"If the God you believe in as an idea doesn’t start showing up in what happens to you in your own life, you have as much cause for concern as if the God you don’t believe in as an idea does start showing up. It is absolutely crucial, therefore, to keep in constant touch with what is going on in your own life’s story and to pay close attention to what is going on in the stories of others’ lives. If God is present anywhere, it is in those stories that God is present. If God is not present in those stories, then they are scarcely worth telling." ~ Frederick Buechner

27 August 2012

3108 Children in 1 Month

My journey with Compassion International began while sitting in chapel at Houghton College, listening to someone talk about sponsoring children from developing nations across the globe, providing them with access to nutrition and education, and rescuing them from the vicious cycle of poverty. Although I did have a part-time job, being a freshman in college, I knew I wouldn't be able to sponsor a child by myself, so I sent out a feeler email to some of my new friends, asking them to prayerfully consider sponsoring a Compassion child with me. And overwhelmingly, there were nine who enthusiastically agreed. We took a vote to decide boy or girl (boy) and decided together what continent (Asia).

Madeleine at age 14
The ten of us co-sponsored Pilison, a little boy from India, through all four years of college, sending him letters with pictures of ourselves. When it came time for us to graduate, my friend Andrea offered to take on the sponsorship by herself.

A few years later, when my husband and I got married, one of the first things we did was look for a Compassion child to sponsor. Africa is dear to our hearts for multiple reasons, since I grew up there and N served some of the most meaningful months of his life there while in the Navy. We were matched with Madeleine, who is now 15, and we have really enjoyed growing our relationship with this beautiful girl from Burkina Faso. Madeleine is blessed in that both her parents are alive (and healthy), married, and able to farm. She goes to school and helps out her parents at the farm and with her siblings. She sends us letters filled with news about both school and home, accompanied by her own colorful illustrations, often of pretty flowers and of the crops they grow.

A couple months ago, I was made aware of an opportunity to join Compassion Bloggers, a way that bloggers can partner with Compassion for their primary goal of releasing children from poverty. I felt that it was a small but meaningful way that I could give to an organization I support wholeheartedly. I contacted Brianne at Compassion and received the approval email with in a few days.
Well, I'm jumping in at just the right time, because September is BLOG MONTH at Compassion! Instead of the once-a-month writing assignments we get throughout the rest of the year, this month, we will receive an assignment every week with the goal of getting more children sponsored via the internet than any previous September.
This year's goal is for 3108 children to be sponsored between September 1-30.

Of course, there are some prizes involved for the bloggers, and you guys, the ultimate prize is a FREE SPOT on one of Compassion's blog trips in 2013. I would get to blog while on location, visit with some of the families and children that Compassion supports, and meet other incredible people. If you know me at all, you KNOW how much I would love that!

But really, beyond all that, I really would love to see you all building a relationship with a young person from a culture that you may be somewhat - or not at all - familiar with, to learn about what life is life across the world from you, to learn to love a child you've never met, to invest in a soul. I have been incredibly blessed through sponsoring Pilison and Madeleine, and I would love for you to know that blessing, too.

Would you consider sponsoring a child* today?

*Every day, on the Compassion badge on the right-hand side of my blog, you will see a child in need of a sponsor whose birthday is today. It is nine-year-old Akiduhaye's birthday today. He is from Rwanda. What a great birthday present it would be for him to learn that he has a sponsor who will help him go to school, to learn new skills, to give him the resources to break out of the cycle of poverty?

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