Monday, July 20, 2009

Those In Need

Years ago Ryan and I attended a Christmas concert by Michael W. Smith. At the conference we were presented with information regarding Compassion International. Compassion International is a Christian ministry that provides resources both spiritually and economically to children in deep social and physical poverty all around the world. We felt led to start supporting a child. A boy, who was five at the time, from Guatamala -became our "sponsored child." We monthly donate money to him for his food, housing, and education. We give extra "little somethings" for birthdays and Christmas. We pray together for him as a family often. Throughout the years we have written many letters to him. Ryan's 80+ students even wrote to him quarterly as an assignment--blessing him with MANY letters. (And Ryan also used this opportunity to teach his students about poverty and the need for our response all around the world.) And the boy would write back. I knew we could be making a difference in a child's life. But I must confess that I would write a check every month and I did not let it penetrate my heart. I knew his father had died years ago and he lived with his mother who tried to find odd jobs. This past fall we got a heart- wrenching letter. His mother had also passed away. I remember Ryan and I both standing in the kitchen bewildered, overwhelmed by a great sense of helplessness and a deep feeling of loss. All of a sudden he became so real to us and the need seemed so much greater. There was always need but I had not allowed it to grip me. I could not shake the fact that he did not have either parents caring for him. This child that I had prayed for- so many times now did not have his mother. Ryan was so affected by the situation that he stated immediately that we needed to try to adopt him. We now know that he lives with his uncle and this is exactly where God wants him to be. We are rejoicing over that uncle who has taken in his precious nephew as his own. At that moment in our kitchen Ryan got it, If we were not to adopt him---we were called to adopt--NOW. Over the course of time it became clear that it was not just a good idea---but what we were called to do. Yet, it made me ask myself----why did it take his mother dying for it to really prick my heart? Hasn't the Lord asked me to care for the husbandless? Hasn't the Lord asked me to love the fatherless? Hasn't the Lord asked me to feed his children? Oh, how I pray that I will be rocked to my core for those in need. For those to whom much has been given, much has been asked.

This past weekend I visited my sister. My eleven year old niece had attended a huge Christian youth conference in FL (7,000 youth ) When we picked her up she was so full of joy over all that the Lord had shown her during the conference. The greatest thing on her heart----she had decided to "sponsor a child" from Compassion International. Here she is---eleven years old---barely older than the child she will sponsor---deciding to babysit and do odd jobs to earn money. She wants to earn money so that she can provide a better life for a child. All that she has in the world---she wants to give. She got it. There are children all around the world with nothing. She got it. It penetrated her heart and she was rocked to the core for those in need.

For those to whom much has been given, much has been asked.


  1. It's amazing to me how kids - Get It. They often hear the stirring in their hearts to help the fatherless before many adults do. Thanks for sharing!

  2. hey sister ... would love for you to trip down so we could pray for our children .... i am anxious for September to get here, yet I know we have no real date ... I can't wait to see all our children home and then one day playing together !!! hang in there ... God's timing is perfect and He will get the glory for our wait !!!