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,