Happiness

Compassion’s ministry is helping thousands of mothers, especially young ones, to learn now to care for their new babies.  They’re providing resources, education and supplies that make it possible, literally, for the babies to survive.  This is a really sweet and compelling video you don’t want to miss:

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Kids for Kids

This title says it all; it’s about providing baby goats to children in need.  I know how important they can be for the families of our children.  When I sponsored a boy in Haiti, every time I sent extra money for Christmas or birthdays he would buy a goat.  When he graduated and I asked if he had a younger brother I could sponsor, Compassion sent me a new child packet for the brother and it said he was responsible for the family’s “herd of goats!”  I just had to giggle.  How wonderful!

Lost in Translation

Here’s a great new video from Compassion highlighting the importance of sponsor letters.  Do you ever get goofy statements from your sponsored child that are hard to understand?  This video might help you understand why some words get “Lost in Translation.”

Compassion Links

In addition to hurricanes and fires this has been a summer of huge devastation in many third world countries.  Please continue praying for India, Nepal and Pakistan.  This affects more than 16 million children.  Imagine that!  They really need our prayers and support.  I’ve been especially concerned for two boys I’ve previously corresponded with in India through Compassion’s ministry–Joseph and Subhah.  I’ve been equally concerned for Muuo, the young man I met in Kenya.  I’ve recently heard that his area has been facing a drought and has tried to plant three times, only to fail each time.

Please give to Compassion’s disaster relief here!  Drought relief here!

In addition, nearly every month we hear about flooding in our partner countries:

February — Colombia

March — Peru

May — Kenya

May — Indonesia

June — Bangladesh 

June — Brazil

July — Ghana

August — Togo

August — Thailand

August — Mexico

June, July, August — Colombia

August — Ethiopia

There is one link to give to all these needs — here!

 

God is Real–Part Six

How do I know God is real?  For certain?  I’ve experienced Him in specific, very real ways.  One of the most amazing experiences was another one in the Dominican Republic with my friend, Mindy.  We had visited the boy she sponsored through Compassion International, but she’d known that she would sponsor another child somewhere that week.  In fact, she picked out his photo from a pile of child packets of unsponsored children.  This pile was from all the different child development centers that different groups of sponsors would visit that week.  I cautioned her not to choose one until we knew which center we would be going to, since we would be split up into small groups.  But she picked out Oscar and insisted on wanting to sponsor him.

When we looked to see which group we were in, it was not Oscar’s village or child center.  In fact, we got on our bus and the guide began telling us about another child center that we would be visiting, far away from Oscar’s.  I don’t know what made me do it, but I sat in the back of the bus asking God to take us to Oscar’s child development center:  “Please, God, please take us to Oscar!”  We had heard all the details about the other center, but when we pulled up in front of it, the number was wrong–it was Oscar’s center!  I jumped up and said to Mindy, “Let’s go find Oscar!”

We went to the Project Director of the child center and asked if she knew where Oscar might be.  “Yes,” she said, “in fact, his home is the one we’re taking all of you to visit today!”  That was amazing.  I have shown up at child development centers before with child packets of unsponsored children, and the specific child isn’t always easy to find.  If they aren’t sponsored yet, they often are not very involved with the ministry yet, or may be at home or helping their parents in the market place.  But Oscar would be easy to find, because his home was the one selected for the sponsor tour.  Needless to say, Mindy sponsored him on the spot.  Click here to see a previous story about Oscar’s home and family.  It’s very moving to hear how very deep in poverty this family was.  The “little one” that he said was “better” (in a follow-up letter) was no doubt the one we saw in a crib that we felt would not live much longer.  It was refreshing to hear that the baby had survived with Compassion’s support.  And again, it was amazing to see and experience how very real God is.

For previous posts in my “God is Real” series, click below:

God is Real–Part One (a baby that nearly didn’t make it to birth)

God is Real–Part Two (a specific healing, and one that was not a healing)

God is Real–Part Three (a hurtful e-mail)

God is Real–Part Four (pain)

God is Real–Part Five (a zany miracle)

 

God is Real–Part Five

How do I know God is real?  It simple: I’ve experienced Him in amazing ways.  Today’s example is pretty zany and funny.  I was in the Dominican Republic with my friend, Mindy, to introduce her to her sponsored child (I had already met him on a previous trip, and Mindy had become his sponsor).  We were headed to the Haitian border the next day but on this particular day we were returning from a trip by van into the country.  During a rest stop I went to get back on the bus, not knowing that they were hosing it down on the opposite side.  With a great whoosh! all the mud, grease and grime came flying up from under the van and splattered all over my khaki pants.  They were blackened from the grease and mud.

In the morning, after my shower, I said to Mindy, “I’m going to wear the same pants that got splattered yesterday, because I’ll just get them dirty again today,” and put them on.  She said, “Those aren’t the same pants; they’re perfectly clean.”  I looked down and she was right.  She didn’t believe they were the same pants, and we argued while I let her look through my luggage because I didn’t have any other khakis.  But they were now spotless.  She exclaimed, “Jesus did the laundry while we were sleeping!”  Now, I know that seems ridiculous, but think about it:  as we discussed, we were heading to child development centers to visit precious Compassion kids near the Haitian border.  Perhaps it was important that we appear clean and spotless, representing our Lord, and also give honor to the children, by giving them our best.  That was the only reason we could think of for the little “miracle” that day.  Our God is real!  But the next story is going to be amazing–watch for it on Friday!

For previous posts in my “God is Real” series, click below:

God is Real–Part One (a baby that nearly didn’t make it to birth)

God is Real–Part Two (a specific healing, and one that was not a healing)

God is Real–Part Three (a hurtful e-mail)

God is Real–Part Four (pain)

Worms

People often ask me what happens to siblings of sponsored children that are not sponsored through Compassion.  My answer is that everyone in the family benefits from the sponsorship, and it’s true.  Families take great joy in reading letters from the sponsor.  The parents are able to attend classes on parenting, nutrition and health.  Children share what they’re learning with others, and often bring food home to siblings.  Sometimes they share what they have with their whole neighborhood, as far as it will go.  I know one young man from Africa who tore up paper and broke pencils in pieces to share with others, since he was the only one in school (besides the teacher) with paper and pencils (due to his sponsorship).  Children in developing countries usually love to share, and they celebrate with those who have special opportunities, such as receiving a letter from their sponsor, attending school, or having access to health care.

But yes, there are many children that are not being sponsored, and families who do not have even one child sponsored.  Does Compassion’s ministry benefit them as well?  Yes, take a look at the following video.  In addition, entire communities benefit from sponsored children who grow up to become leaders in their society–teachers, health professionals, engineers, politicians and more.  Compassion’s ministry has a huge impact on their communities, far beyond what we can even imagine.  Watch to see how this entire community benefited from the Compassion center.