Tag Archives: Compassion Bloggers

Of Shoe Shiners & Saints

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There are countless reasons I could give for why I love working at Compassion International. If you asked my everyday for a year, I am confident I could give you a different answer.

It’s not just the work that we do, releasing children from poverty in Jesus’ name, that brings satisfaction.  Honestly, there are some days that if feels more impossible than probable.  The issue of poverty is huge, and when push comes to shove, we have a long way to go.  But those days are growing fewer as the Church begins to awaken to the call of Isaiah 58.

It’s working alongside faithful followers of Christ.  It’s the church, being the church, that is perhaps the biggest blessing and greatest comfort in carrying my seemingly small day-to-day responsibilities. In the grand scheme of the Compassion totem pole, I’m somewhere very close to the bottom.  And yet, I know that the light load I am able to carry, must in fact be carried so I am grateful to play my part. Everyone from our CEO and President to the crew that translates child letters to the team that processes every check that comes in, touches the life of a child simply because they showed up for work.

But this is still not even what I count the greatest benefit.

It’s hearing God tell His story.  It’s seeing Christ in the smile of every child that survived another year and every sponsor that decided having cable wasn’t a justifiable excuse for not sponsoring a child.

It’s seeing the King and Creator of the universe manifest Himself in the most unlikely, humble, and easy-to-miss places. In mud huts covered with thatched leaves in Ethiopia, eating nothing but bread. In cardboard shanties along sewage-ridden streets in Kenya, drinking dirty water. In the cold and desolate mountain communities of Bolivia, herding lamas.  In the most rural and indigenous forests of Ecuador, hunting with a bow and arrow.

In a small town in South Korea, shining shoes.

It’s the stories.  And this, is just one of dozens that we see and hear about every week.

It’s the stories of ordinary people with ordinary lives, doing the most extraordinary things, because we serve an extraordinary God.

Every week I come to work, I pray that He writes an extraordinary story through my ordinary life.

I pray that you invite Him to do the same.

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Gifts of Compassion

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News flash– I work for Compassion International.  You may have heard of it if you have read this blog more than once.

‘Nother news flash– It’s Christmas time. That blessed time of year when you gather together with loved ones and give gifts out of obligation love. But I pray that you’ll remember that the reason to celebrate and give gifts has nothing to do with how naughty or nice you were. I hope that you’ll remember that it actually has nothing to do with any of us at all. 

Christmas has everything to do with Jesus and what He gave to us. Salvation from death. Restoration from sin and shame. And complete redemption from where we’ve been and what we’ve done. 

For the believer, this anointed time of year has everything to do with being the recipients of divine intervention.

Don’t get me wrong. I like presents as much as the next person. The thing is, material gifts so often dilute the immaterial gift of eternal life. And they really, really dilute “need vs want.”

If you live in the United States, chances are what you’ll receive this year is what you want, not necessarily what you need. 

For the vast majority of humanity on earth though, receiving what they need on a daily basis is a toss-up.  Sometimes they’ll eat.  Sometimes they won’t. Sometimes they’ll survive malaria.  Sometimes they won’t. What is a sure promise, for those living in poverty, is that Jesus came for them too.

So what if we, the church, the body, the bride, stepped up to the plate like the church before us.

In Acts 4 we get a glimpse of what the church is supposed to be. Beginning in verse 34, it says,

There was no needy among them, for as many were owners of lands and houses sold them and brought the proceeds to the apostles feet to be distributed to each as they needed.

I have an idea of how we can start looking a little more like this; giving of what we have to others who don’t.  And it starts with Compassion.

This year at Compassion, we’re proud to introduce a gift catalogue. Here, you can buy different supplies that meet real material needs for those who need them most.  And with the various price points, everyone can buy something!

For under $25, you can purchase mosquito nets for children that are vulnerable or prone to malaria. Or you can buy soccer balls for stellar athletes in the making.  You could also buy a chicken for a family that will allow them to not only eat daily through the production of eggs, but the ability to start a small business. For $25, you could provide life saving vaccinations to young, at risk children.

For under $50, you can purchase educational supplies for children in school; you could provide mothers of babies with the nutritional supplies through kits; or you could purchase a goat, a common source of milk, meat, and income for many rural families.

For under $100, you  help get Compassion beneficiaries start small business through bakeries and beauty school training.  Or, you can help provide clean water for a lifetime to an entire family by purchasing a water filtration system.

Gifts above $100 can purchase anything from cows, to computers, sanitation facilities, to life saving surgeries through our Medical Assistance Fund.

Please prayerfully consider giving the gift of compassion and hope this Christmas season.

  “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40

The One. The Many.

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Recently, President and CEO of Compassion International , Wess Stafford and Compassion spokesman, Shaun Groves  asked sponsors, donors and bloggers to share a story about the person that literally changed their life and set them on a path that they may not have found otherwise. 

  As I thought about it, I grew a little discouraged.  No one particular person or specific instance came screaming to mind. “Oh no,” I thought, “either no one has believed enough in me to say something or I haven’t been listening.”

Then the Lord said “Dear idiot, whom I love, your life has been flooded with people who I have placed in your life, for years, days, and in some instances, for minutes, to speak my Word of truth and direction, purpose and life.”

In that moment, I saw a movie reel flash through my mind’s eye of people, conversations and days that have all played roles in shaping who I am, where I am, and what I am doing.

“It’s simple, it’s not easy,” was a statement I heard repeated on a weekly basis by my horse trainer. The course would be set, the number of strides to be taken between hurdles predetermined, but accomplishing it without fault or blemish was always harder than it seemed. And regardless of how tedious it was, I would repeat the same course until I had mastered every turn, each stride, and every hurdle. You won’t score well by telling the judge that you understand what you did wrong. You score well by showing the judge you know how to do it right.

“If you want to play, you have to get in the game.” I heard that during my volleyball days in highschool. Coach Grisham reminded me daily that if I began to move to make a play, I needed to follow through.  Taking the first step didn’t get the team anywhere. I had to take the last step too. I had to commit.

“Nothing of eternal significance ever happened apart from prayer.” Jerry Falwell, regardless of how you felt about him, was right. Nothing of eternal significance happens apart from prayer. How could it? I have never cherished or depended on prayer like I have this year and I can honestly say that things change when you take them to the throne of God and say “Your will be done.” He’s listening. He cares. And He acts. He’s after our hears, for our good and His glory.

“He’s faithful.” My dad has never been a man of many words, but when he speak, he says something important. I can’t tell just how many times I have heard him repeat that simple statement and I can’t tell you how many times I thought “I need a something a little more weighty than that.”  But the older I get, the more life I live and the more life I see lived, the more I remember that He is faithful. And that faithfulness is enough; the reality of His constant presence is sufficient.  His faithfulness is bigger and better than anything that would attempt to defy it. It is insurmountable. He is who He says He is. And He will do what He says He will do.

So, I don’t really have one story of one person that said one thing that changed my life. My story is more like a kaleidoscope of people who impart one part of the one story. The story that says “The God of the universe knows your name and He loves you.”

Compassion Bloggers in Guatemala: Coming Home

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The crew flew home today safely together, undoubtedly forever changed. I don’t know how many stories you read; it might have only taken one to realize that: 1. you’ve got more than you need and 2. what you really need is everything Jesus has to offer. Simple to say. Harder to believe. I know. 

I genuinely hope that your eyes were opened, your hearts were moved, and your spirits were challenged to “live a little more simply, so others can simply live.”

 Because the opposite of poverty isn’t wealth; the opposite of poverty is enough. 

The opposite of poverty is hope. The opposite of poverty is a life filled with the truth and power of the Gospel.  The opposite of poverty is the Church rising up to defend the rights of the needy by speaking up for those who can not speak for themselves.  The opposite of poverty is the Church feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, and clothing the naked. And because Compassion partners with the local church in every community in which we serve, we’re overcoming poverty, one child at a time.

The bloggers closing thoughts…

Sunday Reflections from Guatemala

Holding Joshua

Reconciling the Disparity

The One Question You’ve Got to Look in the Mirror and Really Ask 

When God Comes By

For those of you who journeyed with the bloggers (and myself) to Guatemala, thank you.  If you sponsored a child, thank you.  You’ve changed eternity, whether you will realize that this side of heaven or not.

If you haven’t sponsored a child yet, I understand. It’s a big decision.  Somewhat intimidating. “I don’t know that I am ‘sponsorship material'” you might say. Neither am I really. And yet, my little girl in Bolivia, Silvia, thinks that I am. 

Cause sponsorship isn’t about you.  It’s about being the Body.

Compassion Bloggers in Guatemala- A Tour

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Check out this Guatemalan Church and Child Development Center Tour GU-970 from Compassion International on Vimeo

Then read the latest from our crazy-cool-crew about: 

Joy 

My Darling Jesner 

Treasures in the Dark 

Pastor Manual's Three Point Sermon to American Pastors 

A South African Song in Guatemala 

Compassion Bloggers in Guatemala: Day 2

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First, listen.

Second, See.

The Wall Says it All 

How to Make Your Life an Endless Celebration

Someone to Love

What All Kids and Mamas Have in Common

Hola from Guatemala!

Third: Act

Sponsoring a child. Change a life, empower a heart, equip a mind, and enable a body to change the world.  It takes one child, in one community, in one country, to change one generation. And you can start the chain reaction.