This is really touching. Might want to have some tissues handy!
I’m a total sucker for photo scavenger hunts. In celebration of their two year anniversary on Instagram, Compassion is having a photo scavenger hunt until the end of the month. Here’s the official blog post with all the fun details: Scavenger Hunt
I know I’ll be participating! Will you? There are prizes involved… Just sayin’. 😉
*cue annoying buzzing*
Hmmm, she doesn’t look good… No, I heard he’s too sweet… Ooh, that kid looks perfect!
Perfect, they didn’t even notice me! Off to live another day!
A Few Days Later…
Hey! There’s that kid that was such a good meal. They don’t look so appetizing now, I wonder what’s wrong?
It all started like the flu. A fever, chills, a headache, being tired… Nothing to worry about, right? It’s just a virus, nothing much to do about it. But the child isn’t getting better, in fact, they’re getting worse. What is wrong?
Malaria. That’s what’s wrong.
According to the World Health Organization (2012), in 2010 there were an estimated 219 million cases of malaria worldwide with an estimated 660,000 deaths. Most of those deaths were children in Africa under the age of 5. Why? Malaria is a disease carried by mosquitoes and is linked to poverty. Those most affected are those living in extreme poverty (less than $1.25/day). When you’re using all your money to try and feed your family, you don’t have any left to buy things like mosquito nets in order to keep your family safe.
Malaria is a preventable, treatable disease. Compassion International provides treated mosquito nets to those in need and helps treat those who have malaria. But they can’t do it alone. Today (4/25) is World Malaria Day, would you consider clicking over to Compassion’s Malaria Intervention Initiative page and donating?
First I want to apologize for being a non-poster here lately. The end of February and beginning of March is a busy time for us. My husband had Spring Break and our two oldest had birthdays 11 days apart. Talk about nuts! But now, on to the good stuff…
Compassion Sunday is officially April 21, 2013. That’s less than a month away! What is Compassion Sunday? Thanks for asking, I’d be happy to tell you! Compassion Sunday is the day when churches all across America join together and share with their congregations about the ministry of Compassion. Our church is doing it in May, your church can do it whenever it’s most convenient, but the mission is the same. Raise awareness for children living in poverty.
Last year when our church did Compassion Sunday, we sponsored a child. I had wanted to before but finances weren’t working out to do so. “Coincidentally”, we had just disconnected our landline (phone) and the amount that it saved us was enough to sponsor a child. At first I was really the only one excited about it so I was the one who looked at child packets. It’s been almost a year and I can tell you that I’ve grown from our sponsorship experience. The whole family really has, and they’re all more involved now. Our sponsored child and his family are an extension of our family.
Our first letter from him was a form letter (he’s in kindergarten) and the front had his answers to the questions and a drawing. The back though had a letter from his mother. Whoa. As a mom it really touched my heart to have her write a thank you letter to us. One letter included an invitation to come to his house if we ever get to meet him (trust me, I want to go on a sponsor trip so much!). That made me cry. Seriously.
Back to Compassion Sunday. . . So the “goal” is to have 10,000 children sponsored on Compassion Sunday. If you can’t wait until Compassion Sunday to sponsor a child, please visit my Compassion Sunday profile and sponsor the little boy. My Compassion Sunday
Or, as always, you can visit Compassion and search for a child to sponsor. Search Compassion
I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, we are a homeschool family. Our oldest is “just” kindergarten/first grade level but it’s never too early to learn some geography. Sponsoring through Compassion is a great way to incorporate that into your school day. Not only do you are you able to be a blessing to a child, you’re also able to teach your children about other countries! Anyway, as I was perusing the Compassion website I happened upon a homeschool curriculum, woo hoo! There are 5 main lessons, each of which is divided in “half” so you really get 10 lessons if you use the curriculum the way they have it set up. One spiritual emphasis per main lesson as well as one country.
Being that our children are still pretty young I chose to do one main lesson per week. Last week we did one part on Monday and the other part on Thursday. This week is going kind of wonky because we’re just having an off week but next week I plan to break it up even more so that we do a little each day. But last week the country was Burkina Faso, which is what I am really focusing on in this post.
If you know your continents you might be able to guess where Burkina Faso is. It’s a small country in Africa. I say “small” but that’s really only in size, there is quite a large population for such a small country. As far as size goes, it’s just larger than the state of Colorado; as far as population goes, there are over 17 million people. Compare that to Colorado’s 5 million… Lots of people, not a lot of water (in Burkina Faso). The country itself is one of the poorest countries in the world.
I truly don’t know how much my kids learned and retained from our brief time “in” Burkina Faso. Our son was quite saddened by the fact that most of the children there don’t have a lot of the toys, if any, that he has to play with here. They did enjoy making their own sports equipment from recyclable materials. Their favorite was the soccer ball made from plastic shopping bags. Our daughter did enjoy attempting to make paper beads, I ended up doing most of the work though being that she is only almost 4, LOL! Let me tell you, I am not going to be making beautiful jewelry out of those beads any time soon! But really, I pray they’ll at least remember the spiritual aspect of the lessons. If anything though, I’m at least planting seeds that we can cultivate when they get a little older. I have no doubt that we will return to these lessons in the years to come to both grow spiritually and in “book learnin'”. For now, I leave you with a picture of what my children know about Burkina Faso.
Next Week: Brazil
This month for Compassion Bloggers we’ve been challenged to share with you the verse(s) that lead us to serve others. I am super excited to write this post, I was already thinking of talking about this topic anyway so, perfect timing! I actually have a couple of verses that prompt and guide me. Really, it’s hard to pick just one when there are so many that really move me but the two that stand out the most are Psalm 27:13 and James 1:27.
I know what you’re thinking, “A psalm?”. To which I say, yes! Psalm 27: 13 says, “I am certain that I will see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living.” (HCSB). Originally I hadn’t thought of it as a verse that is talking about serving others as much as it is about seeing the good things in life instead of focusing on the bad. But the more I thought about it, it really does apply to serving others too. Serving others is good because it’s a way to serve God and when you serve others, there are many times where you can see what God moving in their life and that’s amazing. That’s “the Lord’s goodness” all over the place.
The second verse is kind of a given and one most people use but it impacted me for a couple of reasons. First off, James 1:27 says, “Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world.” (HCSB). Ok, so, why is this an important verse for me? Well, I have a dear friend who is an advocate for European orphans with special needs and she really inspires me to be the voice for those who might not have one of their own. Also, orphans and widows are people you help and you don’t expect anything in return. That’s really the heart of the matter, helping people because you want to, not because you expect anything back. It reminds me to serve because I want to (and because God wants me to). I knew this verse but I recently came upon it again because I was reading a book on biblical justice and it was included. The book in and of itself was life-changing but the explanation behind James 1:27 made it more real to me and I went, “Duh! Of course!”.
So for me, serving others is really about helping them so that they will see God’s goodness in life and also about being the voice for those who might not otherwise have one. Blogging for Compassion and sponsoring a child are ways I am able to do both. As a blogger I can be their voice, and as a sponsor I can help them experience God’s goodness. Ultimately though, it’s really all about God. If I never get recognition or a huge blog following I’m ok with that. And now, before I get way off topic, I bid you a fond farewell until I blog again!
Hi there! I deeply apologize for any who follow the blog. It’s been too long since I’ve written. December is a crazy month for us: my husband has finals, we have two birthdays, Christmas, and in all that we homeschool! Things are calming down now and I have a few things to write so I’ll be back in the very near future!
It’s been on my heart lately that I should be using my blogging efforts on this blog first and foremost. I’m not a great writer and I don’t have a huge following but I don’t care. I want to be purposeful about writing to advocate for these little ones so I’m here.
There are a few things, specifically, that I’d like to post on so I will do that this week. Keep your eyes open and I’ll be writing to you soon!