Saturday, September 29, 2012

Blessings Multiplied

It shouldn’t surprise me that our Compassion family grew by two this week instead of by one.

Looking back through our sponsorship history, it seems like the Lord has had a knack for giving us two children at a time.

The first time we received a double blessing was in the fall of 2010.  I had asked to be put on the list for a correspondent child. Each day, I would log into the Compassion site to see if I had a new name on my list of sponsorships. One day, I logged in and saw a brand new name – Alice from Kenya. Then I noticed another new name – Kazihizina from Rwanda!

Compassion 012           Compassion 021

I had asked for one new child and received two. I knew it was an extra gift from God.

A few months later, I asked for another correspondent child. Again, I checked the Compassion website almost daily and on the day I noticed a new name on my list, I quickly realized that there were really two new names. Welcome to little Mkapa and little Madina.

Compassion 026           Compassion 023   

In April this year, we attended a Compassion Advocate conference and heard the testimony of Owen Githanga, who was once a sponsored child. We came home from the conference that night and my husband asked me if I had my eye on any children from the Compassion website. He wanted to sponsor another. I told him about a smiling boy who had been waiting 388 days for a sponsor. That night, we sponsored Ncheshia from Kenya.

The very next day, I was contacted by a friend who wanted me to take over correspondence for her sponsor child, our baby Akimana. Another double blessing!

Ncheshia2012             Akimana

This week, my husband came to me and told me that he wanted us to choose another child to sponsor. My heart has been for older boys, so I searched and prayed and decided on a teen from Ghana named Magid.

But, shouldn’t I know that God was working on another blessing for us? And this one just blows me away.

The back story: We used to correspond with a sweet girl named Yolanda in Guatemala. In 2010, her financial sponsor stopped the sponsorship and at that time I didn’t think we could pick up the payment, so I put out a call to my readers hoping someone would be interested in sponsoring. Someone was and I was relived to see Yolanda sponsored so quickly. However, for one reason or another, her sponsors must have ended sponsorship recently. One of my blog readers contacted me with the link to Yolanda’s page on the Compassion site. I knew that the Lord was asking us to sponsor an older boy, even though I did want to switch up our plan and sponsor Yolanda.  Instead, I shared her link on OurCompassion. I was happy (and honestly a little sad) that she was sponsored very quickly. I was sad because I didn’t know who sponsored her, so I wouldn’t be able to get any news about her, but I was happy that she didn’t have to wait long.

I received a message on OurCompassion from a fellow member who had sponsored Yolanda and she asked if we would want to step in as her correspondents. It was then that the tears began to flow. A connection with a girl we love was being restored thanks to our God and a generous sponsor.

MAgid            Yolanda2012

Two by two, our family has grown over the years. When I stand back to see God’s hand in this journey, I truly am in awe.

“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. “

Thank you, Lord, for your abundant blessings!

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thursday’s This and That

Outside of my window… The morning sun is just starting to hit the trees behind our house and the sight of green maple leaves intermixed with orange ones is simply gorgeous.

Around the house… The mornings have been chilly recently, but I haven’t yet started the first fire of the season. Vivaldi is playing on the internet radio and my girls have decided to start the morning off with drawing instead of breakfast.

In the kitchen.. I am still sipping my coffee, and savoring the splash of pumpkin spice creamer that adds an autumny kick.

On the reading list… I’m thankful to be on week two of a twelve week study called Seeking Him: Experiencing the Joy of Personal Revival by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Recently, I discovered that I was in a bit of a drift when it came to my walk with God. One Sunday I was trying to find my Bible before church and realized I had left it in my car the entire week. Talk about conviction! I was happy to hear of a mid-week study happening at the same time and venue as a Bible club my girls attend. I just smiled when I saw the workbook we would be using. God knows what we need, doesn’t He?

Feeling blessed… Truly, I feel blessed for so many reasons. God has given us a home and provides for all of our needs. I woke up this morning to find a message that the 26th child (that I know of) was sponsored through my blog for Compassion’s blog month. I also woke up to find that someone had sent a generous donation towards my trip to Ghana in 2013. I am just in awe over the amazing support and encouragement I have received from those I have come to know through this blog. I give all of the glory to God – anything good in me comes from Him!

Coming up…  I am looking forward to our first homeschool group meeting at a nearby YMCA today.  They offer art, music and gym class plus an hour of free swim at the end! Tomorrow we have a homeschool field trip to a historical museum. As the popularity of homeschooling grows in our area, we have so many opportunities to get together for activities! Somehow, I think that the term “stay at home Mom” just doesn’t apply to me!

In prayer…  I am praying for marriages that I know of that are going through difficult times. I’m praying for friends who have lost jobs or with health issues. I’m lifting up the 26 children that have been sponsored through BFTB this month and also those sponsors who have decided that they can provide for one child (or one more). I’m praying over the many children on the Compassion International website who have been waiting over a year for a sponsor. Click here to see them and pray over them, too. I am also praying for a young lady by the name of Uwanyirigira. She is an orphan in Rwanda who lives with friends. Will you click on her link and pray for her as well?

And finally a photo…

(Admittedly, I have not taken a single picture this week, so I will share one found on the internet instead!)

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I don’t know the original source, but want to share it anyway.  It is a good reminder for us all, isn’t it?

I would love to hear from you! In the comments, tell me something that blessed you today or share a prayer request with me! I hope that you have a beautiful day!

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Meet Jimmy

Jimmy is seventeen years old and lives in Uganda with his aunt.

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This handsome young man enjoys soccer, singing and playing ball.

My friend Beverly is going to Uganda in January and has offered to take a brand new soccer ball to Jimmy on behalf of the Blogging from the Boonies reader who decides to sponsor him. (In the comments section, she also volunteered to take him a shirt!)

Would you consider stepping in to sponsor this young man? Click on his picture above to be taken to his profile and learn more about him! If you sponsor him, be sure to come back and tell me so that I can get you in touch with Beverly!

Seeing as Jimmy is an older teen, you might want to read this post on sponsoring older children through Compassion International.

I have had an increase in traffic over this last week and I’d like to welcome new readers to my little corner of the internet.  Your comments are a blessing and bring a smile to my face. If you haven’t already, please take a minute to follow Blogging from the Boonies so you don’t miss upcoming posts!

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

You have Been Sponsored, Flora!

When I walked into the Compassion Center last September, our pastor met me at the door with a big smile on his face.

You have been sponsored, Flora!”

Pastor Timothy was so excited, he grabbed me by the hand and showed me a paper with the names of my new sponsors.

I smiled and thanked him, but inside my heart was torn…..

You see, I was first registered into the Compassion program fourteen years ago, when I had turned five years old. It was a big day for me and for my grandmother. I remember standing in a long line with other nervous children as our caretakers answered many questions about us. Then they took us to a place to have our pictures taken and we were all a little scared around the man with the camera in his hands. We had never seen a contraption like that before!

Several months later, I heard those words for the first time.

You have been sponsored, Flora!”

My grandmother was so happy when I was accepted into the program at the church. I was helped with my education and health care and it relieved some of the burden of taking care of me. I loved playing with the children and singing praise songs with our teachers. It was at the project center that I received my very first pair of shoes and I was so proud of them that I showed everyone I met! I knew that when I went to the center, I could count on getting a big plate of food and the teachers were always smiling and kind to us.

A few times a year, I would receive a letter from my sponsors, a family living in Canada. They sent beautiful cards for my birthday and for Christmas. I brought those letters and cards home and kept them tucked into an old cigar box I had found on the side of the road. They were my own personal treasures.

Then, one Saturday, right before I turned nine, Pastor pulled me aside one and told me that my sponsors had decided they couldn’t sponsor me any more. I wondered what I had done wrong and if it was because I still could not write letters on my own yet. I felt like I had not been good enough. When I went home and told grandmother, she held me as I cried into her shoulder.

Thankfully, I was still allowed to come to the student center. Every week I hoped that I would be told that another sponsor had chosen me, but the wait was longer than that.

Eight months later, Pastor Timothy flashed a big smile at me one morning.

You have been sponsored, Flora!”

Some of my friends heard the news and cheered for me. It was a happy day, indeed!

Week after week, I hoped that my name would be called when the center staff brought out the stack of letters. I used to hold my breath and pray that I would hear the name Flora in the list of children who were to come and claim their letters.

My name was never called.  As my birthday approached, I was sure that there must be a birthday card on its way to me. A few months after my birthday, I stopped waiting for a birthday card.. Weeks passed and the flicker of hope that I would receive a letter slowly fizzled out. A twinge of jealousy would flash as my friends showed me letters from their sponsors, but I tried to be happy for them. Sometimes my friends would give me a few of the stickers their sponsors had sent to them and I would pretend that they were from my own sponsors.

Though I was disappointed that they didn’t write, I really was thankful that my sponsor had decided to help me. At the development center, I received a school uniform and the notebooks I needed to attend class.  When I became sick, the center staff took me to get the medicines I needed. Grandmother was so happy because she didn’t have enough money to take me to the doctor. But I wished I knew more about my sponsors than just their name. I wondered what they looked like and what they liked to do. Did they have children or pets? I wrote letters a few times a year and asked many questions that were on my mind, but I never got a reply.

When I was twelve, I was told again that my sponsor was not going to continue sponsoring me. I felt ashamed and thought that it might be my fault.I wondered if it was because my grades had not been very good recently.  I prayed that I might do better in my studies.

It was five months before I heard those words again.

You have been sponsored, Flora!”

The center staff did so much to try to encourage me, but I did not feel enthusiasm in my heart when I thought of a my new sponsor. As usual, I worked on an introductory letter but I just shared the basics about my family and community. I did not put much effort into the letter. When I was done, I ran off to see if my friends had started their game of Nngapi.

I tended to keep myself busy during the mail call at our center, but one day I nearly fell over as I heard Pastor Timothy call my name. I thought, for a minute, that we must have had a new girl by the name of Flora that I had not met yet.  Pastor nodded to me and shook the letter in his hand and I ran up to meet him.

I must have read the letter ten times and I studied the faces on the attached picture. I learned that my sponsors were from Korea, they liked traveling and their children were starting families of their own. That letter came a week before my thirteenth birthday and it was such a wonderful gift! At home, grandmother rejoiced with me and I read the letter to her and then carefully slid it into my box with my letters from my first sponsors.

Despite the fact that hope had been rekindled in my heart, that was the only letter I ever received from my Korean sponsors. I imagined that they were busy with traveling and their new grandchildren. I was sad that I never heard from them again, but something was starting to change within me.

The year that I turned thirteen, I also accepted Jesus Christ as my savior. All of the teachings that I had been receiving at church and at the development center were coming together for me. As my reading was improving, I was spending more time reading the Bible I received at the center. In the evenings, I would read to grandmother and she, too, decided to give her life over to Jesus. My sadness over not hearing any more from my sponsors was comforted by lifting them up in prayer whenever I thought about them. I was learning that I could rely on God when I was worried or anxious and He would be my strength.

Four years later, when I was told that my sponsors had discontinued their sponsorship, it didn’t hurt like it did when I was younger. I had learned to love them, even though I did not know much about them and I was thankful that their support helped me to receive an education and health care and take part in all of the activities at my center.

So, as I said, when I saw Pastor Timothy smiling at the door that morning last September, I knew what was coming.

You have been sponsored, Flora!”

I smiled and thanked him, but inside my heart was torn. I was happy to be chosen, but couldn’t help but wonder if I would ever hear from my sponsors and learn about them.

A month later, my mouth dropped open and I heard Pastor Timothy shout out, “Two letters for Flora!” I was so stunned that I didn’t even move until my friend Phoebe nudged me with her elbow. I collected my letters and sat down at the bench by the window. The letters, dated a week apart were from my new sponsors who live in America. They sent several pictures of themselves with their children and their two dogs. Before the closing of each letter, they said that they would write again soon.

That evening, after sharing the letters with grandmother, I placed them in the box beside my sleeping mat.

Two weeks later, my name was called again during mail call. In their letter, my sponsors told me about their church and shared some Bible verses they had learned. They sent a picture of their dog playing in a yard covered in white snow, which my friends passed around and laughed over. The last lines of their letter brought tears to my eyes.

“Be sure to study hard in school and please say hello to your grandmother for us. Flora, we love you and we will write to you again very soon.”

I am happy to say that my new sponsors have kept their word. At least once a month, my name is called when it is time to pass out letters at the center. Some months I have even received two letters! They tell me all sorts of things about their lives and I love learning about them. Most importantly, they are always encouraging me and telling me that they love me and pray for me! For my birthday, they sent me a beautiful birthday card and also a financial gift that we used to buy mattresses for me and grandmother to sleep on. We even had enough left over to buy blankets and some rice!

In this last year, my little treasure box of letters has started to overflow and I have to place a rock on top of it to keep the lid shut! I will have to find a new box for them all soon! When I look over the piles of paper, my heart is so very happy. I feel like my new sponsors are my family and I know that they really do care for me and my grandmother. They tell me so in every letter they send.

I have been thankful for all of the sponsors I have had during my time in the Compassion program, but I cannot help but praise the Lord for the sponsors he has given me now! Their love and encouragement has been a tremendous blessing in my life!

~~~~~

Maybe you will be the ones to step in and bless the lives of Flora and her grandmother.

Flora (Click the picture to be taken to Flora’s page.)

While the story above is just a fictional tale, an assignment for Compassion International’s Blog Month, there really is a Flora in Tanzania who lives with her grandmother. She has already lost at least sponsor and perhaps, like many her age, she has lost several.  I don’t know if she has ever received letters from her past sponsors, but a majority of Compassion children rarely or never hear their name called on letter day.

Despite the fictional aspect of this account, you have the ability to help write the next chapter of Flora’s story. As she completes the last three years of the Compassion program, you have the ability to provide the support and encouragement she needs.

Will you consider doing just that?

Click on Flora’s picture to learn a little more about her.

(Edited to add: Compassion added and removed quite a few children on the site this morning. While Flora is no longer on the US site, this story could be told for any number of the older children on the website. To take a look at them, please click here.)

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(All photos within this post are from the Compassion Blog. Please click on the pictures to be taken to their original posts!)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Mail Call Monday!

Several Mondays each month, Compassion International sponsors link up to share the news from their sponsored children around the world.

I must have walked back and forth to the mailbox five times today, hoping to find a beloved cream colored envelope. The mail was running late and, when it finally did come, there were only bills, junk mail and catalogs. Disappointment.

Thankfully, I do have something to share for Mail Call Monday today, though! Last week, we received yet another letter from our handsome Rodrigo in Bolivia.

Rodrigopicnik

What a blessing that Rodrigo had been writing to us once or twice a month recently!

In this most recent letter, he thanks us for all of the letter we send him and responds to one we sent a few months ago. We shared how Kaya and Luna have been taking horseback riding lessons and used the wonderful online letter writing tool from the Compassion International website to attach pictures to our letter.

Rodrigo told us about a time when he was able to ride a horse and that he and his siblings thought it was a lot of fun. He told us how his family is doing and that his tutors help him a lot. (Rodrigo receives extra help with schoolwork when he attends the Compassion center on Saturdays.)

Rodrigo closes his letter, “I always keep you in my heart with all of my love and tenderness.” Oh, so sweet.

Today I noticed that there are eight children from Rodrigo’s project that are waiting for sponsors.

BO281(Click the image above to see them on the Compassion site.)

While I couldn’t guarantee that they are all as sweet and loving as Rodrigo, I do know that their child development center does a good job fostering relationships through letter writing. Maybe you would consider sponsoring one of Rodrigo’s project mates?

Back to Mail Call, did you receive any letters from your sponsored children this week? If so, please feel free to share in the comment section or by joining our Mail Call link-up below!

Also, if you join in on the Mail Call, please be sure to tell your readers that you’re linking up with Blogging From The Boonies’ Mail Call Monday and link back to this post! You’re free to grab the Mail Call image at the top of this post as well!

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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sunday Praise

Today’s video is from my friend Julie, who just returned from a trip to Uganda. Julie is the author of the blog Come to my Rescue and she has got a heart for the needy children of the world.

This video was taken on Julie’s recent trip and it shows the residents of a Ugandan orphanage singing praises to our God. The beauty of the moment and those voices brings tears to my eyes.

 

What about you?

May your Sunday be blessed, friends!

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(P.S. There is just a week left in Compassion’s Blog Month! I’ve been blessed to hear about the sponsorships that have come through BFTB. If you’re considering sponsoring a child (or another child), please click through the Compassion banner at the top of my blog or any link I’ve posted that directs you to Compassion’s website! Thank you!)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Time to Think Christmas!

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Because of the many stops along the way, letters and packages sent to our Compassion International children need to be sent early enough to allow two to three month to travel. (You can find out why it takes this long in this post: Letter Writing 101)

If you plan to send a Christmas card or some goodies to your sponsored child’s family, you might want to start putting some thought into doing that very soon!

Through Compassion International, we are allowed to send flat, paper or cardstock items that fit within these requirements. 

Because of strict mailing and customs regulations in the various countries where Compassion works, we cannot send our field offices items that exceed 8-1/2" x 11" and 1/4" thick.

(Read more about sending goodies here.)

Even with these mailing restrictions, we can get creative and send many neat items to our beloved Compassion children.

In years past, I have sent a variety of cute goodies for Christmas.

Nativity Sticker Scenes

Color Your Own Cross Ornaments

Color Scratch Angels

Stained Glass Nativity Coloring Pages

Most of the things from the Oriental Trading Company come in sets of a dozen, so if you have less than 12 sponsor children, you can send extras along and ask your child to share!

You can also find  many great ideas by visiting this in-depth post from the OurCompassion site.           Cool Links from OC

While you’re on the OurCompassion site, you can read what other sponsors are thinking of sending for Christmas, too! Now, you certainly do not have to send extra goodies to your child for the holidays, but if you would like to, there are lots of ideas for you! A simple Christmas card will surely be enjoyed and treasured by your child!

Have you been thinking about sending out your Christmas packages yet? I would love to hear your ideas in the comments section below!

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Don’t miss out on posts from Blogging from the Boonies! You can follow a number of ways!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday’s Feature – Older Children

As I shared earlier this month, when looking through the children waiting on the Compassion International website, one group of children I search for are the oldest children on the website.

OldestKids

The minute I heard the statistic, it made sense to me. When it comes to sponsorship, people are usually drawn to the younger set and girls get chosen more often, too. I’ve noticed, looking over a table full of child packets, those little girls do tend to grab attention! Call it the “Awww Factor”, we’re drawn to chubby cheeks and ponytails.

But, there are many wonderful reasons why sponsoring an older child or a young man or woman would be a blessing.

  • If you’re concerned about the financial commitment of sponsorship, sponsoring an older child with just a few years left in the program might be a better choice for you. (Depending on the country, participation in the program lasts until anywhere between age 19 and age 22. You can email Compassion to ask about the completion date of any child you’re interested in!)
  • Being further along in their education, you might find that you have a more rewarding letter writing relationship with an older child. While I was initially worried about being pared up with our Johan, a young man from India, I have been so blessed with our connection through letters!
  • You have the option to get a lot more “in-depth” with your discipleship of an older child. As this young person moves into adulthood, you can share your walk and studies with the Lord in a deeper way.

It is worth remembering, almost every child on the Compassion International website who is over the age of ten has already been dropped by at least one sponsor. A child in their late teens may have even been dropped three, four or more times while being a part of Compassion.  They may be jaded and cynical and it may take a while for them to open up. But, with your dedication and encouragement, you can minister to them and make a wonderful impact in their life as they finish up their time in the program and make the transition into adulthood.

If you would like to look over some of the older children available for sponsorship through Compassion International, please click here.

You might also like to read this post from the Compassion blog: Three Things You Should Know About Compassion Adolescents

Do you already sponsor a teen or older child through Compassion International? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments section!

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Also, don’t forget to keep in touch with Blogging from the Boonies!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Contests and Pinterest and Twitter, Oh My!

It is a rare “two posts in one day” kind of day around here!

I wanted to share a couple of different opportunities you have to, not only chat and share about Compassion International, but win some neat prizes too!

First, there will be a Compassion Twitter party tonight at 7:00 EST. A quote from an email I received will probably explain it all better than I could. I’m not so handy with the Twitterverse.

“A Twitter Party is an event where anyone registered on Twitter can attend and connect with others who have similar interests - like releasing children from poverty!

Follow the hashtag #CompassionBloggers on Twitter. TweetChat (http://tweetchat.com/) is also a great way to follow the conversation.
Everyone who participates by asking a question or making a comment with the hashtag #CompassionBloggers has the chance to win some great prizes.
For more information check out: resourcefulmommy.com.”

I also wanted to tell you about a contest Compassion is having on Pinterest. You can read more about this contest on this post from the Compassion blog.

pinterest contest

Randomly chosen winners will receive financial gifts for their sponsored children! What a blessing!

While I don’t do a lot on Pinterest, you can follow me here.

I’ll be at the Twitter party this evening and I hope to see you there!

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Not Enough

“You might actually win that trip,” Jay said to me last night after looking at the list of twenty names. Twenty Compassion International children, sponsored through Blogging from the Boonies this month. I just marveled, thinking of each of those children and the generous sponsors who stepped up to say yes.

Truth is, I haven’t really allowed myself to think too much about how I might truly be in the running to win that trip with the Compassion Bloggers in 2013. As with all of my daydreams about traveling, I keep the idea at arm’s length, worried to set myself up for disappointment.

Last night, after the discussion with my husband, my thoughts started swirling once I imagined what it would be like to actually go on a Compassion Bloggers trip.

It wasn’t long before a string of panicked thoughts poured over me.

Your blog isn’t good enough.

You really aren’t a gifted writer.

There’s no way you could come back from a day on the streets of poverty and create a creative, compelling and coherent post that evening.

You are too young in your faith and aren’t really as well versed in the Bible as you should be.

You’re really not very fashionable either. You don’t want thousands of readers to see you in frumpy mom clothes.

The trip would break you. You would never be the same again.

Don’t you remember how socially awkward you are?

You are not enough.

You’re not.

In my anxiety, I wondered why I even wanted to go on that trip in the first place. What was I thinking?

Panic is no stranger to me and I have learned that in those times I need to draw close to the One who gives me strength.  I know there is an enemy who would like to discourage me.

But, the reality is that, alone, I am not enough.

Daily, I fall short of the glory of God. Daily, I need to seek Him.

His Word ministers to my worried heart.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.              Philippians 4:6-8

For now, I will look to God for the peace that can found with Him. I’ll focus on the blessing of more children being sponsored through Compassion International and rest on the comfort that God is in control.

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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Cute Autumn Decoration

During the summer, our house is usually “decorated” with all sorts of things like dandelion bouquets, soggy towels, jars containing tadpoles, jump ropes and bike helmets.

There’s something about the cool autumn breezes and bursts of color on the trees that makes me want to cozy up our home a little. This time of year, I like to have a few scented candles around and I can’t help but want to place little pumpkins and fall type knick knacks here and there.

Yesterday was simply a gorgeous day, so I decided to see if my girls wanted to help make an autumny garland to hang over a couple of windows.

Kaya drew leaf shapes onto some watercolor paper. We discovered that maple leaves are tricky, so after the first free-hand attempt we decided to trace those. We used some fallen leaves we collected and observed the different designs and colorways on them. With watercolor paints, we attempted to capture some of the vibrant hues on paper.

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This was a great time to experiment with how colors blend on the palette and on paper.

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Once the leaves were dry, we cut them out, punched two holes into them and strung them up on a length of yarn. I think these sweet garlands look lovely hanging over our windows!

Do you have any favorite autumn themed crafts to share?

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Monday, September 17, 2012

An Opportunity to Bless Unsponsored Children

While unsponsored children of Compassion International receive the benefits that their child development center provides, what they miss out on is the connection with a person or family that has decided to sponsor them. (And, in truth, many sponsored children also happen to miss out on that bond when their sponsors do not take the effort to send letters to them.)

With Christmas being just three months away, now is the time to start thinking about sending Christmas cards and goodies to our sponsored children. I like to buy a few boxes of Christian themed cards during the post-Christmas sales, so that I have them for the following September.

We also have the opportunity to bless some of the unsponsored children in the Compassion program by sending them Christmas cards! Each and every child in the program will be given a Christmas gift out of the donations collected through the pooled Christmas Fund. Christmas will be even more special with a beautiful Christmas card to display in their home!

If you would like to send some cards out for unsponsored children, here are the details!

  • Cards should be received by Compassion by November 5, 2012 to be mailed to the field before Christmas. Cards received after November 5 may be held until next year.
  • An individual sponsor may send up to 25 cards per package, without attachments (i.e. photos, stickers, etc.). You can decorate the card with stickers, you just cannot send a sheet of stickers with the card.
  • Cards should be mailed to:

Compassion International

Attention: Suzanne Hall

12290 Voyager Parkway

Colorado Springs CO 80921-3668

 

Because we do not know who will be receiving the cards, I tend to make the message inside encouraging but suitable for all ages and gender.  In the past, we have shared that God has a plan for the child’s life and quoted Jeremiah 29:11. Our messages have been just 5-7 sentences to help with translation.  We like to pray over the package before we send it out as well.

We write the message on the right hand side of the card and leave the left hand side blank for translation.

You do not have to include your sponsor number or an envelope with the cards.

I’m ready to go dig out my boxes of cards from last year and sit down with my girls and get to work!

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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday Praise

Today, I am praising the Lord for Josphat, Mercy, Pablo, Amisha, Olson, Roodline, Bo, Lynder, Kauany, Nicol, Brena, Angel, Elisha, Anderson, Marlon, Hugo, Alycia and Elvis.  I’m praising the Lord for their sponsors who have taken the step of faith this month to click “Sponsor This Child”. I am rejoicing for friends, with generous and compassionate hearts, who are reaching out to lift up these children.

Today, I am thankful for grace – the unmerited favor that God gives us.

 

Today, I am praying for Grace and Grace and Grace.

grace (Click the picture above to take a look at these three girls.)

I hope you have a wonderful Sunday!

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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Blogger Assignment #2

During September, Compassion’s blog month, we are given weekly assignments to share on our blog.

Admittedly, this week’s assignment feels a bit awkward to me. We’re to write a letter to God about child sponsorship and share it on our blog. 

You see, I talk to God about Compassion sponsorship a lot. If not every day, then at least several times a week. I’d like to think I have a direct line to God and I’m not really sure He follows Blogging from the Boonies on His Google Reader, but anyway….

I’ll go along with this assignment, even if I feel a little silly doing so. ;)

Dear God,

When I think back to that conversation I had with a friend in May of 2009, what stands out is that nudge I felt in my heart. When she mentioned getting a letter from her Compassion International child, I knew that, without a doubt, I needed to look into the organization.

I felt that same unmistakable nudge to my heart when I first laid eyes on the shy face of a little girl from Ghana.

Compassion 033

As I looked through the children on the Compassion website, wondering how we could possibly choose, the message came loud and clear when my focus landed on Precious.

Here is your child.”

I didn’t know, when I clicked the Sponsor This Child button, that You were planning to take this small step and change the direction of my life.

But You did.

 A changed perspective. A passion to change the lives of the “least of these”, one child at a time and one sponsor at a time. A heart broken over the way some in this world suffer and a heart renewed to see miracle after miracle.

In this journey You have laid for me, You have helped me to be more open to your gentle promptings. You have helped me to be more obedient when I feel that now familiar nudge on my heart. You have helped me to see how blessed we are with “enough” and how we can actually do something when we decide not to do nothing.

Father, your Word tells me:

 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.  Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.  And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.  As it is written:

“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
their righteousness endures forever.”

 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.  You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. (2 Cor 9: 6-11)

While I still feel so very young in my faith and my walk with You, my faith is strengthened to see how the promises in Your Word ring true. You have blessed us so abundantly.

Lord, I just thank you. Thank you the path you’ve set before me. Thank you for all of the beautiful children you’ve put in my life. Thank you for seeing fit to use me, in some small way. Thank you for nudging my heart and changing my life in a hundred different ways.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Will you Have Mercy?

Looking over the children waiting on the Compassion International website, I have seen many names that have struck me. Names like Blessing and Grace and Fortunate. And then there is the orphaned girl named Lucky, who is still waiting for a sponsor.

Today’s featured child was also chosen because of her name.

**Praise the Lord, Mercy has been sponsored!**

Mercy

Mercy

Mercy is a seven year old girl who lives in Uganda with her uncle.  She’s been waiting 223 days for a sponsor.

When I think of the word mercy, I think of the compassionate treatment our God has shown to us. Most of us were born into families who had “enough”. Whether or not we consider ourselves rich by American standards, I would bet that everyone reading this today has access to food and clean water.

I think of how we are able to show mercy to others by sharing a little of our “plenty”.

Will one of you consider showing mercy to Mercy today?

Through this blog, I have come to know a lovely woman by the name of Beverly. Beverly is going to Uganda in January and has a gift to take to Mercy on behalf of her new sponsor.

deb dress 2 (1)

My friend Deb has made these two sweet dresses – one for Mercy and one for this cute new dolly.

If any of my readers would like to step up to sponsor Mercy, please contact me after you do so, so that I can make arrangements for this package to be delivered to her in January!

He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

Will you choose to love Mercy today?

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Monday, September 10, 2012

Mail Call Monday!

Several Mondays each month, Compassion International sponsors link up to share the news from their sponsored children around the world.

Last week, we received a letter from Kazihizina in Rwanda.

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The first thing I noticed when I pulled the letter from the envelope, was that she has decorated the paper with sticker we had sent her last year.  I couldn’t help but think of the journey those stickers took, from New York to Colorado to Rwanda and back again!

Thank you for the letters you sent me. It made me happy, so you did good. You are always in my heart. Myself and my mother loves you so much together with your family also.”

Ah, I just love this sweet closing to her letter. We don’t hear from Kazihzina very often, but we keep sending our love and prayers her way, hoping she knows how special she is to us!

Today, I received copies of Yishak’s updated profile photo. He has grown a lot in the three years we’ve been blessed to know him.

Compassion 053                          Yishak2012

So what about you?  Have you received any letters from your Compassion children lately? If so, please feel free to share in the comment section or by joining our Mail Call link-up below!

Also, if you join in on the Mail Call, please be sure to tell your readers that you’re linking up with Blogging From The Boonies’ Mail Call Monday and link back to this post! You’re free to grab the Mail Call image at the top of this post as well!

If you’re new to these parts, thanks to Jessica’s sweet post about me and my passion for Compassion, please take a minute to click one of the options on the right hand sidebar and connect with the BFTB community!

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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Four on my Heart

**All of these featured children have been sponsored!**

Today, I’d like to share four children with you.  While searching the Compassion International website this morning, these four orphans pulled at my heart for various reasons.

Olson

Thirteen year old Olson from Haiti lives with just his brother and sister. My heart always goes out to households being run by young people. What an enormous strain it must be on the oldest child, to look after and care for siblings. This family could certainly use an adult to step in and help provide support and encouragement.

Talemwa

The look on the face of dapper-dressed Talemwa is what drew me to him.  Now, I know that you can’t really read too much into the scowls on the children’s faces in these pictures.  Sometimes, they children have been waiting in line for a long time and they may be nervous about having their picture taken. Still, the combination of the sharp vest and the serious expression caught my eye.

Francis

I can’t help but want to hug sweet little Francis. This eight year old boy lives with his aunt and uncle in Tanzania.

Lucky

It was the name that drew me to Lucky in Tanzania. Lucky is not a word that I would immediately connect with a young lady who has lost her parents. Yet, maybe today is the lucky day that she is chosen by a sponsor who will encourage and support her as she finishes up her time in the Compassion program.

If you have a moment, click each child’s picture to see their profile page and learn more about them. Please pray that their wait for a sponsor would end soon.

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