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How You Can Make A Difference on International Women’s Day

Mar

08

Posted by on Mar 8, 2018 | 3 comments

I’m sitting at my kitchen table where the sun is piercing filthy windowpanes, a thing I notice in the morning but forget by noon’s shadow. A ladybug sits on the sill, I’m assuming dead. Our home is a death spiral for pretty bugs dressed in red with black polka dots, and I wonder why that happens at the end of every winter.

It’s International Women’s Day and I wish I could say I knew that on my own, but it’s the internet that tells me so. I’m stung by awareness of my comforts, my plenty, and my relative wealth, and it brings a sort of shame. Those things have cost me nothing, but in some places in this world even lesser things cost everything you have to give.

I’m reminded of a woman I encountered almost nine years ago.

 

 

She was striking to me, uncommonly beautiful, obviously haunting. The sun on her shoulders. Her expression, somber yet intense. Her shoes matched her saree. She carried a bucket, soap, cane, and, most important, her dignity.

In my trip to Kolkata where I met dozens and dozens of people, hers is a face I always remember first. Whatever her age, she had lived a long, and undoubtedly difficult life, and yet she’s endured.

She is not victim. She is an unnamed international woman I celebrate.

She lived in a village where Compassion International had a Child Survival Center, a place where mothers and babies receive goods, education, training, and services that contribute to their survival.

Shortly after my trip with Compassion Bloggers to India, the child I sponsored left the program. Her mother remarried after the death of her father, and they moved to a location where Compassion didn’t have a local presence. Though I wasn’t able to continue helping her family financially, I’ve never stopped praying for Pinki; meeting her carved permanent residence in my heart.

 

I often wonder what she looks like now – nine years older – and how she’s doing…how all the beautiful children served by Compassion are doing in India.

You see, about a year ago Compassion had to shutter its sponsorship program in India; it was heartbreaking for those involved. After decades of ministry, Compassion could no longer send funds into the country due to Indian government restrictions (read more here).

We’ve also sponsored a daughter from the Dominican Republic; this year will be our tenth! She’ll turn 16 in May, and our sponsorship began right after she turned six. It never occurred to me until this moment how long we’ve been blessing one another, and make no mistake: Isaura blesses me with every letter she writes and ever prayer she offers for me and my family.

Compassion currently operates in 25 countries and has touched millions of lives since beginning its work in the ’50s. Everything I learn about Compassion only reinforces its impact and value to our broken world.

Today (regardless of when you read this), in celebration of International Women’s Day, I’m asking you to make a generous contribution to Compassion International. Get your credit card or checkbook out and start here.

 

You can make a one-time gift or change a child’s life – and his/her family’s lives – by committing to a monthly sponsorship. It’s up to you. 

I know our churches need our money, and our communities need our support, but today to celebrate International Women’s Day, I’m asking for global consideration for a gift to our world. I trust Compassion completely, and I’ve witnessed first hand their impact in local communities.

Look at these precious faces I had the incredible honor of meeting almost ten years ago. They’re my inspiration for today’s bold ask, but I bet there are significant women in your life worthy of celebration. I hope you’ll want to make a gift just because you can.

This old world needs those who have financial means to remember those who have financial need. It’s really as simple as that.

 

 

 

 

Thank you.

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Why you shouldn’t follow Compassion Bloggers in Peru #cbperu

Nov

16

Posted by on Nov 16, 2012 |

Sponsor a Child in Peru

 

There are a lot of people out there telling you to follow the Compassion Bloggers in Peru this week, but I’m the only one who’s telling you to stay away.  

I can hear what you’re thinking:  “How dare you say such a preposterous thing when you’ve traveled with Compassion International as a Compassion Blogger yourself?!”

Compassion Bloggers visit to Peru November 12-17, 2012 to write about the ministry of Compassion International. compassionbloggers.com/peru

But, see, I know things; I’m simply issuing a warning, a public service announcement of sorts.  If you dismiss my advice and read their stories, you’re going to be haunted, you’re going to compelled to do something.  

You’re going to WANT to do something.  

Compassion Bloggers visit to Peru November 12-17, 2012 to write about the ministry of Compassion International. compassionbloggers.com/peru


This small band of brothers is somehow managing to reach their arms around the world through their poignant and powerful words.  Every day they rise and eagerly go into places no one would choose to live if they had any choice in the matter. Thankfully my sweet friends Jen and Angie, along with Layla, Kevin and Shaun have chosen to go and visit, so they can see then tell.  

Compassion Bloggers visit to Peru November 12-17, 2012 to write about the ministry of Compassion International. compassionbloggers.com/peru

 

They’re learning how Compassion International is best at what they do:  advocating for children and releasing them from spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty and enabling them to become responsible, fulfilled Christian adults.”  These discoveries aren’t being made in a field office; they’re spending time in the homes of families who can speak the truth of how Compassion has impacted them.

Compassion International provides hope to families in dark places.  When they join a Compassion project children dare to dream, a luxury they didn’t understand was possible before; their futures are altered because of their sponsor’s personal involvement in their lives and the resources available to them through their local project.

But I don’t want to say too much about Compassion because…

I really do want you to read these breathtakingly beautiful stories from writers who are authentically sharing their experience.  

I want you to be haunted and changed and challenged to do something…to sponsor a child.  There are over 1,100 in Peru alone!  

You can trust Compassion to be a good steward of your monthly gift; their administrative costs are very low relative to the services it provides.  

Monthly sponsorship is an investment in a child who will treasure the words you send.  Go…please…read the stories.  Look at these beautiful faces.  You’ll learn soon enough what I mean.

(And for those of you new to Compassion, this is a wonderful way to teach your younger children about others in need in the world; and to develop a relationship with an international pen pal.) 

Photos from Compassion Blogger’s Flickr stream.

Follow the Compassion Bloggers in Peru

 

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The reason I wish I had a million blog readers

May

11

Posted by on May 11, 2012 | 3 comments

I started blogging in the Fall of 2005 after a friend invited me to read hers (I didn't know what a blog was prior); my first post referenced an article that reported the number of blogs to be 30,000 strong.  Today, Mashable author Sam Laird reports there are over 3.9 million "mommy bloggers" alone…though he plays fast and loose with the definition of mommy blogger.  

My blogging life has seen many seasons–ah, those long-ago times when I published at least once a day, commented generously and often, and enjoyed an engaged community where I knew more about my online friends than those new people I was meeting in a new town.

When I noticed the difference between me owning my blog vs. my blog owning me, I walked away from that season.  Plus, there's a lot of NOISE in the blogosphere, and I decided if I wasn't adding something of value, it was better to write less but better.  

But, always ALWAYS I have whole-heartedly believed and declared there is no better reason for writing than to use my voice for those who have none.

I've supported a fair amount of great causes over the past six years, given them my voice and my checkbook.  And though all of them are worthy, there's one that stole my heart:

Compassion International. 

I had the privilege of traveling to India with a group of Compassion bloggers three years ago, and my experience not only changed me then, it continues to affect me deeply and for the good.  

This week, several of my friends (and bloggers new to me) have joined leader Shaun Groves on a trip to Tanzania, to witness the work of Compassion.

They see then they tell a great story of HOPE.

Hundreds, thousands? of children will be sponsored when readers are moved to action by their beautiful words.  

I wish I had a million readers because that would mean I had a pretty big sphere of influence; and if I asked you nicely to sponsor a child, even if only 1% responded to my plea, 1000 kids would be sponsored!  

One thousand children's lives would be saved.

That's not an exaggeration friends.

When you sponsor a child, you're providing for needs, the type of needs we take for granted.  Food, shelter, clothing, education; physical, emotional, spiritual.  

When you sponsor one child, the entire family benefits.  Because you're relieving the financial pressure for one family member, their other limited resources can be used for everyone else.

Please read my favorite accounts from each of this team's bloggers (linked below); then I'm asking you…begging my considerably smaller-than-a-million-readership to sponsor a child–

Sponsor a Child in Jesus Name with Compassion

Their lives and YOUR LIFE will be forever changed for the better.  

YOUR TURN:  Is this the first time you've heard of Compassion International or have you been following the Compassion Bloggers already?  Do you have a child sponsorship story you can link to or share in comments?  

 

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Broken heart

Mar

09

Posted by on Mar 9, 2012 | 1 comment

I saw his face, I learned about his plight, and now I'm asking you to help. Because the truth is, if you're able to read this (as am I), you're (we're) in a position where you can help.  A little, a lot, it's of no concern to me…but it is to Fatao, who's life depends on the help of strangers.

Fatao

Fatao is a little boy with ventricular septal defect – a hole in his heart – and the Compassion community is trying to raise $23,000 for surgery that will save his life…save his life!  Without the help of many, he will die.  (Shaun shared even more about Fatao; I'm just linking to the necessary sites if you're willing to give NOW!!)

Because I've traveled with Compassion, I can vouch for its credibility and life-changing work in the lives of the people it touches. 

After reading this little boy's story, would you consider a financial gift

Because his broken heart breaks mine.

(Thank you….)

 

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Joy, in words and pictures

Sep

19

Posted by on Sep 19, 2011 | 3 comments

This post will be most complete if you add your own favorites ~ Inspiring quotes or favorite scriptures that esteem joy.  Please share your voice in comments.

 

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children
are walking in the truth.
~ 3 John 1:4

Compassion International, Calcutta bloggers trip, little girl laughing

 

Hope fills the afflicted soul with such inward joy and consolation, that it can laugh while tears are in the eye, sigh and sing all in a breath; it is called “The rejoicing of hope.”
~ William Gurnall

Sweet_sara_group

 

I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles
my joy knows no bounds.
~ 2 Corinthians 7:4b

Two girls jumping

 

When large numbers of people share their joy in common,
the happiness of each is greater because each adds fuel
to the other’s flame.
~ Augustine

Compassion International sponsored children in Calcutta, India

 

You have shown me the way of life, and you will fill me
with the joy of your presence. ~ Acts 2:28

Kolkata, India, Children in poverty, sponsored through Compassion International

You will find a joy in overcoming obstacles. ~ Helen Keller

110909_incourageHHI_744

 

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4

MG_5048-800x533

But my joy has truly come from Him finding His joy in me rather than me finding my joy in what I desire. It doesn’t mean I don’t long for different, it just means I find peace in fulfilling rather than understanding.  ~ Sara Frankl, @gitzengirl

Photo credits:  Photo around the laptop & of Sara with Elias, lifted from Jessica’s blog; photo of (in)courage team jumping on the beach, courtesy of Dawn Camp from our Flickr pool.

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UPDATED! Around/About: The “Help Others” edition
Week ending May 29th

May

29

Posted by on May 29, 2011 | 4 comments

A collection of links I love, sites I like, interesting reads or cool happenings nearby.

Lisa's call to action for the residents of Joplin is a small initiative with big heart.  Help her help them.  A perfect example of "Just Do Something!"

Jessie aka Vanderbilt wife wants to buy some Pajamas for Kelly; Kelly recently found out she has a rare type of brain tumor sitting on her optic nerve.  Donate just $3 and become a part of this lovely story.  UPDATED:  So far $450 has been raised!!

Compassion Bloggers are in The Phillipines this week ministering life and love to those in need, then sharing their experience with the world wide web.  Please follow my sweet friends and (in)courage co-writers Emily and Tsh and the entire fantastic blogging team as they become agents of change as they're changed. 

Top 25 Moms ~ Faith Bloggers I'm in the running (and not doing so well…!) for Top 25 Faith Moms at Circle of MomsWould you pretty-please-with-sprinkles-on-whipped-cream click through and offer me your voteI'd love to be included in this list!  While I have no aspirations of making the top, 25th place sure would make me happy.  (If you're feeling really generous, you can even vote daily til the 8th I think…. 🙂 ). 

Compassion Bloggers: Philippines 2011

Your turn:  Please share your favorite link of the week, a post of your own or any great site!!

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