Why I Sponsor a Child

If I could save every child on this earth from poverty and hunger, I would.  It breaks my heart to see any child suffer like this.  I wanted to do something, but I wasn’t sure what.  Last February, I went to a Christian concert featuring many Christian artists, but mainly my favorite, The Newsboys.  I was super excited to see them and was enjoying the entire concert, when about half way through, there was a break from the beautiful music and on came a heart wrenching video of all these children from third world countries, poor and struggling to eat a nutritional meal every day, much less have all their basic needs met, like having clean  water to drink, a nice comfy bed to sleep in and both parents alive to take care of them.  Not to mention a poor opportunity at an education so perhaps they could have a fighting chance in life to make something of themselves.  Yes, this video from Compassion International pulled at my heartstrings.  But, I had been wanting to do something-to give or to help someone out there in the world, and I felt at this moment I had found my chance.  I am very aware that there are many American children in need as well, but even though our welfare system here in America leaves much to be desired, I still knew it was way more than many of these other children had in their developing countries.  Not only that, but God calls us to be the hands and the feet-the body of Christ-we are to help others in need.  Everywhere.

So, I was given a handout with information about a little boy in the Philippines, in an aids infected area, who had been waiting a long time for a sponsor.  His precious face won my heart and I signed up to be his sponsor right away.  I have learned that my measly monthly donation means everything to him.  It means he can have meals to eat everyday, and not have that struggle of worrying whether he will get a hot meal that day.  It means he can have proper medical care and help with his school work and have a relationship with God, and so much more.

Several months ago I met a lady (while volunteering at a Compassion event) from the Philippines that graduated from the Compassion program, and as an adult, she is now serving in her own ministry to rescue women and children from the streets of Manila-many who are sex-trafficked.  She is changing their lives and helping them to have a chance at something better, as well as helping them to know God.  Throughout the months of my sponsorship so far, it has begun to even change my own world.  It has caused me to step out and volunteer more and by doing so, I have become more familiar with the world that these children live in; it has truly made me appreciate the blessings in my own life.

These past couple of years I have done some soul-searching, trying to figure out what I want to do differently with my life that can give impact to others and help them change their lives for the better.  By becoming a sponsor for Compassion International, and by giving of my time, I have realized where my heart is.  It is with helping others.  My sponsorship through Compassion isn’t just helping this precious child in the Philippines-it’s helping me too.  I am now a blogger for Compassion International; another open door for my own life.  I hope to continue touching the lives of so many children around the world and help open up the hearts of those who can give just a little.

Please watch and share this video: http://blog.compassion.com/will-fall-love-child-guaranteed/   and let’s change the world-together!



Becoming a Proverbs Devotee

I heard somewhere about a man who decided to read a chapter in Proverbs every day for 31 days, then repeating the cycle for a year.  His response was that it changed his life forever.  Why for 31 days?  Because there are only 31 chapters in Proverbs.  Why did it change his life so dramatically?  I’m sure it was because of the wisdom in every word of every verse in all 31 chapters.  Proverbs is a book in the old testament that provides great wisdom from God to man to live by on earth.  It will keep us out of trouble if we apply it to our lives, and it will help us to just make better all-around decisions.

I have been reading a chapter in Proverbs for the past 5 mornings, committed to doing this daily.  Not so I can get something tangible out of doing so, but because I am always striving to be a better person, and I want to follow God more closely and walk in His wisdom.  I’m tired of the cycle of mistakes and missed opportunities in my life and I’m trying to do something about it.  So far in the 1st five chapters of Proverbs, it has opened my eyes to some foolish choices I made in the past, led me to reflect on how those choices changed the course of my life, and how I desire to be on the right path in my life.  It’s brought some conviction to my heart, and I’ve repented for actions and thought patterns I’ve harbored for a long time.  This is how Proverbs is beginning its cycle of change in me.  I am thankful we all have access to a living God who loves us all so much that He gave us His Word to live by.  How are you applying His Word to your life?

Jobless but not hopeless

Today marks my 44th day of unemployment.  This is the longest I’ve gone without work, but I’m not sweating it.  It’s like a mini vacation for me right now.  I’m 4 days away from turning 46-yikes-and I have no idea right now what my future holds for me, career-wise.  I’ve been in school taking college courses since 2011 and I’ve switched my degree from business to creative writing.  I made the switch after being laid off and was immediately picked up by another company (in the mortgage industry), back in 2013.  As I reflect on the past 3 1/2 years of my life at the new place of employment that I so poorly chose to work at, I feel a sense of relief to be gone from there.  I’m glad to be gone from a place that was literally hell to work at.  A place that did not value me, a place where my voice was not-nor would be-heard by management.  A place that offered no opportunity for me to grow as an employee.  It was just a paycheck.  That’s it. Nothing else.  I was miserable beyond belief.  I often wished for the return of Jesus, just so I wouldn’t have to be so miserable anymore.  I would catch myself being so “ungrateful” at times, and try to change my tune, but as soon as I would, the cycle of misery would start all over again.  Sad thing is, I wear my emotions on my face and my heart on my sleeve, so it was difficult to hide my misery.  Then this past May I sensed a change was coming.  As a Christian, and a strong believer at that, I grew closer in my walk with God.  Great things were happening for me in a spiritual sense, but in the physical-especially in the workplace-things got worse.  I knew a change would be coming.  I could feel the Lord preparing my heart.  Through the course of this, I realized something.  Back in 2013, I never once prayed and asked God if working at this place was the right thing for me.  I made my decision out of fear; as a single mother, I just felt like I had no choice but to take this job offer, so I wouldn’t miss a day of employment.  See, as a Christian, I should have asked God for direction and I didn’t.  I went to work somewhere and wasted 3 1/2 years of my time there, and I honestly do not know what good thing I took away from my experiences there.  During these past few months, I became very transparent with God and asked-begged-Him to help me in my current situation.  I suddenly became fearless of anything that would happen, because He was showing me I could trust Him.  He was reminding me of the things He helped me with in the past, like when I moved to Dallas 7 years ago on complete faith.  I had no job lined up, I didn’t know anyone in Dallas, and I leased my apartment online.  I drove up here not knowing what to expect, but feeling the call of the Lord for me to move to Dallas.  I didn’t know why.  But I was excited.  And then later, God rescued my youngest child from her abusive father, gave me complete custody, and her dad gave up his rights without me having to ask.  God worked that out completely and protected my daughter from further abuse and has since restored her.  Then last summer a few miracles happened that God has kept vividly in my memory.  I had just moved to a really nice new apartment.  It was the month of June.  I had returned from visiting my son, who serves in the Navy, in Virginia.  I was on a high from that visit because it was so much fun and so memorable!  I was missing him so much, and wanted to plan another trip to see him in the fall, before he transferred to California that coming spring.  I was determined!  A few days after I got back from seeing him, I somehow lost the only key fob to my car.  I searched high & low for it & could not find it anywhere!  I was beside myself trying to find it!  A week had passed before I decided to have it towed to the dealership to finally get a new key fob.  This was expensive-somewhere around $400 and that was a lot of money to spend right after coming back from vacation!  I believed God for a new key fob; one I would not have to pay for.  I had no idea how that would happen, but my good friend, Rebecca and I prayed and asked God.  I waited and waited.  The dealership went down on their price, but wouldn’t go lower than $300 for a new key fob.  I was still believing God for a miracle, but I got to the point where I had to take a step in faith, so I had my car towed to the dealership.  The very next morning, I got a call from a really nice lady at the dealership.  She was so excited to tell me that when she entered my vin# in the system, that there was a recall on the key fob for my car!  Wow!! So guess what, I got not one new key fob, but two FREE key fobs for my car!!  I almost couldn’t believe it!  But of course, I knew it was God.  All God.  He answered my prayer, but He provided for my need more than I ever could have!  I was (and still am) so grateful!  Then about 2 weeks had passed.  I was really tight on money, trying to recover from vacation and some of the needs we had, living in a new place.  I had almost no furniture, as I got rid of my older furniture before moving.  I wanted to make our new place really nice, and I didn’t want to bring the old beat up furniture in our new place.  So, I was again believing God for His provision.  At the same time, I was also believing God for another trip to go see my son again.  His birthday is in October and I wanted to see him for his birthday.  I prayed and believed and thanked God for the provision I knew He would give for these requests that I had.  So, about 2 weeks later, I went to my mailbox and there was a letter from the Attorney General’s office, telling me they were sending me 2 checks for some of the past due child support owed to me.  They were able to collect some of the funds owed, and didn’t have my correct bank account info to direct deposit it, so they were mailing it to me.  I about died!  Never did I ever think I would have my prayers answered this way!! Wow, wow, wow!  The amount of money was in the thousands, and it would be enough to furnish my new apartment and take a trip to see my son!  I was so excited, and it was such a blessing for me and my family!  God was so good to me, even with all my flaws and imperfections.  It meant so much to me to have Him provide for us in such a way!  It lifted my spirits, encouraged me and just gave me hope!  So, as these past few months transpired and I just knew in my spirit and in my heart that change was coming for me, I did not worry.  I knew God had my back.  I was laid off with a severance, and it’s now been 44 days since I worked my last day.  I have some new challenges now, but God is working on me.  I’m spending so much of my time taking classes at church that will continue to build me up, give me wisdom for my future, and keep me encouraged.  I feel like I have some restoration to go through, as these past few years were abusive to my self-esteem, confidence, and just a knock to my abilities that I thought I had.  I am on a journey right now to rediscovering myself, and learning to trust God along the way.  Stay encouraged, dear reader.  If He can do it for me, He can do it for you!