Saturday, December 31, 2011

Year in Review – Compassion Edition

I’m joining the masses and thinking back over 2011.  While this year has had its fair share of ups and downs, that could be said for every year I can remember.
As far as Compassion is concerned, it has been an amazing year.
  • We welcomed three new children into our family in 2011. 
In January, I asked for another Correspondent Child and we were assigned this handsome young man in Tanzania.  Mkapa has a smile that reaches right into your heart.


We were surprised when our request for one Correspondent Child actually ended up in the assignment of TWO children.  Sweet little Madina from Rwanda is our blessed bonus child.

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Because they are close in age, Madina has become Luna’s special “ ‘Passion Child” friend.
In June, as I was looking through the Compassion site, praying over the children, a young lady caught my eye and my heart.  While the actual feeling is hard to put into words, I felt so drawn to beautiful Kwagala Deborah and couldn’t get her out of my mind.


I felt prompted to ask if any of my blog readers would be interested in sharing the sponsorship with our family and the response was wonderful.  There is a Group Effort of many caring people that support KD’s sponsorship. Families around the world love her and are praying for her. (You too can join in the group sponsorship by clicking the “Group Effort” link above.)
  • Early in 2011, I was asked to write a few blog posts for the official Compassion Blog.

On May 20th, my first post was published: The Mystery of the Blue Corner. I had often wondered about the blue square that appears on the corner of many Compassion mailings and sites.  It was neat to learn more about its meaning!

A week later, my second post was published: A Precious Perspective.  This post means so much to me.  It shows how one simple sentence from a child an ocean away managed to forever change my heart.

In September, I was so thrilled to be asked to write about Compassion new letter writing tool: An Improved Way To Write Your Sponsored Child.  It was exciting to be able to test out the tool before it was rolled out for the sponsor population!

In October, I shared my thoughts about Compassion’s great sponsor site: Our Compassion - Our Community.  Being a member of OurCompassion greatly impacted my journey as a sponsor and I think it is a fantastic website for inspiring sponsors.
  • In early June, I received an email that was SO exciting that I almost fainted.
I was asked to come to Compassion’s Global Ministry Center in Colorado to take part in a Social Media Summit. I had always wanted to travel to Colorado Springs and check out Compassion’s headquarters and my prayers were answered!
I blogged about my trip, of course!
The trip to Colorado was such an amazing blessing and opportunity!  So many times, I felt like pinching myself to see if it could possibly be real. (It WAS!)
  • I tallied up the letters we’ve received from our sponsored children this year and was blessed to look through and count 71 of them! (That’s a LOT of Happy Dances!) My husband and I found the break-down interesting.
Kwagala Deborah from Uganda – 2 letters
Bertille from Burkina Faso – 3 letters
Alice from Kenya – 3 letters
Kazihizina from Rwanda – 3 letters
Yishak from Ethiopia – 3 letters
Madina from Uganda – 4 letters
Mkapa from Tanzania – 4 letters
Johan from East India – 12 letters
Rodrigo from Bolivia – 16 letters
Precious from Ghana – 21 letters!

We also received an assortment of bonus photos from several of our children this year.
By my count, we have written close to 250 letters this year and we have also had the opportunity to send actual gifts to a few of our beloved children, too, thanks to friends who have travelled to various countries.
  • I was blessed to have dear friends actually meet and love on our first sponsored child, Precious in Ghana.  What an incredible opportunity!
I still cannot read through this blog post by my friend JD without crying: Precious - Day Four.
  • My friend Sherry also was able to meet and love on our co-sponsored Kwagala Deborah in Uganda.
  • In 2011, so many sweet children have been connected with their sponsors through Blogging From the Boonies.  This is possibly one of the most rewarding parts of advocating through the internet!
I cry each and every time I am notified that someone has felt compelled to step up and sponsor a child that I’ve featured.  What an amazing and humbling thing it is to know that I have had some small part in helping these connection come about!

There are so many children from Precious’ project in Ghana that have been sponsored by my friends and blog readers.  I pray over all of our Precious Connection children as well as other children sponsored through my advocacy.  What a blessing!
  • This year, I have also come to know so many wonderful fellow bloggers with a heart for the children of this world!  I have been blessed by every comment, the support and prayers of amazing people!

My sincere thanks to everyone who stops by to read BFTB!  Your support means the world to me!  If you’ve been a “silent reader” and have yet to leave a comment, it would bless me so much if you’d take just a second to leave a comment and say hello!

I hope that 2012 brings many blessings and Happy Dances to all of you!