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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Babies in Poverty

What is Compassion International doing to reach the most vulnerable children of all in the world — babies? Although our sponsorship program begins with older children, what are we doing to assure children live to an age where sponsorship can begin? Take a look at this amazing story:

Baby Quilt

I recently had the pleasure of delivering one of my quilts to an adorable baby.  I enjoyed making this for our friends.  The design is called a “Disappearing Nine Patch,” because you start with nine squares sewn together, cut them up, then turn them to create this design.

Here is the new father and daughter!  Congratulations Mom and Dad!

 

God is Real — Part One

How do I know God is real?  It’s simple.  I’ve experienced Him.  I have no doubt of His presence in my life.  Yesterday I was reminded of an event that occurred years ago.  It was the birthday of the son of a close friend.  When she was (early) pregnant with him we were working on a musical, for which she was the lead character.  It required a lot of energy and jumping around on stage, and she started to miscarry her baby, bleeding and having other complications.  I left practice night after night concerned about her.  One night on the way home I begged God for a sign that the baby would be safe, perhaps by showing some kind of sign in the sky.  I have never asked for a sign before or after this, but was really concerned that night.

Driving home I kept looking at the sky to no avail, and as I walked up the sidewalk into the house I lingered a long time on the front porch, hoping to see the promise.  But I had to give up, and decided to entrust the child to God.  I knew it wasn’t my problem to solve.

In the middle of the night I was awakened by a loud sound.  It was as though someone had taken ahold of the gate of the fence outside our bedroom window, and shook it strongly.  I jumped out of bed and looked out to see if someone was there, but the only thing I saw — was a falling star.

starfall

Now I had my promise.  I told my friend the next day that now we could be certain the baby would be all right, and he was.  He’s 20 years old now.

I want to make it clear that it wasn’t the star that was so impressive to me; it was the fact that God answered my prayer and gave us a complete sense of peace and assurance, something only He can do.  That’s how I know He’s real; He’s present in my life and so very real to me.  There is no other explanation.  I will share some more stories in the days to come.

For corresponding posts see these links:

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)

Christ’s Love

But the main reason I was drawn to the hospital was to pray for the patients there.  I knew they wouldn’t understand my language, but that they would know I was praying for them.  So I went from room to room to offer some encouragement and prayer support.  There were many mothers there with their babies, and they appreciated my intercession for them.  Sometime in the coming weeks I will share a post about how I know this kind of payer “works.”

But the one that really stole my heart was this little girl with a large growth on her face.  She and her mother had come down from the mountain in hopes of seeing the American doctors.  They just waited patiently in the hospital, hoping for an answer to their situation.  I asked the translator for some information and at first I thought the name of the little girl was “Christ’s Love.”  But then it was explained to me that her name is “Christ’s Love Loves.”  Isn’t that something?  Here she is seen with a younger sibling and their mother.

I went back to the mission house to get a pad of paper, pencil and a book for her to use to pass the time.  She was very happy to have something to do while they waited.  In following the example of the teachers at the orphanage, I started giving her English words to learn.  I drew the parts of the body, and would draw one side of a face or a body and then let her draw the other side as we put in the words for each part.  Then we did other simple words as well.

It was cute; this started because I had drawn a simple house and sun scene with a line for the grass.  She thought I had meant for her to draw the same thing under the line, so we made a game of it.  I would draw something and a line, and she would repeat my drawing on the other side of the line (as seen above and below).

The sad ending to this story is that after waiting all day, very patiently, she apparently did not get to see the doctor.  By the time he had finished all the surgeries they had scheduled on this last day, and he turned to attend to her, they were gone.  It was probably time to start heading back up the mountain to their home, as it would take them several hours on foot.  I pray that she will get the attention she needs on the next mission trip of these doctors.  But either way, I know she is in God’s hands and He will take care of her.  Her life and her name is a testimony that she will carry throughout her life.  I wish I could see and know all that God does in this precious life and family.

Still Too High

Did you know — the child mortality rate is still too high.  More than 9 million children under the age of 5 die each year.  Two-thirds of these deaths are preventable.  What is Compassion International doing about this?  Check out this excellent video about the Child Survival Program:

I have seen the Child Survival Program at work in several countries that I have visited. It works. It’s savings lives. How can you be involved? By making a donation today!

Waiting for the Delivery of a Child

In this Christmas theme of waiting, I can think of nothing better to say to sum up all I’ve been saying this week, but a special reading from The Mosaic Bible.  Imagine the world waiting thousands of years for the coming of Messiah.  Imagine Mary waiting all those months for her child to be delivered.  Imagine children in need groaning for deliverance.  Imagine “the whole creation…groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.  And not only creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan(ing) inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.”  Romans 8:22-23

Here is the reading entitled “Anticipation and Preparation,” by Elizabeth Honeycutt:

The time between the conception and the delivery of a child are possibly the longest nine months of any new parent’s life.  When I was expecting my two children, the closer the days drew to the due date, the more anxious I became to meet my baby.  I washed, sorted, and put away all the newborn clothes.  I installed the car seat and tried to catch up on sleep.  I laid aside the toys and equipment for when the baby was a bit bigger.  Though I couldn’t do anything to make the baby come and I didn’t know when that happy day would be, I did what I could to avoid being caught unprepared.

As a Christian, I’m supposed to long for Jesus Christ’s return.  And when the world’s injustice, pain and senselessness bear down on me, I so long for that day.  I find myself wondering, How long can you wait, Lord?  How can you let us keep going in this mess?  I already know the answer.  It’s his grace again…giving me time to get my rooms in order, to get my mind and heart on track so that when he comes, I won’t have to regret it. So while part of me cries out, “Come, Jesus!”  the other part says, “But don’t rush!  There is so much to be done before you’re here!”

Advent is a time of remembering how the world waited–and prepared–and despaired for the Savior to come.  One day, he came.  The world has never been the same.  Advent is also a time of looking forward to his second coming, of waiting–and preparing–and never despairing.  What the angels told the disciples on the Mount of Olives so long ago they say to us today:  “This same Jesus will come back!”

How can I prepare for the Lord’s second coming?  After speaking to the Corinthians about the next advent, Paul concluded:  “So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable.  Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless” (I Corinthians 15:58).  I can prepare for Jesus’ coming by committing myself to do his work.  Even the smallest act is not in vain.

The months of waiting for my babies were forgotten when I first held each child.  These were Aha! moments as I met the person to whom I had already committed my body, heart, and soul.  When the Lord comes again, “in a moment, in the blink of an eye” (1 Corinthians 15:52), the long-anticipated, prepared-for day will no longer be someday, but today.  It’s only a dull picture of the divine magnificence, but, like the babe in my womb whom I knew and loved and yet had never seen, I also finally will see my Lord face to face.  Come, Lord Jesus, come!  May I be found prepared, even if you come tonight!

–The Mosaic Bible, pg. m36

Merry Christmas!  We’ve been given the greatest gift of all — Messiah!