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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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The accidental vlogger

Jan

24

Posted by on Jan 24, 2011 | 13 comments

I was shocked one night to discover this on YouTube when I was searching for something else–

Meeting Pinki for the first time, the little girl from India I sponsor through Compassion International.  

It's was a beautiful, awkward, painful, heart-spinning moment, and I think all of that shows on my face.

I hadn't realized the video existed; maybe I was aware of it at the time, but it didn't register.  When I found it…and then played it…I was transported back to Kolkata with my Compassion Blogger team, and my spirit ached for a place that will forever hold slivers of my heart.  

There's so much I could say, but I'd rather you spend time ~

(It's probably helpful to know part of the awkwardness was due to pre-maturely meeting Pinki; the blogging team was "hiding" until the children were settled and she had to use the restroom.  But it was kinda magical–when our eyes met as she walked by, we "knew" each other and it was impossible not to meet apart from the other children and their sponsors.)

 

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Her face tells a story…

Aug

30

Posted by on Aug 30, 2010 | 13 comments

DSC_2259

She is one of the nameless faces who pierced heart and pricked conscience during my unforgettable, life-affecting trip to India.  Her shoes matched her sari, a detail intriguing to me; I am certain it was unintentional, but if Life was Fair, her clothing would always match her shoes.

I'm submitting this for my first-ever entry to I Heart Faces, this week's theme photojournalism.  I see a thousand stories in her weary face; oh, how I wish I knew even one!

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Forever treasures

Sep

29

Posted by on Sep 29, 2009 | 6 comments

Sometimes priceless treasure arrives sealed in an envelope.

Pinki ~ Compassion International in Calcutta

Yesterday I received a letter from Pinki, the little girl we sponsor in India but have yet to write about here.  Meeting her, holding her hand, hugging her neck…and then having to let her return to her impoverished village has proved too challenging to write.  Yet.

Translation can be entertaining at times, and she began with “At first take my love,” a peculiar phrase but one that gave me reason to smile and receive the love she sent.  I was reminded of our very different cultures as I continued:  “Here, the weather is rainy season.  I like to bathe in the rain.  Do you like to bathe in the rain?”

I smiled at the image of her dancing in the rain, face upward and joyful while the filth of of the day washed off her skin, and it hit me I probably would like bathing in the rain if I tried it.

Then I remembered my (incourage) post is published today and its content is all about the hope Compassion International extends to program children (I hope you’ll click through to read!), and then I received a comment from Holley reminding me sponsorship can make a difference that lasts f o r e v e r.

Are you willing to make a forever difference?

🙂

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Do you have questions about Compassion International?

May

19

Posted by on May 19, 2009 | 12 comments

Precious girls in Calcutta, some NEEDING sponsors, believe it or not! While I'm still searching for my lost cup of (mo)joe, it seemed like a good time to ask you to chime in with your thoughts, questions, observations or experience with Compassion International.  Are you a sponsor?  Supporter?  Detractor?  Skeptic?  What were your impressions after reading my account so far of our India trip?  Others?

Regardless of your perspective, I'd love to hear from you (and your readers, too, if you'd ask them for me and either link their responses in comments or direct them here).  Depending on response, I'll go to my trip bosses and Compassion experts if I don't know the answer myself. 

Thanks!

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We get by with a little help from our friends…

May

12

Posted by on May 12, 2009 | 5 comments

When I traveled to India with our team of Compassion bloggers last week, I felt like Lance Armstrong.  It wasn't just me pedaling a bike along the Champs-Élysée, there were a host of friends–online and off–cheering me on in prayer, thought and deed.  Their "drafting" made it easier for me to follow in their wake :).

It's overdue and only begins to express my gratitude, but I'd love to show a little linky love to those who:  a) posted about our trip with Compassion International; and b) let me know they were praying for us.  Those kindnesses and generosity of spirit made a difference in my well-being, I'm convinced of that.  Thank you.  A lot.  

{I'm feeling a little Academy Awards-ish, concerned I'll accidentally leave someone off this list;  If I missed you, please forgive me and let me know via email or in comments; I'll add you as soon as I can!} 

Bazillions of hugs to those who posted sponsor badges (specifically linking to me) &/or who signed on as Pensieve-India Prayer Partners (PIPPs):

Squillions of hugs to those who posted at their site (*indicates sidebar badges, so they get cyber smooches, too!):

It was a treat to share a few words in guest posts for these amazing blogs ~

   To Candace and Debbie at Mamanista for connecting me with Dollar Days, who sent two huge boxes crammed full of STUFF for the children at the projects we visited; I couldn't believe their generosity.

For those of you who've been moved to sponsor children after reading Compassion~India posts?   YOU are moving mountains in their lives!   Thank you for your decision to invest lavishly in their lives!  (And "now" is always the best time to make that decision yourself…children are waiting…!)

I know I've missed some friends, so again, please, don't hesitate to let me know & I'll add you! 

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