Monday, November 5, 2012

Jesus is Waiting

“The King will reply, ‘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)

We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus, helping the 'least of these' to bring glory and joy to our Lord. 

Jesus is waiting.

Child has been waiting 271 days for a sponsor.
Jesus from Togo, age 10


We are called to help.

God bless, 


Monday, October 22, 2012

It's a miracle!

This past week I received a photo update from my sponsored child Salif in Burkina Faso! It caught me completely by surprise since Salif has only been in the Compassion program for around a year. But in that year, amazing things have happened!

This is the child I saw amongst the Compassion Sunday packets that grabbed my heart...

His stomach is bloated from severe malnutrition, I can only imagine the amount of hunger it takes for this to happen.

Through a year in Compassion's program, receiving nutritious food and medical care, young Salif now looks like this...

 Praise the LORD!!

God bless,


(By the way I'm linking up with Michelle's Monday Mail Call at Blogging from the Boonies )

Monday, October 15, 2012

Merry Christmas... what??

This past weekend I had a Christmas party with a few friends. Complete with a Christmas tree, Christmas sweaters, Christmas music and candy canes! Basically a whole lot of Christmas in the month of October! But why did I have a Christmas party in October?

Our Christmas paloosa happened in response to Compassion's unsponsored children. Every year around September or October, sponsors can write and decorate Christmas cards for children still waiting for sponsors. The cards are sent to Compassion headquarters in Colorado and then distributed to different countries where they are given to children without sponsors that can send them loving messages.
I adored sharing the ministry of Compassion with my friends. While they already knew of my involvement in writing letters to my own kids, it was neat to share the experience with them. I also shared a short video I made by compiling promotional Compassion videos to show how important these simple cards of encouragement and Christmas cheer could be.

One of my friends kept saying "This is so cool to know that we might be making a difference in a child's Christmas." I could see her genuine enthusiasm as she wrote. :) God has blessed me with amazing friends!

It was such a wonderful experience! I highly recommend having a Christmas-card-writing-party with friends or family. Maybe some of you have already done something like this. If so, I'd love to hear how it went!

Also, I found out about Christmas Cards for Unsponsored Children from Michelle at Blogging from the Boonies, so for more info on where to send the cards and such, check out her post An Opportunity to Bless Unsponsored Children.

God bless and Merry Christmas :)


Friday, September 28, 2012

I am nobody.

(This is a fictional story of a child living in poverty)

I am nobody. My mama didn’t want to have a baby. After she gave birth to me, mama tried to leave me in trash heaps on the outskirts of the slum. Only, I cried too loudly and a Ugandan police officer found me as mama was hurrying away. He made her keep me. Mama tells me every day how much she hates me. She tells me I’m stupid and an ugly girl. I try to block out her mean words. It doesn’t work.

Ugly. Stupid. Nobody.

I wake up, sweating. Sometimes I try to dream good dreams. I pretend my mama loves me. But then I wake up.

I get up from my straw pallet, trying not to wake mama. My bare feet touch the dirt floor and my head hits the straw roof. I bend down to pick up the yellow water container that sits by our door. I leave our mud hut and start the two mile walk to the pond to fetch water. I reach the pond just as the sun begins to rise. Trying not to scoop up floating bugs and animal dung, I dunk my water container into the dirty water. I lift the heavy container and sit it on top of my head.

When I make it back to our house, I see a woman talking to mama. The woman greets me with a smile as I set down the filled water container.

“I was just telling your mother about a program at the local church called Compassion.” The woman says to me.

I look at the ground.

“Don’t mind her. She’s stupid.” Mama says to the woman.

“I think she’s very bright,” the woman tells mama. Then she turns to me, “and you are such a lovely young lady too. I think you would do well in our program. How would you like to come with me this morning to the church and sign you up to become a Compassion sponsored child? You will receive homework help, have a warm meal every time you come, and get to enjoy singing and dancing with other kids your age.”

I lift my head and stare at the woman.

She thinks I’m bright? She thinks I’m lovely?

“How much do I have to pay?” Mama asks, putting her hands on her hips.

“Nothing. Your daughter will receive these benefits and more with no cost to you. She will be sponsored by someone in another country who pays for her program expenses.”

“Fine.” Mama says shortly.

“If you come with us, you can help fill out the required forms for you daughter.”

“I have to work.”

“I understand. Then you will need to sign this form.” The woman says, handing mama a piece of paper and pen. Mama quickly signs it then pushes me toward the woman.

“Stay as long as you want. Less time I have to deal with you.”

The woman leads me up the dirt path, away from mama and our mud hut. She reaches her hand toward me. I flinch. But she only pats my shoulder nicely.

“My name is Grace, but you can call me Auntie Grace. And what is your name, sweetheart?”

“Princess.” I murmur to the ground, ashamed of my name. When mama tried to get rid of me like the worthless baby I was, the police officer told her to ‘cherish this Princess you were given’. Mama named me Princess to mock me and make me regret being a burden to her.

“What a beautiful name for a beautiful girl! You are indeed a Princess. After all, your father is the King isn’t he?”

My father? A King? I don’t even know my father. I shake my head no.

“But of course. Your Heavenly Father is King of all nations. And you, his daughter, are a Princess.”

We walk in silence the rest of the way to church. I keep thinking about what she said. This woman I just met, Grace, has said nicer things to me than mama has my whole nine years of living.

When we arrive at the church, many people are waiting in line outside. I stand in line with Auntie Grace as she tells me more about Compassion. Every time she says the word, my heart tingles and I smile a little. This program, this Compassion, sounds like an answer to my prayers. But could it possibly be that good? Would people be nice and helpful instead of mean and hurtful? Could this Compassion want a nobody in their special program?

Auntie Grace helps me fill out my information sheet. I easily tell her my family, where I go to school and what grade I am in. But then, Auntie Grace asks me what I’m good at. She asks what my favorite school subject is. I don’t have any answers. I know I’m not good at anything, I’m a nobody. I used to have favorite subjects in school, but when I told mama about them, she reminded me that I was stupid and didn’t know anything.

“I’m… uh… not good, I can’t do anything.” I am close to tears. I realize that Compassion will never allow me to be in their program, I am no one special.

“You must like something. Everyone enjoys learning something.”

I take a deep breath and tell Auntie Grace what I like to do, even though I know I’m no good at it.

“I like to read books.”


I was accepted into the Compassion program! Soon after that Saturday morning, I began attending the activities held at the church. I even got a sponsor; a family from the United States who chose to sponsor me. At the church, I learned proper hygiene, was helped with school work, given medical checkup and best of all, I learned about Jesus! Mama always told me Jesus didn’t die for ugly, unwanted girls like me. But at Compassion, they told me Jesus died especially for ME! At first I didn’t believe them. Then I got my first letter from my new sponsors:

Beautiful Princess,

I am so pleased to be your sponsor! My name is Matthew and my wife, Janet, and I chose to sponsor you because of your name. We have never been able to have children, so when we saw you, a lovely Princess of God, we knew you were the one. The other reason we chose to sponsor you was because we saw that you love to read. What a talent! Not everyone enjoys reading. You are a smart girl! Princess, we will write to you often. Please write to us because we care about you and want to be a part of your life.
We want you to know that Jesus loves you! Even when you feel you don’t deserve His love, you do. Jesus will always love you!  Janet and I love you too, Princess. We look forward to learning more about you through letters.  

With love always,
Matthew and Janet

The story of Princess is fictional, but not so unlike the story of many girls around the world that are told they don’t matter. Compassion can help change their self-image and show them they are precious in the eyes of Jesus. But Compassion can’t do it all. Please consider sponsoring a child, your letter may be the very thing she needs to hear.

Give hope to the Princesses of our King.

Sponsor Alemnesh
Sponsor Meskerem
Sponsor Maame
Sponsor Iren
Sponsor Risma
Sponsor Naila
Sponsor Egidia
Sponsor Ahura

Monday, September 24, 2012

They grow up so fast!

This past week I received a letter from the handsome and comedic Ulrich from Burkina Faso. In the letter was a picture of him wearing his birthday gift clothes. I was surprised by how tall and grown up he appeared!

This is the first picture I have of Ulrich, taken at about age 5

This is Ulrich at age 7 (March 2012) soon after I became his correspondence sponsor

This one I received in May 2012 (what a beautiful family)

Then, all of a sudden, Ulrich is all-grown-up!

It's weird to see this boy grow up before my eyes. Eight months ago, I didn't even know where Burkina Faso was, and now I know a real child that lives there. What a crazy thing! I find myself looking at these photos and exclaiming "they grow up so fast!" as if I was Ulrich's mother or close family member. But, oddly enough, I feel like he is part of my family. This boy I've never met is constantly in my thoughts and prayers.

I'm linked up with Blogging from the Boonies' Monday Mail Call

God bless,


Thursday, September 20, 2012

Pinterestings news from Compassion

There's been a lot happening during this month to get the word out about Compassion! This week is no exception. Compassion is holding a Pinterest contest for Compassion sponsors. Basically all you need to do is create a board and pin a picture of you and your sponsored child and pin this logo...

Every repin will add you name into a drawing for a $25 gift for your sponsored child or a $100 gift for your sponsored child's family. Pretty cool right??

Follow this link to see all the details of the contest.

I have to admit, I'm a technologically challenged teenager. This month I've done more blogging and pinning and whatnot on the internet than I have in the last five years. I honestly didn't know what Pinterest was until this past Monday when I created an account. I think Compassion is really smart, though, in using social media to let people know about child sponsorship.

You should definitely check out the contest, it may lead your friends to sponsoring a child, or you may win a gift to give to your sponsored child!

So, from a technologically challenged teen, here's one more link...

Click here to follow me on Pinterest

God bless,


Sunday, September 16, 2012

A note to God

It's week two of Blog Month, and I'm finally getting around to the second post :) The assignment for this week is to write a letter to God about child sponsorship.

I thought this song was fitting...

When I talk to God about Compassion and the children I sponsor, my conversations are usually grateful and angry, which is an odd combination. They look something like this...

Dear God,

Thank you so much for placing Luisa, Kendy, Ulrich and Salif in my life. They are so beautiful, Lord, and they've impacted me more than they'll ever know. Through their letters, they teach me what it truly means to appreciate life. They don't have much, but they give generously and without complaint. One of my kids, Ulrich, has written repeatedly about his favorite food: beans. He tells me how much he loves beans, even though its one of the only foods he has to eat. God, the letters and pictures I receive from these children are very precious. Thank you for the organization of Compassion. They are doing so much good in the lives of these children, and all in the name of Jesus. But God, to be honest, I wish there was no child sponsorship organization called Compassion. I wish no child would know about hunger and lack of education and poverty. In a perfect world, children wouldn't die from the flu and every child would be cared for and loved by their families. But, this isn't a perfect world. This world is full of horrifying imperfections and I don't know why babies die, and toddlers are orphaned. I don't know why clean drinking water is hard to come by, and  school is an unreachable dream for some kids. I don't know why. And I never will. But I will continue trusting in you Lord, and ask you to comfort the hurting. I will continue praying for my sponsored children and writing them letters of encouragement in the hope that they can see Your love for them. I hate that poverty exists, but I'm grateful to know Luisa, Kendy, Ulrich and Salif and I'm grateful for the wonderful work You are doing through Compassion.


                                                  Sponsor a child today

Monday, September 10, 2012

Monday mail call: perspective changed

After an overly busy weekend, I headed to the mailbox today, taking a small break from doing homework. On the walk there, all I could  think of was deadlines and projects. But then, I saw that beautiful cream-colored envelope with the blue letters that spelled Message From Your Sponsored Child in the stack of mail. I ran back to my house and plopped down on my bedroom floor, tearing open the treasured letter. It was a letter from my sweet Kendy.

She (through her mom) wrote about receiving the picture of my dog and how cute he was. But the next sentences hit me hard:

Kind Dionne, this month in our area, there was a hard wind and Kendy's roof  was damaged. Kendy was very scared, but she's grateful to Lord Jesus who keeps loyal to accompany her and her mother. 

Wow. I'd been worried about getting my schoolwork done, but never scared that the roof might cave in on me while I studied. Little Kendy and her mom have such a strong faith. Their letters constantly remind me to be thankful for each and every day, and praise God during my minor struggles, as they do during catastrophes.

Please pray for Kendy and her family, that the Lord will keep them safe.

God bless,


 By the way, I'm linked up with Blogging from the Boonies Monday mail call 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

It's September already?

In the midst of returning to school, studying for ACT's, reconnecting with friends, and getting back into the swing of things, September appeared! Out of nowhere, one day it was August, then the next... September! Even though the weather is still very, Very, HOT, I can't help but envision all the wonderful fall-like things September brings. Leaves changing colors, Friday night football games, cinnamon tea, and new experiences. With the beginning of Fall, there are many opportunities to try new activities and change things up--just as the season is changing.

A new experience for me this September is participating in Compassion International's blog month.

Compassion International is an organization that is very close to my heart! Compassion is a child sponsorship program that connects loving sponsors to kids in need of love in third-world countries. But it is so much more than donating a little money each month to a child whom you hardly know. As a sponsor, you have the opportunity to correspond with your child through letters and pictures (and I know from personal experience how FUN it is to write and receive letters from your kids). Another amazing thing about Compassion is  they work on developing every area of a child's well- being: Physical, social, financial, emotional, and spiritual.

The goal of blog month is to get 3,108 children sponsored in the month of September. WOW! Imagine all the precious lives that can be changed this month...

So, since this is the month of September, the month of trying new things and change... why not start by changing the life of a child in poverty? It may just change your life too!

 If you feel that this is something you'd like to look into, hop on over to this link below, where you can find out more about sponsoring a child and see children in need of a sponsor today.

God Bless,


Monday, June 4, 2012

Monday Mail Call

This week  I received TWO letters from Kendy, my Indonesian sweetie!

The first letter was a form letter about her dreams for the future. In this letter Kendy said someday she would like to fly in an airplane, meet the President, go sightseeing with her family, be a teacher and meet her sponsor in person. On the back was a very detailed drawing of a teacher (which I think her mom helped her with). She also mentioned that she and her friends decorated Easter eggs together. (I can just picture them all smiling and giggling as they dunk eggs into colored dyes).

The second letter made me cry:

Hello Sponsor. How are you? Here Kendy is well. She has great hope that Dionne is well too. She's grateful to Lord Jesus because He has given her a very kind sponsor like Dionne. She thanks Dionne so much for the money she sent. The money was used to buy Kendy church clothes and shoes.Good Dionne, the game Kendy likes is to play dolls with her friends. She always prays so Dionne will keep blessed and protected by Lord Jesus. Finally, she hopes that someday Kendy and Dionne will meet directly. God bless. Amen.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Introducing... Salif

It has been on my heart to sponsor a child since last summer, when I went on a mission trip and helped run a kids camp for the local children. I saw the need for love and attention, and when I came back home I was fired up to make a difference in the life of a child- right away. 

I wanted to rush into sponsoring a child, but I had absolutely NO money and my parents didn't think it was a good idea at the time. So I waited. Then this past winter, I again felt the urge to sponsor a child- a little girl from Uganda named Eron. I talked with my parents and prayed a lot for God's guidance. At that point my parents finally said "okay", but God did not. After getting the okay from my parents, I had a horrible night sleep and felt sick to my stomach about the decision. Alright God, I get it, not yet. 

Then, I hosted a Compassion Sunday this April. Four children were sponsored by church members and I was ecstatic! However, there was one little boy who was always looked over. He had been waiting an ENTIRE YEAR for a sponsor, and at the age of six that had to be hard! For the two Sundays I had the packets displayed, I always put this little's boy packet front and center. When people came to look, I mentioned this little guy, who had been waiting a long time. But there were no takers. 

The deadline for turning in sponsorship forms was quickly approaching. I was waiting on one church member to turn in their form. While waiting, I prayed to God about this little boy, that someone would sponsor him and end his wait. Then an idea struck... I could sponsor him. I had recently gotten a summer job and had money saved up in the bank. God seemed to be screaming 'yes' this time! I was set on my decision, but had failed to run it past my parents yet. When I told them I wanted to sponsor this boy, they were quick to say no. But God was able to change their minds, and they knew it was something I really wanted to do.

So on Friday, May 18th, I officially sponsored Salif!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I have more than enough

I've started to write this blog post several times and each time I quit after the second sentence. This past week I "fasted with the poor" so to speak. I ate only rice, beans, chicken and bananas.

At first, I was really excited about this venture because I hoped to gain some kind of amazing perspective into the lives of the poor, the lives of children like Luisa, Ulrich and Kendy. I thought, "hey I could even post on my blog about how hard it is to eat the same thing every day for a week."

 But I found guilt instead.

The whole seven days I ate my beans and rice I was counting down the days until I could eat chocolate cake again. I didn't gain perspective on God's love for the poor. Even though I was eating the food most commonly eaten by the poor around the world, I was sleeping every night in my warm bed, showering every morning, wearing clean clothes, and eating three square meals a day- not worrying about when I would eat next.

Maybe I won't ever know what its like to be truly hungry. I may not be able to sympathize with the poor, but I know that I have more than enough, and I could be doing so much more. God calls us to help 'the least of these' not 'eat rice and beans to sympathize with the least of these'. This experience may not have been what I originally thought it would be, but it was definitely a wake-up call to do something.

God bless,

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Compassion Sunday

Through the Compassion Sunday I hosted at my church last week, four children were sponsored! These are the beautiful children that still need sponsors...

Jhonn from Bolivia

Ufitimana from Rwanda

Handri from Indonesia

Gilbert from Ghana

Fatima from El Salvador

Salif from Burkina Faso (been waiting 11 months for a sponsor)

Daniel from Honduras

Jonathan from El Salvador

Pierrette from Togo

Jhoselin from Bolivia

Anushiya from India

Tuhin from India (been waiting 11 months for a sponsor)

Antonela from Ecuador

Ernesto from Guatamala

Please pray that these children will find sponsors soon and if you are interested in sponsoring one of them, let me know. 

God bless,

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The story of my correspondence kids...

To continue from my previous post, I'd like to share how my two correspondence children, Kendy and Ulrich entered my life. I first heard about correspondence children here, on peoples' blogs. My imaginative mind thought maybe the term 'correspondence child' was some kind of secret Compassion bloggers phrase. When I found out it meant writing to children who don't receive letters, I was very enthused! 

I prayed over the idea of corresponding with a child, talked with my parents, and decided it was a good idea. So, one afternoon I picked up the phone and nervously dialed Compassion's number (I'm not a fan of talking on the phone). I was connected with a lovely Compassion representative and when she asked the reason I called I managed to say all in one breath, "Iwanttoknowhowtobecomeacorrespondencesponsor". I image she had to think about what it was I was trying to communicate with her, but she figured it out and was very helpful. A few weeks later, I got my correspondence child's packet. I cried when I saw this beautiful face...

Four-year-old Kendy from Indonesia was the little girl God had chosen for me! If I hadn't already been sold on the ministry of Compassion, this precious face was the deal breaker.

A few months later I called to correspond with another child (I'd gotten better at phone conversations, so I don't think it was quite as painful for the Compassion representative). I was told there was a long waiting list, but they would add my name. The next day I logged onto my Compassion account and saw this little guy...

Seven-year-old Ulrich from Burkina Faso! Besides being the cutest thing, he is very funny! His first letter was full of so much personality! He informed me "I am 8 years old and I like eating beans." 

Both kids have taught me a lot. Kendy has shared (through her mom who writes her letters) her heartache about her dad living far away for his job, breaking her only doll, but also the joy she receives when going to her project and the hope of Jesus Christ. Ulrich has reminded me that kids are kids, even poor children in a drastically different culture than mine. Each child has a unique personality and something important to say. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

It all started with Luisa...

I'm new to the whole blogging thing, so I guess I'll  just start with my entire life story... just kidding.

One of the main reasons I started this blog was to talk about one of my favorite ministries... Compassion International. Compassion is a child sponsorship program that helps children in some of  the most poverty-stricken countries of the world, and they do it in the name of Jesus Christ.

Six years ago when I was 11 years old, my family became involved with Compassion by sponsoring a child at a Superchick concert. I remember looking at all the faces of these children in need, never before knowing of this horrible thing called poverty. My mom and I picked out a tiny five- year-old girl named Luisa who shared my birthday. At that moment I was so excited to be able to help this little girl living in poverty.

For the first few months, we wrote letters every now and then to Luisa and proudly hung her picture on our fridge. But after a while, we knew we were helping her, but that was about it. My little sister and I were in school and dance classes and both our parents worked, so Luisa slipped out of our thoughts. When we got letters from her it went something like this, "Look we got a letter from Luisa. How cute. Oh she drew a picture of flowers and hearts, sweet. I wonder what 'te amo' means?" She was just that adorable little girl that shared my birthday.

Then last year, my sophomore year in high school, I began taking Spanish as a foreign language. I learned that 'te amo' means 'I love you' and suddenly I had a connection to Luisa. Spanish class made me remember that little girl we sponsor. I rushed home and dug up all the letters Luisa had sent to us and read every one. She had asked us lots of questions, told us how much she loves us and how her family always prays for our family. Wow!

I knew I needed to write to her, to answer her unanswered questions, to make- up for the five years of never writing letters. Once I began writing Luisa letters, I couldn't stop. I researched global poverty and my heart was broken by the horrifying conditions millions of children lived in every day. Luisa was one of them. But, with Compassion I knew she was going to school, cared for, and learning about Jesus.

In fact, it was Luisa who brought me closer to Jesus. Through her letters, I could see the kind of faith this then -ten- year- old had. I admired her unwavering faith in God and to tell you the truth, I was a little jealous. Because of Luisa, I began reading my Bible more, praying, and trying to live my life in a way that would please God. It's funny how when you're helping someone else, they end up changing your life.

Okay, so I guess that was kind of my 'entire life story'. I had to start somewhere :)

God bless,