Monday, 29 April 2013

Love at First Sight – of a little face

Warning – Getting involved in Compassion will increase the size of your heart!

One of the things that has surprised me on my Compassion journey has been the fervent love that I have felt for our sponsored children, literally at the first sight of a small photo.  When we sponsored Adriana – there was this strong feeling that it HAD to be her, this young girl from the coast of Ecuador, 15 years old, living with her Mom.

Adriana (EC)

When I requested to be a correspondent and was assigned two children from Haiti, I was worried that I wouldn’t feel the same connection since I didn’t ‘choose’ them.  But it happened quickly anyways.  As I prayed for these two new names and faces, the love swelled up!


Edwin (HA)

Then I requested more correspondents and I asked for some teens.  I am not really the kind of women who loves all children. In fact, I tend to think Other People’s Kids (OPKs) are louder and stickier than my own :D  But I had seen how God can pour love into me for kids when I work with Quizzers – even the noisy ones! I truly LOVE them!! 

So I asked for teens, and quickly fell in love with these beautiful young adults that were assigned to me, that I haven’t even received a letter from yet. 
Doesn’t my Goloni look like she’s SO sweet! I can’t wait to get to know her

Goloni’s current Compassion photo
Goloni’s previous Compassion photo

Recently I was assigned a couple more correspondents, and I asked for South America. I was assigned little Cristhian from Peru.  Again – instant love for a little face.


Cristhian’s current photo


Cristhian’s previous photo.

 Isn’t he the cutest little man?!

I shouldn’t be surprised at God’s ability to help us grow in our love for others.  The stories I am beginning to  hear about how God matches up sponsors and their sponsored children never cease to amaze me.

For some people, it’s the sad eyes, for others it’s the smile and spunk, or for another it might be the bare feet. What draws your attention when you look at the faces of the children waiting for sponsors at Compassion?

Maybe the Eyes?
like Estivin' puppy eyes?

 or how about Wawu, she needs a sponsor too

or wee Jean



Friday, 26 April 2013

Engaging pre-teens and young teens in the Sponsorship Journey


This post is part of a Link Up from a Blogging from the Boonies Michelle

 Making Sponsorship a Family Affair.

We began sponsoring just a few months ago when our children were 14,13 and 10 years old. As parents, we have maybe leaned a bit on the over-protective side and sheltered our kids from a lot of world realities. They attend (up until grade 8) a marvelous Christian school in the country which both served to shelter them but also to ground them in their faith and teach leadership skills. Although a large catholic high school in the suburbs has been a bit a culture shock for our oldest, she is coming through her first year with tremendous grace, wisdom beyond her years, and still rooted in her faith.

 Being involved in Compassion has given us a great tool used in 3 ways:  
  1. Providing a World View through Compassion-ate Eyes
  2. Tempering world events with stories of hope, Remembering tragedies and seeing God working through people, His healing hands
  3. Role modeling empathy and gratitude

Teaching a World View through Lenses that are coated with Compassion

As my kids are growing up and becoming more exposed to the events of the world, belonging to Compassion has given me a tool to be able to see things that are happening with a compassionate world view.  When we grew up and were told to eat everything on our plate because kids are starving in India – this had little relevance to us.  Being able to show my kids stories of real kids who may only have one meal a day, and be able to see a picture of their face, and know a name to go with that face and to know that that child has some siblings and maybe only one parent, and lives in a house with a tin roof – these details make it real and hopefully a little bit more relevant.

When it sinks in, and your kids then ask what we can do to make a difference, we can tell them about organizations like Compassion (or World Vision, or Samaritan's Purse). We can show them proof of how $25 for a goat can provide food and income for a family, or sponsoring a child throughout their life can teach them to believe in themselves and stay in school and successfully raise their own family, not in poverty.

Making homework relevant – my son made this beautiful scattergraph for Geography earlier this year using data from infant mortality rates in 2 countries. His graph was lovely, but he had no clue what infant mortality rate actually means.   Linking this to Compassion's Child Survival Program and how this program makes a real impact on local infant mortality rates made this graph a lot more real.

Tempering world events with stories of hope, remembering tragedies and seeing God working through people, His healing hands

We talked about the Rwanda genocide earlier this month as Rwanda remembered its past.

When an aunt and cousin went on a missions trip to Haiti, we talked about the earthquake in Haiti.

And I know that this week we will be talking about the Factory Collapse in Bangladesh.
Role modeling empathy and gratitude

As parents, getting involved in the ministry of Compassion, we role model compassion. By bringing up our Compassion children into our every day conversations and our prayers, we role model empathy. 
And by remembering what others do not have, we learn to be grateful for the things we do have.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

World Malaria Day

Today, April 25, 2013 is World Malaria Day.

What is Malaria?

Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease. It is caused by a parasite which is spread to humans by infected mosquitoes. There is no vaccine available against malaria .

Most deaths occur among children living in Africa where a child dies every minute from malaria.

Together, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeriaaccount for over 40% of the estimated total of malaria deaths globally.

Read about what Compassion is doing to help prevent Malariain the countries where Compassion works:

Compassion intervenes by:
  • Providing households at risk with treated mosquito nets
  • Educating family members on malaria prevention
  • Treating those suffering from malaria, chagas disease and dengue fever

What can you do?
Pray for kids around the world who suffer from this disease— and praise God for providing the tools needed to treat and prevent it!

In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name. 1 Chronicles 29:12-13

Donate to Compassion's Malaria Intervention Programs @

Public Health Agency of Canada – Malaria information fortravelers

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

My Sponsored Child's Father Passed Away

I was excited to received a packet from a new correspondent in the Dominican Republic.  This is Abraham

But was saddened to see a paper insert in my package - More information about your sponsored child.  It told me that my sponsored child's father had recently passed away.  I called Compassion and they were able to tell me that it was noted on his file in January 2013 that his father had died of natural causes.  I do not have any more information other than that.

I am praying earnestly for Abraham, his mother and his two siblings.  I am collecting verses of comfort to send in a card for his family. 

A friend on OC ( recommended this excellent resource of verses:

scripture verses which offer comfort & hope during times of grief

from Justin Agoglia

Monday, 8 April 2013

Compassion and Forgiveness in Rwanda

Yesterday marked the anniversary of 100 days of killing in Rwanda.  It is important for us to remember these events and stay vigilent.  I truly believe that the ruthless killings can only open when the Evil one is present.  I cannot begin to understand how God could allow almost one million people to be murdered.  But I also cannot begin to understand how the beautiful people of Rwanda have been able to move on with their lives. The stories of hope and forgiveness that have come from this event can ONLY be from God. 

Stories like this one from a former Compassion-sponsored child:

I know of someone who sponsored a child from Rwanda last April 7th in memory of the Rwandan genocide. 

Here are two boys in Rwanda that are waiting to be sponsored.  A very special young man, Laurent, who is also a former sponsored child, used to attend this centre and will be visiting there soon.  If you sponsor one of these boys, you may be able to get photos of them smiling when they have been told they have a sponsor!

There are many more precious Rwandan children available for sponsorship:

or from the Compassion Canada site:

More about what Compassion is doing in Rwanda:

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Not One of His Bones Will Be Broken

I know that Easter has now passed for this year, but the concept of the resurrection has made me dig a little deeper this year and it is still weighing on my mind.

John 19 tells of Jesus' death on the cross

'31 Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. 32 The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. 33 But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. 35 The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. 36 These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,” 37 and, as another scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.

The Scripture referred to here as being fulfilled is Psalm 34:20
The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken.
But the picture of no bones being broken goes back to Exodus when the Israelites were in Egypt. God gave Moses and Aaron VERY CLEAR and specific instructions on how to prepare the lamb and smear the blood on the doors of their homes so that God would not 'permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down.'

He then gave instructions for the Israelites to “Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants."
And included in these instructions were the following specifics about this yearly Passover ritual:

 “It must be eaten inside the house; take none of the meat outside the house. Do not break any of the bones."
2 years later, while wandering in the desert, God tells Moses they must celebrate the Passover at the appointed time. He again provides clear instructions.

They are to eat the lamb, together with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 12 They must not leave any of it till morning or break any of its bones. When they celebrate the Passover, they must follow all the regulations.
These are instructions that Jewish people followed for 1400 years. For thousands of years, the Jewish people celebrate Passover, eating a lamb in which none of the bones are broken.

From a 20/20 hindsight perspective, the Old Testament clearly foreshadows the Messiah as the ultimate sacrificial lamb. Reading these instructions to the Jewish people, and seeing how modern day Jews prepare for the Passover really makes me wonder.

It seems that there were two instructions, the first being how the lamb was to be prepared and consumed within the house, with fire and with no bones broken, and the instruction about the unleavened bread and bitter herbs. The unleavened bread was to set a tradition for them to remember how God delivered them from slavery in Egypt and that they had to leave in a hurry. The lamb was their sacrificial offering. But in that lamb was their big clue about the Messiah. 

Today, many Jewish people put much effort into cleaning out their homes, getting rid of leavening agents etc. and then there is a feast with stew and many other types of meats. As I read about Jewish preparation for Passover, I kept thinking - what about the lamb? Weren't the instructions about the lamb clear?

Then I thought about how christians celebrate Easter. We hide eggs and tell our children that the Easter bunny visited during the night. And then we go to church and remember the crucifixion and we sing in celebration that he rose again. Which is certainly a joyous occasion and a great reason to celebrate. 

And then we go home and feast on turkey and/or ham. Why turkey, or why ham? I have no idea. 

But how did Jesus actually instruct us to remember? It was during his dinner before the Passover, his final dinner with his disciples, the Last Supper, in which he gave us his final wishes on how we should remember him.

It is in what we call Communion. Sharing some bread and wine with believers and remembering the sacrifice he paid for us. Isn't that what we should be doing on Easter?

Weren't Jesus' instructions clear?

Of course, I wouldn't complain if we were to roast a whole lamb and eat that with our Easter dinner next year.