsorship. (Like we were going to say “no”?!)
I bailed on my half of the sponsorship less than two weeks later.
The problem with emotional high-jacking is that guilt is a short term motivator and leads to resentment. And that’s exactly where I was. I felt emotionally manipulated. God loves a cheerful giver. DON’T give out of guilt. Give out of gratitude. If that’s the only thing you remember from this story, then the story was successful. (Thankfully, Rachel understood.)Don't give out of guilt. Give from gratitude. Click To Tweet
So that’s where my story did NOT start.
But obviously, something changed since I’ve sponsored for nearly twenty years now. What happened?
My Compassion Story (Take 2!)
A few months later, one of my college professors encouraged me to compete in a speech contest at my college. I surprised myself with my desire to win. Not naturally competitive, I prayed for success and told God if I won, I’d give Him half the prize money.
My speech was not the best one. The winner was obvious to everyone and there were plenty of other good ones. I figured I’d be lucky to place 3rd.
However, the obvious winner was disqualified for breaking rules, and the judge pronounced me the 1st prize winner.
I was speechless. (Pun intended.)
The Lord delights to bless the unlikely so that the unlikely can bless the Lord.
This time, no one breathed down my neck. I had already decided half my money was God’s. It was simply a matter of who it helped.
Her name was Julieth and she was a sweet, Colombian 4-year old I sponsored through Compassion International.
We corresponded for years by letters and photos. After Paul and I married, we added two boys – Sampath from India and Enock from Rwanda – both the same age as Julieth.
In 2006, before our biological kids were born, Paul and I joined a life-altering Compassion tour to Colombia to meet Julieth. That is a story in itself, which I wrote in a scrapbook afterward – now a precious reminder of our experience.
Today, Julieth and Sampath are graduates from the program. Enock is preparing to graduate. In addition, we’ve added 4 more children. Sharol was chosen because she has the same birthdate as our son. Joel and Keiner were chosen because they have the same birthdate as our daughter. And Juan was added because he was such a cute 4-year old from Colombia, and Colombia has my heart because of Julieth.
What I told my church family on Sunday – known as Compassion Sunday, a day where churches all across America are made aware of child poverty – is that there is no obligation to sponsor a child. But there is an opportunity.The Lord delights in blessing the unlikely so that the unlikely can bless the Lord. Click To Tweet
For more information on how to sponsor a child through Compassion International, please visit: https://www.compassion.com.
To watch me speak this message, click on this YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3y71VVvXVG4#action=share and fast forward to 35:20 min for a 7 minute clip. (Or not! In my nervousness, I forgot to introduce myself and I said “um” about a thousand times. LOL.)