I’ve joked on Twitter that God is already trying to work in me my One Word: Grace. But it really isn’t joking, because He is already moving and has been for the past few weeks. Sending things my way. Reminding me in situations to exercise grace rather than impatience or anger or frustration. What an ideal time to start: Christmas.
It’s like He really wants me to learn the art of grace and He doesn’t need to wait for the count down at midnight.
Today this post from Catalyst’s blog was waiting for me in my Google Reader. He is speaking. He longs for me to be like Him. He is pouring out His grace on me so that I can learn to have grace.
My memory verse for January:
Colossians 3:12-13 (New Living Translation)
Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
I want to scoff at those who think child sponsorship doesn’t work. Those who think that their money can be spent better elsewhere than on those who Jesus commanded us to take care of.
Yesterday we received an updated picture of Nikita. The young girl we sponsor through Compassion. We’ve sponsored her for nearly a year and a half now. I love that God has allowed her to be a part of our lives. This young lady who loves dogs, calls us Uncle and Aunt, always sends hugs and kisses for us and our doggies. This young lady who in part we think of almost like a daughter.
The photo we received yesterday showed her with a study desk that she was able to buy with money we’d sent for her birthday. The initial picture in her sponsorship packet show a sad, maybe even scared little girl has been replaced with a smiling, happy young lady. As soon as I saw her picture my eyes brimmed with tears. I couldn’t believe the change.
Sponsorship works. It works for them and it works for those who sponsor. Every monthly amount, every birthday gift, every family gift, every care package with stickers, coloring pages, paper dolls, puppets, construction paper, little books…..
One of the biggest changes I’ve seen in my life from walking this going on 4-year journey of waiting, changing, waiting, readjustment, waiting has been God’s revamping my attitude of those in poverty.
What started out as a small flame erupted into a burning desire to rescue those in poverty when we started sponsoring Nikita. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it till the day I die, sponsorship changes YOUR life. Allowances you made before, you’re no longer willing to make. Your perspective changes.
I love what Compassion does. I love how they minister to not only the children who are part of their services but their whole family. What touches the child doesn’t stop the moment the leave Compassion’s Child Development Centers. They carry it home held in precious little hands & hearts. I love how as I sleep at night this beautiful young lady is being ministered to spiritually, physically, emotionally. I really do ♥ Compassion!!
Do you sponsor? If so what organization, and where does your child(ren) live?
I know that certain dates can change your life. Your wedding day. The day your child is born. The day you get that job. However, I didn’t realize on the evening of April 30, 2009 that this date would forever change my life.
It rocketed my perspective and my desires to a completely other place than they’d ever been before.
More specifically, it took my heart and shipped it to a slum outside Nagpur, India.
On April 30, 2009 Shawn and I decided to sponsor our first child through Compassion due largely in part because of this Bloggers Trip (Anne‘s posts had my crying like a slobbering fool). We always say that sponsoring her was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. And we’re completely serious. I didn’t think that sponsoring Nikita would change my life, I thought we’d change hers. Provide her nutritious meals, schooling, health checkups, etc. But she’s changed ours in so many ways. They way we are choosing to live our lives. What we find important.
Sponsoring her has made me fall in love with India. Praying that God would redeem and save India. That He would break apart the hierarchy of the caste system and open the eyes of the leaders to the poor dying outside their major cities.
I can’t believe she’s been apart of our lives for a year already. We do our best to write her often and send gifts. I want her to be the little girl that always gets something from her sponsors.
I pray for her salvation and that of her parents and two sisters and brother. This is hugely important to me.
I wear this ring as a reminder of her. To pray for her and her family and her friends.
She is as much part of our family as our own child would be. Even across thousands of miles.
As part of celebrating we sent her some special gifts.
A card, a little wallet size card that reminds her she’s special, Disney Princess stickers, My Little Pony coloring pages, monkey finger puppets I found in the Target Dollar Spot, and a beautiful prayer Shawn wrote for her.
We celebrate this day with great joy and pray that we will continue to celebrate for many, many years.
I’ve been dealing with a lot of heart issues the past few days. Issues I don’t normally deal with, but they’ve been rearing their ugly heads.
For Christmas this year Shawn and I felt very convicted to ask our family instead of buying us gifts that they would just give us the cash they would normally spend on us instead and we would be sending that to our little girl we sponsor with Compassion in India. This was our heart of hearts. I knew going into this that it wouldn’t be easy not receiving gifts, I mean who doesn’t like to get presents. But it was really hard. Selfishness started to bloom in my heart. I wanted to get gifts just like everyone else. My only hope was to start praying for a heart change. I’m still recovering but God is working.
Shawn and I have been blessed far greater than we ever should be. We are grateful for every blessing. Part of those blessings is blessing Nikita. We love her so much. I believe by God’s providence, we received a letter from her just days before Christmas. Shawn and I agreed to wait to open it and that would be our “gift” to open on Christmas. We opened it last night and our hearts were overjoyed.
My life has no room for a selfish or jealous heart. It was more and more room for loving on other people and blessing them.
My first experience with Compassion Intl. was when I was in highschool. Our family sponsored a young girl in Haiti. Now my relationship with them is more personal. It is my husband and I who are sponsoring our own child, Nikita. I can’t express how blessed I am to have her in our lives half a world away.
This week I’m following the Compassion Blog Trip to El Salvador. I’m reading the stories of five women and one man who are visiting, meeting, and getting down & dirty with the families and workers that are involved in the Compassion project down there. The only thing I can think to say is I’m so moved. I have to read these stories, watch the videos, look at the pictures taken when I’m at home and I can cry and not make a fool of myself. If you get a chance I recommend reading some of the blog posts. And if you don’t or even if you do pray about whether God would have you sponsor a child through Compassion. It is because of one of these Blog Trips that Shawn and I decided to sponsor Nikita.
Thank you to all the bloggers on the El Salvador trip. You are touching my life all the way here in Arizona.
For a while Shawn and I had talked about doing something. Sending money to help build fresh water wells in Africa, sponsoring a child, etc. It wasn’t until we read blog postings by Anne Jackson and Shaun Groves on a Compassion trip they took to India that we decided to sponsor a Child.
This is Nikita. She lives in Nagpur, India and is our sponsor child.
For Shawn and I our faith isn’t just Sunday morning (or in our case Sunday night). It’s lived out every day in every way. We’re learning slowly. Nikita is a small part of that. Even though she’s over 7,000 miles away we can touch her life and love on her.
Prudence is a 30-something writer who lives in Arizona with her husband Shawn and their chihuahuas Lengua and Zeus. She writes her life, her experiences and her crawl back to hope. Eventually, she hopes to visit India – a place that’s captured her heart without ever stepping foot on the soil.