Sunday, March 31, 2013

He Is Risen!

 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Thoughts on an Empty Stomach

Yesterday, we participated on Compassion International’s One Meal-One Day event.

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When I woke up in the morning, I had a cup of coffee and reflected on the day and experience to come. I am not really a breakfast eater, so while my girls had something to eat first thing in the morning, I started the day with over 9 hours without food already under my belt.

8:30am – Kaya and Luna seem excited to see how long they can go without food today and, admittedly, I am curious as to how the day will play out. Our plan is to skip mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks and also lunch. Dinner will be a very basic rice and beans dish. I chose that dinner specifically for the connection to many of our sponsor children.

11:00am – My stomach is starting to growl a bit and I wish that I had chosen to have a little something to eat this morning with my girls. While watching a documentary, Luna stated that she had tried hard but wanted to eat and that she was very hungry.  This experience was never something I would force, so she had some graham crackers. Recently she has been going through some kind of growth spurt and has been eating so frequently.  It makes me wonder how children in the developing world get through their growth spurts during those times when their bodies require even more calories. I think of the heartache a mother must feel when there simply isn’t food available to give to hungry children.

Kaya says she is a little hungry but she has been busy working on a Science Fair display board and says that she thinks that keeping busy helps keep her mind off of her growling stomach.

12:10pm – I’m struck by the number of food related posts on Facebook and how each one tempts me when I am hungry. Over 11 hours without eating and post showing a picture of a hamburger and french fries causes me to stop and drool. Ironic, seeing as I am a vegetarian.

12:30pm – Jay comes home from work to have his lunch. It is hard to sit and have a conversation with him while he is eating.

I realize that I have a slight headache creeping in and am also noticing that I am having a harder time concentrating. My head seems sort of foggy. I drink a big bottle of water and think of how blessed I am to have access to it!

2:00pm – It is time to walk to the mailbox and I feel the physical effects of going over 15 hours without food. It is hard for me to tell if what I am feeling is psychosomatic or not, but I feel an ache in my arms and legs and my energy is very low. I wonder how people in various countries deal with hard physical labor and tasks like carrying big buckets of water for long distances while feeling the effects of chronic hunger.

At this point, it is hard to keep my thoughts from drifting to food.

Several times now, I have reminded Kaya that she is free to eat, but she is determined to wait until dinner to break her fasting.  While she told me that she is very hungry, she says that she hasn’t felt the physical symptoms that I have. I am proud of her for going over six hours so far!

3:00pm – While sitting at the computer, I catch a glimpse of something next to me that looks like a big bug scooting by.  I honestly think that I might have just hallucinated because after moving everything around me, there is no bug to be found. I search for a few minutes and then give up, wondering if the fogginess of my head could cause me to see something that wasn’t truly there.

About ten minutes later, I realize I wasn’t hallucinating when a giant spider made another appearance on my counter. I am relived that I wasn’t “seeing things”.

4:00pm – The end of our One Meal-One day experience is near and I decide to interview our Kaya to see what she thought about it all.

Towards the end of the video, when she mentioned how people live like that every day, tears came to her eyes. Kaya’s always been such a sensitive soul and I just know that one day she will take that deep sense of compassion and do great things in this world!

4:30pm – Dinner is started a little early and rice and beans have never smelled so good! Kaya had several servings and remarked on how good it tasted.

We are truly blessed that, for us, this was simply an experience we chose to do, not something borne out of necessity. I cannot imagine hunger as a daily reality.  The physical and emotional toll it takes on a person is crippling, no doubt.

I gained a bit of perspective and am inspired by Kaya’s suggestion that we do something like this on a monthly basis. Our small sacrifice and donation to Compassion’s supplimental food fund can make an impact in the life of a child.

Did you participate in One Meal-One Day? I would love to hear how it went for you.  If you did not get a chance to make your donation to Compassion’s fund yet, you can feel free to hop over to their secure giving site and do so at anytime.

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Today is the Day!

Like many American households, the kitchen tends to be the center of our home. Aside from the regular three meals a day, there are plenty of snacks eaten in between.

Today is going to be different.

Today we will be participating in Compassion’s One Meal - One Day.

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One Meal - One Day is an annual event that unites thousands of people with the challenge to skip a meal, experience hunger and give funds so that children in poverty can receive the help they desperately need.

In years past, we have donated funds to the One Meal - One Day cause, but this year we are committed to actually skipping snacks and a meal in order to get a better idea of what hunger feels like.

Like most people in the First World, we don’t have a real picture of what hunger  really is. Even after this one day experiment, we still will not truly understand what it is like to live with chronic hunger. However, I do hope that it will open our eyes a bit.

Our plan is to have breakfast but to skip mid-morning snack, lunch and mid-afternoon snack. I am encouraging my two girls to do this as well, but I will not force them to participate if they decide that they really want to eat.  I am hoping that they will follow through with the entire experience, though.

While experiencing the gnawing sense of hunger is one aspect of this event, I also think it is good to broaden our minds and learn how others in this world deal with their lack of food.

Earlier this week, I learned about Hatian mud cookies.

I also read up on pagpag, a type of food scavenged from the garbage in the Philippines. You can learn more about it here.

My research only reinforced what I already knew.

Those of us with access to food and clean water on a daily basis are truly blessed in ways we do not fully understand or appreciate.

Today, I will ask you, even if you do not have the desire to skip a meal, will you consider donating even just $5 to Compassion’s One Meal – One Day fund drive? Your small sacrifice can bring the comfort of a filling and nutritious meal to a child in Ethiopia, where the funds will be focused in the coming year.

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Please follow this link to a secure First Giving site to make your donation.

Thank you so much!

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thursday This & That

Around the house… the girls are working on a bit of learning while sunshine streams into the windows. It is still cold in our neck of the woods, but the angle (and mere presence) of the sun tells us that spring is near!

Our plans for the day… include heading out for homeschool group at the YMCA and running some errands.  Tonight, Jay and I are going to be working a Compassion table at a Ken Davis comedy show. I love working tables with my husband, so I am looking forward to an evening away with him. I’m also praying that some children will find sponsors tonight!

Some pictures from the past weeks…

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Winter is still holding on!

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We had a homeschool field trip to a sugar shack!

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And we even got to see how maple syrup was made long ago!

One of the highlights of my past week… was receiving my sponsorship pendant!

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Dawn from Funky Fish Designs did a wonderful job on this piece and I love wearing it! I have already had several conversations pop up about Compassion International sponsorship, thanks to people noticing the pendant and asking about it!

Click the button above to check out Funky Fish on Facebook!

Do you have a little bit of This & That to share, or maybe a This & That blog post to link! Feel free to leave a comment below!

I’ll be slamming another cup of coffee before I head out for a busy day! I hope that your day is wonderful, friends!

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Monday, March 11, 2013

Mail Call Monday!

Several Mondays each month, Compassion International sponsors link together to share some of the blessings that arrived in their mailboxes.

Today’s mail brought a couple of letters from our beloved Uganda!

The first was from our little Madina, Luna’s “special friend”.

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Not only was there a form letter on the topic of “My Festivals and Holidays”, but there was also a second sheet of paper attached with an additional message.

The form letter consisted of a few topics and check boxes about Christmas and New Years. I am not necessarily a fan of the form letters because of their limited options but I am glad that there is a section set aside for a personal note. In the area for free-writing, there was a sweet message. It was by far one of the most personal letters we have had from Madina.

“Please extend greetings from our family to you and yours and that you are a blessing to us. How is Kaya?  Please say hello to Luna and that I love them so much. Greeting to Nico, too. We enjoy the letters you send to me. Thanks for the prayers. It is so good that you think about me. I also think about you and pray for you. I didn’t know about the Monarch caterpillars. How are Scruffy and Chauncey? You asked if I know the end of Daniel’s story and it ends when Daniel is victorious and not eaten by lions.”

The other piece of paper that was attached was an added bonus.

“I thank you for the beautiful birthday card you sent to me, may God bless you so much. Thanks for the beautiful Beginner’s Bible. It is lovely and I always read it and share with my friends. [I think she is referring to the Bible Compassion hands out to the children.] May God bless you so much for the beautiful gifts you send to me in the packages. I love the nice stickers and the booklet of the newborn King. [A reference to the coloring booklet we sent a few months ago.] We have had a camp and the theme was from Jeremiah 29:11. I have learned that God cares and has good plans for you, me and everyone. I love you so much, Madina”

I was so blessed by these messages from our little sweetie!

The next letter we received was from Onen, a young man sponsored by our church.

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“I greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. How are you all doing? I hope all is well with you. I hope you had a great Christmas and I am happy that you went through the New Year alive and I thank God for that! I had a good Christmas because I travelled to my village in Kaberamaido to live with my grandparents. We ate a lot of food and drank soda and I got to play with my long time friends Luke and Michael and Louino Juliet on the New Year. I watched fireworks with my family and had a great time in the village. How did you spend your Christmas and New Year? I would also like to thank you for the pictures and also for the wonderful words that you wrote in the letters.  I am glad that Kaya made 11 years. I love you so much and may the Almighty God bless you. I pray that the Almighty blesses you and grants you whatever you desire. I wish you a Happy New Year.”

Another sweet and personal letter that just made me smile! I have been just SO blessed by the letters we receive from our children in Uganda!

What about you? Have you heard from any of your Compassion children lately? Please feel free to share in the comments section of this post!

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Friday, March 8, 2013

One Meal–One Day

As six year olds are prone to doing, our Luna must be close to another growth spurt.

The kitchen is a busy place as she comes to “graze” several times in between meals. The thought came to me a few days ago – how hard it must be to look into the face of a child who is truly hungry and tell them there is nothing to be had.

It is a reality that is hard to fathom for most of us here in the United States.

In some countries, an average child may have some weak tea for breakfast and one bland meal in a day’s time.

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Owen, a Compassion graduate, told me about how his mother would put a pot of water on to boil some days, hoping that they would find something, anything, to put in that pot. Many days, they fell asleep waiting…..

Each year, Compassion International hosts an event called One Meal One Day.

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One Meal One Day is an annual event that unites thousands of people with the challenge to skip a meal, experience hunger and give funds so that children in poverty can receive the help they desperately need.

I know that our family could join in the challenge and skip a meal! I’d love to invite the Blogging From the Boonies community to join us!

Will you take a minute to visit the

BFTB event page on First Giving?

My goal is to come together as a community and raise $200 dollars! If you are on Facebook, you can visit and share the event page there as well!

Together, we can make a small sacrifice and make a difference in the lives of hungry children in Ethiopia!

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Friday, March 1, 2013

Friday Feature

A few times a week, I like to hop over to the Compassion International website to look at and pray over the children who are available for sponsorship.

As I mentioned in this post, I have a bit of a method of how I look through the children. The listing of orphans is usually my first stop.

Yesterday, as I was looking and praying, I came across a young man that caught my eye and tugged on my heart.

Proceed to our secure online form

It was Abdu's bare feet that first caught my eye. 

I have a heart for Uganda and a soft spot for teens of that country. I cannot say how much I have enjoyed corresponding with our Ugandan teens.

Reading more about Abdu, I found that he lives with foster parents who are also church workers. He shares the home with 9 other children, and I assume that the foster parents have taken in a number of orphans. I also see that, despite the hardships, Abdu manages to be listed as above average in schooling.

While I do believe that all children are special, when I look at Abdu I see something different, unique, "set apart". I would just love to see him sponsored by someone who will be a devoted part of his life.

Will you take a minute to look at Abdu's profile and pray over him?

Praise God!

Abdu has been sponsored!

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