"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this; to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
~James 1:27

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

They're Why

Many people wonder why I would want to sponsor children. Why I would want to spend so much of my finances on someone I don’t know. So much of my time thinking about and praying for children I may never meet. They’re why. Rather than tell you, you have to read for yourself.
“I wait excited for your letters and pictures. Stay with God.” -Rodrigo, age 9, Brazil
“Babita says she loves you, and that her family members love you so much.” –Babita, age 4, Uganda
“I have you always in my heart and in my thoughts.” –Rosa, age 11, Bolivia
“Without knowing you personally, I love you very much, and I feel like you are part of my family.” –Rosa, age 11, Bolivia
“I want to thank you for being my special friend and keep me.” –Mariela, age 8, Dominican Republic
“I am so happy to be sponsored. May the Lord bless you.” –Winner, age 5, Togo
“I give glory to God for your life. Thanks for your prayers and your love for me.” –Winner, age 5, Togo
“Hillary says he loves you and appreciate your help and sponsorship.” –Hillary, age 4, Kenya
“Joy invades my heart every time I am thinking of you to write to you.” –Olibris, age 17, Haiti
“Carolay likes for you to call her “my beautiful Carolay”.” –Carolay, age 7, Ecuador
“It makes us happy to receive your beautiful letters and to know how your life is because it makes happy our hearts.” –Carolay, age 7, Ecuador and Gisela (her tutor)
“I’m so thankful that you sponsored Gil. By now his father is already dead and I can’t afford to send my children in school.” –Ludivina, mother of Gil, age 6, Philippines
“Maam Hilary, Gil is very thankful that you are his sponsor. Thankful too for the school supplies and uniforms he received.” – Ludivina, mother of Gil, age 6, Philippines
“Neha likes attending the center as she learns and grows up well in the knowledge of Jesus.” –Neha, age 13, India
“Thank you for your love. I love you.” –Asha, age 11, India
That is why I choose to sponsor children. These kids are finally realizing that they matter. Not only to God, but to a 22 year old white girl living in the USA. What could be more rewarding than that? What else could I be doing to further the kingdom of God that could so easily bring tears of joy, tears of sorrow, and such laughter at the adorable little things that these kids want me to know? They are learning what love feels like and how to love in return, they are learning about Jesus, and they may even be going to school for the first time! They are so thankful for having a sponsor because they are seeing the change in their life and that is so exciting to me! Right before my eyes, letter by letter, I am seeing these children grow, mature, and find a deep love for Jesus. And that my friends, is why Compassion is such a huge passion of mine!
If you would like to sponsor a child too, and absolutely change their world for the better, I have 13 little darlings, ages 4 to 11 that I’m looking for sponsors for. Please let me know if you want to be a shining light in the life of a child! You may not be able to change the world, but you can changed the world for one child.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Super-Terrific Saturday

What makes for a super-terrific Saturday?
Asha in the beautiful white dress she got for her birthday!
Enough said!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Are you the answer?

Faridatou Zombra
I wonder if she is praying for a sponsor?
A beautiful little girl from Burkina Faso with a scared expression on her face
I would be terrified too if my mom had died and my dad sent me to live with my aunt and uncle
Do her 3 cousins treat her like a sister or an outsider?
Every little girl needs a mother who can pass on the wisdom of the ages to her, but this 8 year old lost her mama too soon
How could this African sweetie have waited 7 months for a sponsor, and still be waiting?
In an area with prevalent AIDS, Faridatou could use a sponsor more than ever
Are you the answer to this little girl’s prayer?

If you are interested in sponsoring this little girl, please let me know, and I will help you fill out the paperwork and send you her information!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Every 5 Seconds

I have been reading the book "The Hole in our Gospel" by Richard Stearns, and this stastic struck me like a lightning bolt!
Every 5 seconds a child dies from hunger. Just another horrifying statistic in a long line of horrifying statistics. Every 5 seconds a child, with a face, with a name, is gone. And no one even cares. It is so easy to walk away from the statistics. They are just numbers. We might feel sad for a moment and then go on with our daily lives. But every 5 seconds, somewhere in this world there is a mother crying because her precious baby is gone too soon. In the time it takes you to read this blog, I don’t know maybe 20, 30 kids will be dead. Just like that, their lives are over. While I was watching NCIS, 720 children died. While I was laughing at Abby’s antics, 720 tiny graves were dug. Seven hundred and twenty mothers will go to bed tonight knowing that their little boy or girl is gone. Knowing that they will never grow up to fulfill their dreams. All that God given potential, gifts, and talents are gone. And that is only in the 1 hour that I watched NCIS.  An hour later, 720 more children died, and then 720 more, and then 720 more, and on and on it goes. Yet we feel nothing. This doesn’t break our heart. We have become numb to the sorrow and tragedy of all those lost lives a world away. I bet God’s heart breaks. He knew each of those children’s names, what talents and gifts they had, what they could have brought to this world. He even knew how many hairs were on their little heads. I wonder what breaks his heart more. These little lives being snuffed out or the fact that we, his followers, are doing nothing about it. When we truly let this sink in, that so many little lives are being lost day after day, children without a future, it becomes overwhelming. I wonder what their names were. Did a little one named Hilary lose their life today? What did they look like? No wonder we walk away from the statistics. It’s a whole lot easier to live our comfy lives when we aren’t thinking about the children who died today all over the globe. As it finally registers in my brain, I want to run. So much tragedy, so much sorrow, so much death, what can I do about it? How can I do my part to stop this suffering? I don’t know yet, but I have to do something. I can’t keep living with my back turned away from them. I can’t keep living for myself when every 5 seconds a child dies from hunger.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Five Children Waiting for You...

I want to share 5 Bolivian children with you. Five children growing up in devastating poverty. Five children without the hope of Jesus Christ. Meet Deylan, Esthiven, Carlos, Divar, and Erik. Five 6 and 7 year olds waiting for someone like you to take a leap of faith and show them that they matter to Jesus Christ. Jesus has called us to “speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.” (Proverbs 31:8)  By sponsoring one of these children, you can do just that. Children are vulnerable and they cannot speak up for themselves. They have no say in the situations in their lives. They don’t get to make any decisions. They need someone to speak up for them, and it is our job to do that. Let me tell you a little more about each of the precious children that I have the privilege of advocating for. 

Deylan is an adorable 6 year old girl who lives on the plains of La Paz, Bolivia and loves playing with dolls. Deylan lives with her mother who is sometimes employed as a market seller where she makes $76 a month. What must it be like for little Deylan without a father to provide for her and a mother who has to work all the time in his place. I can’t imagine how lonely she must feel. Are you the one that God has chosen to teach her about His love?

Esthiven is a sweet 6 year old boy who lives in Oruro, Bolivia with his mom, dad, and 1 sibling. His father makes his living as a seller in the market while his mother is a stay at home mom. Esthiven is from an indigenous group that speaks Quechua. Esthiven lives a life mired in poverty. Who knows if his parents even tell him that they love him? Esthiven needs someone in his life that will tell him those 3 simple words that can reignite the flame of hope in his heart. Those 3 words every child needs to hear- I love you.

Carlos is another little 6 year old boy from Oruro, Bolivia. Carlos lives with his mother and father and his 5 siblings. The first thing I noticed about Carlos is that it looks like his sweater is too small. It must be hard for his sometimes employed father to provide everything that his 6 children need on $90 a month. It is hard to provide for 1 child on $90 a month let alone 6. It would change Carlos’ life to have a sponsor who loved him and helped provide the things that his family cannot provide for him. 

Divar is a 7 year old little man with a serious expression. Divar lives in a smaller neighborhood in Southern Oruro, Bolivia with his mother, father, and 2 siblings. When Divar’s father has work, he makes about $54 a month. That breaks my heart because I make that much in one day. The low wages in Divar’s neighborhood could be the reason for the common malnutrition. Divar, who loves playing with cars, is just like any other 7 year old boy except he may never have the opportunity to fulfill his potential. Can you help him reach his dreams and tell him about Jesus?

Erik is also a 7 year old boy from the same neighborhood in Oruro, Bolivia as Divar. Perhaps these little boys are friends. Erik has 3 siblings and he lives with his mother and father. Erik’s father is sometimes employed and he probably works as a street vendor like so many of the others in this neighborhood. Like many little boys in Bolivia, Erik helps out his family be running errands. With the stark poverty that Erik is growing up in, he will have to grow up very fast. Bringing Erik the hope of Jesus is exactly what this little guy needs. You could be the one to carry this hope to him. 

I have the privilege of advocating for these children for the month of September. If any of you are interested in sponsoring one of these beautiful children of Bolivia or if you have any questions about the ministry of Compassion International just let me know! 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Winning Mail Day

Yesterday was a great mail day for me! I opened up my mailbox to find 2 of those famous cream colored envelopes.

Who would have thought that the sight of a cream colored envelope could make someone squeal and then promptly go into the happy dance? And this was a happy dance times two. Since my post office is in town, I always try to make it home before tearing into those envelopes so that I can settle in and savor every word that one of my precious kids has written just for me. But that day I just couldn’t wait. The thought of a 15 minute drive home was too much to bear so I dove right in to those letters.  The first letter was a reciprocal letter from 5 year old Winner in Togo. Out of all of my kids she writes me the most letters. I think she writes me more than I write her. Since sponsoring her in February, I have gotten 14 letters from her. God bless the tutor that helps her write all those letters! 

Winner's Artwork

This letter was in reply to a letter I had written her about the women’s soccer world cup. Winner is a girly-girly in her pretty dresses, but she also loves to kick around a soccer ball. She tells me “It is a delight to read your letter. I like the information about soccer. I don’t watch it, but I am glad to learn it from you.” She goes on to tell me about Nigeria, the African team that was playing in the world cup, and where it is in context with Togo. She always asks for prayer at the end of her letters.
Some of Winner's many letters!
   Finished with this precious letter, I tore into the next cream colored envelope. It was another letter from Winner. But I knew something was different about this one. This letter was on green paper. I hadn’t had a green letter yet.  The blue paper signifies a first letter, the purple is for reciprocal letters, and the brown was for regular letters, but what could green mean? To my great surprise and delight it was a Thank You letter. And attached to it was a picture of Winner and the things she had bought with the $20 gift I sent her!
Winner's thank you letter and gift photo

This is my first “extra” photo of any of my children.
Winner with her goodies!

I am so excited to see how she is growing and to see that bright smile on her face! She writes in her letter “I am so glad to receive your general gift. I have got 2 pairs of shoes, a sack of rice of 5kgs and 4 meters of loincloth. I am so glad of the gift.” It is amazing how far our small gifts can go in a country a world away from ours. Sharing in the life of a child living in a third world country has changed my perspective so much. Could you take that step of faith and sponsor a child through Compassion International as well?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My Next Big Adventure

I have completely recovered from my mission’s trip to Ecuador, but I wish I was still there. Going to Ecuador for a third time was such a blessing. I was able to see familiar sights and faces as well as meet the wonderful people of Borja. I can’t wait to return to Ecuador again. But now that my time in Ecuador has passed, I have started working towards my next adventure. A Compassion International sponsor tour to Bolivia in April. Bolivia is a country that has been heavy on my heart for a while now. When I started sponsoring with Compassion International, I knew that I wanted to sponsor a child in Bolivia. Last January I started sponsoring 11 year old Rosa. It broke my heart to see those sad eyes and such a somber expression especially knowing that she didn’t have a father in her life. Rosa is a beautiful girl with a heart full of love just waiting for someone to share it with. She loves to help her mother out at home, play soccer with her brothers, and play dolls with her cousins. She is so thankful to have a sponsor and she freely shares her love. This girl is so close to my heart! So last month when I saw on the Compassion website that they are having a trip to Bolivia in April, I knew that I was meant to be on that trip. While in Bolivia, I will get to see some of the different areas that Compassion works in and learn more about the programs they offer while sharing God’s love with the children of Bolivia. But the highlight of the trip for me will be meeting Rosa. Finally seeing her face to face and hopefully seeing her smile. Telling her in person that God loves her and that she is beautiful. I can’t wait to see the land of Bolivia and my beautiful Rosa.