"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

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Number 15

Meet Alexandra. Number 15.

 I wasn’t planning on having a number 15.
 When I lost Betty back in June, I couldn’t sponsor another child. None of the children where Betty, so I just held off on sponsoring another one. I knew that if God wanted me to sponsor another child He would point him or her out to me. But month after month went by and I never found her. I figured it was for the best that I only had 14 children. That that was what God wanted, and it’s easier to write and provide for 14 rather than 15.
 And then I saw Alexandra. Her darling face, her bare feet, and her ragged, worn clothes captivated me. And then I read that she had 12 siblings and her father worked as a farmer making about $10 a month. $10 a month! That is less than $1 per child each month. You can’t provide for a family that big on such a small amount of money. And with the parents in survival mode, how can they show the love and care to Alexandra that she needs.
 Her reflective brown eyes stared into mine, and I knew. I knew, but I didn’t want to admit it. Something inside of me didn’t want to sponsor another child, didn’t want to give up another $38 a month. I already give up so much for my children, why should I have to give up even more. Why would God ask me to sponsor another child when I don’t even have a permanent job? But another part of me was absolutely, completely head-over-heels in love with this child. I had to have this child in my life. But what if I couldn’t keep up the payments? What if, what if, what if? Back and forth, I went in my mind.
 Really it all came down to faith. Could I truly trust God to provide the money to sponsor Alexandra?
 Then one day she was gone. Alexandra (along with 90% of the Ecuador kids) was nowhere to be found on the website. That moment sealed it for me. My heart sank to my knees as if a piece of my heart was gone forever. Alexandra, the little girl who needed me so much, was gone. I had let her go, when deep down I knew God wanted me to sponsor her. But God brought her back to me. He wasn’t going to let me get away without her.
For some reason I may never know, God wants Alexandra, a 6 year old little girl living in the jungle of Ecuador, in my life. I may never know in this lifetime why God wanted me to sponsor her, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t. I can’t take my extra $38 a month to Heaven with me, but maybe because I sponsored her, Alexandra will be in Heaven.
 When I saw those beautiful brown eyes back on the website it suddenly became clear. If God was asking me to sponsor Alexandra, than He would provide enough money each month. God has a plan, and I’m learning to trust Him more and more with every circumstance. Alexandra is my faith child. And it is amazing what a deep love can well up in one’s heart for a child you’ve never met, never seen their smile, and never heard their laugh. It has to be God! What else could it possibly be? And you know what; I’ll probably be blessed so much more than Alexandra is because I stepped out in faith for her. I can try to be a blessing in her life, but there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that she WILL be a blessing in my life!
I urge you to a look at Compassion International’s website today. Maybe you’ll find a piece of your heart there or your next step of faith. I know I did.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Good Things Come In Big White Envelopes

Who would have guessed it?
Would you have expected a letter in this envelope? I surely did not. But the letter wasn't even the best part

This was:

A photo of Mariela's family JUST BECAUSE! She has a beautiful family and I'm excited to have a rare glimpse into her life.

Great Day :D

Friday, November 4, 2011

Mail Call: Philippines

The letter drought is over! Well I guess I can’t really call it a drought when it’s only been a week and a half. But even that feels like forever without any news from one of my kiddos.

I got the sweetest letter from 6 year old Gil Jr today.

 I love the fact that his mother writes the letters for him because I am learning so much about him. He is such a great kid, and I just love his sweet mother. She is so happy that Gil has a sponsor and she is always so appreciative. Gil’s letter was a reciprocal letter written on September 16.
Dear Hilary Hopkins,
First of all, Me and Gil would like to ask if how are you together with your family. With Regards to Gil we had go to swimming his last birthday (he turned 6 on August 27th) together with our cousins because we are here in seashore and regarding to his studies now he can able to read. His grade in Math subject was good. You know what Ma’am Hilary, Gil was seeing the pictures that you had sent to us. It is nice place that you went in Florida most especially this picture of Mickey and Minnie. This is his first time to see a picture like this. Ma’am Hilary, Gil was asking if when were you go in our place? So that he can see you in person. Ma’am Hilary include our family in your prayers. Every night we also include you in our prayers that you will have good health, you will be safe in any danger with His divine protection. Until here to our next letters.
Love, Ludivina Otadoy- Gil’s mother

I think that Ludivina might be one of the sweetest ladies I know. She seems so involved with her son, and being a part of the Compassion project. I don’t know if Gil comes from a Christian family, so I’m praying that through this relationship they will come to know Christ as their savior!
I wish that I could write Gil back and tell him that I’m jumping on the next plane to the Philippines. If only it was that simple. But, the Philippines is the next country on my agenda after my trip to Bolivia in April. Maybe a trip to see Gil isn’t completely out of the question! Hope you got a letter as great as mine this week!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Sponsor a Child from Ecuador!

Compassion is having another bloggers trip!You can check it out here!  This time they are going to Ecuador from November 8-12. Five different bloggers will be getting an in depth look at Compassion's work in Ecuador, and will meet many of the children that Compassion serves there. Since Ecuador is close to my heart, I'm really looking forward to learning more about Compassion's work there. The Compassion website has added 751 Ecuadorian kids in hopes that the bloggers will be able to help find sponsors for these kids while on this trip. I know that I'm going to have to stay away from the website or I might end up with 15 more kids :D. Many of them have already started pulling my heart strings.

Lamar is a sweet orphan who lives with her grandmother and 6 other children.

Andrea's father is in prison.

Little Melanie has the same birthday as me.

Antonio has to be one of the cutest 5 year olds ever!

Alvaro lives in the jungles of Ecuador where they live on $10 a month.

Sara goes to the same child center that my Carolay does. I wonder if they are friends?

Six year old Tepa doesn't have any shoes like many of the kids at her center.

But the little girl that has taken the biggest chunk out of my heart is Alexandra. She goes to the same center as Tepa and Alvaro, and at least 10 other kids I have found on the website (I haven't looked at all the kids). Alexandra has a darling little face, and she makes me smile yet breaks my heart all at once. Her tattered little outfit with her belly sticking out, makes me want to wrap her up in a great big hug, and tell her how beautiful she is.

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All of these beautiful children need someone who will show them God's love, and tell them that they matter. Can you sponsor one of them today?