Useful Links

Here are some good links from Compassion that might be useful in understanding poverty and what we’re doing about it.  If you’d like to be of help, consider what the family of Jessie Garren is doing.  Amazing.  Also, do you have difficulty connecting with your sponsored child through letters?  Do they not seem to answer your questions?  Take a look at the link below.  In what ways are children being exploited by labor forces in Africa?  How can you help your own children to understand how privileged they are?  The links below are all great ones to enlighten a family about poverty in general, and what we can do to make a difference.

The Jessie Garren story

Questions about Child’s Letters

Labor Exploitation of Children in Africa

Step Into My Shoes — Enlightenment for the Family Concerning Poverty




Crazy Woman

Last weekend I also went up in the Big Horn Mountains to check out the fall colors.  There wasn’t much color left there, due to a recent (early) freeze, unfortunately.  But it was still beautiful.

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I decided to drive down Crazy Woman Canyon — one of the most spectacular areas you can imagine.

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The tall cliffs surround you as you drive along Crazy Woman Creek.

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The rocks that have fallen into the creek are nearly as big as a house.  It’s amazing to see.

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We’ve spent a lot of time with our family in this canyon and brought many friends here.  I missed having someone with me but Paul was busy on some projects and I just decided on a whim to go take a look.  I’m glad I did.  The beauty of nature and stillness around me was stunning.

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Clear Creek Mountain Trail

I went on a nice hike along Upper Clear Creek in the Big Horn Mountains last weekend.  This is the same area we rode down on with our bikes recently, but I wanted to get additional photos.  It was a beautiful day, with a little color still in the trees.

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I started at one of the Clear Creek Trail markers along Hwy. 16 and went up nearly to the Mosier Gulch picnic area.  I’m so grateful to Bill Mentock and the others who set up this extensive trail system along the creek.  I even passed Bill along the way.  He had clippers in his pocket to trim branches as needed; he said he always seems to “work” when he’s out enjoying the trail.  I didn’t think to take a photo of Bill on the “Bill Mentock” portion of the trail (where we happened to be).

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Here are some more views along the way.

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There were some great views of Clear Creek.

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Isn’t it pretty?  I also passed the old power plant, which was designed to look like a European castle.

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I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day in our mountains!

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Trigger Lake

I love living close to the Big Horn Mountains.  We probably don’t get up in the mountains often enough, but when we do it’s really spectacular.  Here are some pics Chris and I took on a hike in the mountains last year.

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This was our destination — Trigger Lake.

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Of course, Chris did a little fishing while we were there although I don’t think he caught anything.

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I busied myself with photos of some of the details around me.

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We had the best time together — ate some lunch — marveled over the beauty around us, laughed and shared stories and jokes with each other.  It was a great day!

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Something to Eat

The final devotion this week, also from Compassion’s book One in Spirit, comes from Lillian Gitau, a Child Protection Advisor in Compassion’s International Program Group.  She wrote the article called “Give Them Something to Eat,” which can also be viewed here.  It’s a very compelling story.

I watched the sun setting slowly over the hills. Soon it would be dark and an unknown fear gripped me. For the first time, I would go to bed without seeing my mother.

In my mind’s eye, I could see her at home preparing dinner. I was 10 years old and in a boarding school 250 kilometers away from home. It would be another 90 days before I saw her again. I longed for her protection and the safety of my home.

I remembered this longing 25 years later, when I met a little girl named Chantal. She was staring down at her feet, so afraid. Her frail hand held on tightly to the girl standing next to her. She couldn’t have been more than 6 years old.

I asked about her and learned that her parents had died some weeks ago. She and her sister, Jackie, were looking for a place to live and had been moving around begging for food.

My heart broke as my mind went back 25 years. But, unlike me, Chantal would never see her mother again. Unlike me, she wasn’t in a place considered remotely safe. She didn’t know where her next meal would come from, and her total sense of safety rested in her tiny sister.

Thankfully, I was here on a mission of hope. Compassion was establishing a home for highly vulnerable children, and Chantal and Jackie would be among the first beneficiaries. I thanked God for this divine provision. We wouldn’t just walk away.

The story in Matthew illustrates the great compassion of our Lord Jesus. The disciples were tempted to send the crowds away, but Jesus commanded, “You give them something to eat.”

As we encounter various challenges in our work, let’s remember that we are not alone but working in partnership with the Lord. He is willing to work with us, in our obedience to Him, to help us give His children “something to eat.”

As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food.” Jesus replied, “They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat.” —Matthew 14:15–16, NIV

Prayer: Lord, fill our hearts with your compassion so that we will be moved to action. Above all, help us remember that we are not in this work alone, but in partnership with you, and to you only be all the glory.


Four Questions

Today’s post is a devotion from Compassion’s book, One in Spirit, called “Four Questions God Asks Us.”  It was written by Samuel Wambugu, a partnership facilitator for Compassion Kenya.  It is dated June 14 and  can also be viewed here.

 Charles Blondin was a 19th-century acrobat famed for heart-stopping stunts. He was known for crossing Niagara Falls on a tightrope, 335 meters long, 50 meters above the water. He accomplished this first on June 30, 1859.

He did it a number of times in a number of different ways: blindfolded, in a sack, pushing a wheelbarrow, on stilts, even carrying his manager on his back.

One day he asked one of the spectators, “Do you think I can take a man across?” The spectator agreed, but he and several others wouldn’t dare entrust their lives into the hands of this proven acrobat.

This example helps us think about how much we trust Christ as we walk with Him and serve in this ministry. Today, a proven and trustworthy God is asking us four questions from Proverbs 3:5–6:

Will you get into my wheelbarrow? (“Trust in the LORD with all your heart.”)
Will you ensure that you don’t get out and try to push it by yourself? (“And lean not on your own understanding.”)
Will you make sure you are fully in? (“In all your ways submit to Him.”)
Will you be ready to go where and how I take you? (“And he will make your paths straight.”)
This ministry is God’s business. We can trust that He knows what, how, and when to do what needs to be done to get across the “falls” — even on a tight rope — toward the fulfillment of our mission and vision.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. —Proverbs 3:5–6, NIV

Prayer: Dear God, we pray that we will not lean on our own understanding as we do Your work, but that we will trust in You with all our heart and submit to You in all our ways. Amen.




This week I’m sharing some of the best posts from Compassion’s devotional book, One in Spirit, which can also be viewed here.  Today’s story is from Samuel Rugambage’s June 26 devotion, called “Humble Listening.”  Samuel is the Country Director for Compassion Rwanda.

Learn to listen to all people. Today, most people, including some leaders, listen only to others on their level of leadership — peers, relatives, friends — and neglect little ones and the poor.

Let us learn to humbly listen to all people, irrespective of their categories in life, because God can use them.

In 2 Kings 5:1–19, we see Naaman, a great and honorable commander of the army of the king of Syria. Nevertheless, he was a leper. He was healed because of his servant girl from the land of Israel, who advised him to go to Elisha, the man of God.

Naaman also listened to another of his servants when he was angry, furious, and “went off in a rage” (verse 12). The servant came near to him and advised him to go and bathe in the Jordan seven times. As a result of listening to two lower voices, Naaman was healed of leprosy.

How many times do we carefully listen to our employees, young children, sponsored children, or the poor and neglected people in our communities? May Naaman’s story serve as a lesson to us.

Let us remember that the dignity of the poor and the needy is one of our core values. God may even use these little ones to address our situations.

Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!”

So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy. — 2 Kings 5:13–14, NIV

Prayer: Lord, give us humble hearts to listen to your voice through any channel, according to your will.