Do you have Just a Minute?

We have all been impacted by someone. As a teenager, I was deeply impacted by one of the leaders of my first trip to the former Soviet Union. We were standing in a pizza parlor in the middle of Red Square when he said something that I’ve never ever forgotten. It was a moment that would eventually come to define the person I am today.

I wrote about that moment here and much to my delight and surprise, Wess Stafford, President of Compassion International has used that very story, along with many others (including one from Shaun Groves who also wrote up a wonderful post about the book), in his newest book, Just a Minute. Compiling stories that reveal the power of just a quick moment to impact a life, Wess Stafford’s new book is inspiring, encouraging and filled with sweet moments that reveal the impact we can have on a child’s life if we’re willing to take the time to speak wisdom and encouragement and love.

And it only takes Just a Minute.

Tonight as I sent the kids to bed after what can only be described as a long and arduous day, Sloan asked me to sit down and read with him. I didn’t want to. The arduosity (that should totally be a word) of the day was mostly due to him and his eight-year-old boyness and quite frankly all I wanted was for the house to be quiet so I could curl up in the corner.

But then I thought about this quote from Just a Minute:The time is now, while their spirits are soft and impressions are easily made. Tomorrow’s leaders, in whose hands the future rests, will still climb into your lap today, run to your embrace, laugh at your jokes, listen to your wisdom, and comfort you with tiny arms and big hugs. But not for long. In a few short years, the clay will harden, and they will inherit the corridors of power and start making the decisions that will shape your world.”

The selfish and tired part of me wanted to just shoo him off to bed with empty promises of “another night” but I couldn’t shake the thought that this moment was precious and fleeting. So we climbed into his bed together and laughed heartily at Calvin and Hobbes, while he sat nestled in the crook of my arm, still more boy than man but every day changing and growing with lightening speed.

And let’s face it, my first born truly does have the potential to wield great power over my world one day.

Will he put me in the scary nursing home where I’m left alone in a dark corner or the happy one that looks like a spa and serves me ice cold Jello and Nutella three times a day while I lay snug in my cozy feather bed?

Here’s to hoping he remembers the little moments when I’m old and frail, right?

Right Sloan? I know you’re going to read this…

If you haven’t considered sponsoring a child through Compassion International, I would really encourage you to do so today. We received another letter and picture from our sponsored child yesterday and I marveled at how much he had grown. He is the same age as my Sloan and in the two years since we’ve be writing to him he has lost his little boy look and is developing the more mature look of a young man.

How I pray for this developing leader, as I pray for my own children. We talk about him as if he were a part of our family and it’s because he is. And signing up to sponsor him? Well, it only took just a minute.

This isn’t meant to be a pitch or to make anyone feel guilty. I truly believe in the power of Compassion International to change a child’s life and give him hope for the future. I believe in this because I’ve spent time reading about the work they do, and seeing the hearts of those who lead.

If I can encourage you to do anything today it would be to purchase the book Just a Minute, to hug and encourage a young one near you and to consider how you can impact not only the children closest to you, but also those around the world who need someone in their corner.

For more information on the book, visit this site.


Meet me in St. Louey

The kids and I are in St. Louis for the week. It’s been an amazing, wonderful, refreshing week filled with many emotions. How blessed I am to have amazing mentors who love me and pour into me. It is humbling.

Sine I didn’t bring my computer and tapping a post out on the iPad would be terribly painful, I instead would love for you to visit the Compassion site and read some of the amazing stories coming out of Ecuador. They are hilarious and beautiful and very, very moving.

Please check the bloggers out and consider sponsoring a child through Compassion. The experience is one you will never, ever regret.

Blessings everyone! I’m off to try and warm up. Four months in Florida and I think my blood may have already thinned. I’m freezing up here. Of course, I did leave my warm coat at home in the interest of traveling light. I miss St. Louis….I don’t miss frigid air.

Can I get an amen?

Compassion Bloggers in Philippines

A few years ago I started reading about a ministry called Compassion International.  And I dismissed it.

I had seen the ads on television for child sponsorship programs before.  You know, the ones with a tearful celebrity begging you to give up one cup of coffee every day so a child could eat.  Not that I don’t think those programs are wonderful, but I was just desensitized to the weepy pitch.  So when blog post after blog post began popping up about Compassion, my first reaction was to ignore them.

I hate jumping on bandwagons and this seemed like an online Christian bandwagon.  I’m revealing a bit of evidence of my sad, stubborn little heart to you all today…

After the Compassion bloggers went to India, though, I began to take notice of this organization a little more.  I was impressed by several things -first, Compassion is serious about meeting the needs of children.  Sponsorship money goes to the child and is used honestly and wisely and lovingly to make sure that children living in poverty are given hope for the future.

Second, the hearts behind those involved with Compassion are so humble, tender and filled with love.  Compassion has a purpose to “release children from poverty in Jesus’ name.”  They take this purpose seriously and it really made an impression on me.

Finally, I couldn’t help but be impressed by how well this ministry utilized social media for the greater good of humanity.  I’m not sure you’ll find another organization that is better utilizing social media tools like Twitter, Facebook and blogging to bring hope, healing, faith and love to the most remote areas of the world.  I’m seriously amazed by what they do.

So, I finally got over my silly pride and we sponsored a child from the Philippines named Jonri, and what a blessing it has been.  The kids LOVE to get letters from Jonri and to draw pictures in return.  Admittedly we have not done a good job of consistently writing him and we are working on communicating with him more.  But it has blessed our family to know that Jonri is being loved and cared for and he is definately prayed for.

This week, Compassion has another group of lovely bloggers touring none other than the Philippines and the stories coming out of the country are beautiful and moving.  You will be blessed to follow their journey.  And if you feel led to sponsor a child, you can rest assured your money is not squandered or wasted.  It is well spent and you will be impacting a child’s life forever.

That’s a bandwagon that’s totally worth jumping on, in my opinion.

Send Emilda to The Special Olympics


Social media has made the world smaller.  It has connected us to one another in ways that were not possible even ten years ago.  Through social media, we now have the power to hear and see the plight of those on the other side of the world. 

And we can act.

It’s not a matter of if we should.  We just should.  Let’s think big.  Not only for the good of others, but for the blessings that come upon us as well.  The knowledge that we took part in something bigger than us.

Emilda is an 18 year-old Compassion International sponsored child with the mental capacity of a three year-old. She lives in a squatter community in the Philippines. And she’s fast!

In 2009 Emilda competed in the Philippine Special Olympics and she performed well enough to qualify for the World Special Olympics in Athens, Greece this Summer. But she needs your help to get there.

Emilda’s parents are unable to pay her way to Greece and neither is the Philippine government. Her need is $19,857.

This is more than just helping a little girl run a race.  This is showing a little girl that her talents and gifts are worth celebrating.  This is helping a little girl see a dream come true.  This is showing a little girl’s parents that the world knows…and we care.

Would you like to help send Emilda to the Olympics?  You can do so quickly and easily by clicking right here.  If you’d like to read more about Emilda and her amazing talent that has provided her this opportunity, head over here.  Grab a box of kleenex first, though.

We have the power to work together for the good of this sweet and beautiful little girl.  I don’t know about you, but that makes me smile.  If you would like to share this amazing opportunity with others, use the information below:

Donations can be made at:

Pictures and more information about Emilda are available at:

When asking others to give please use the following link:

Or this shorter link:

Let’s do this together and cheer Emilda on to the finish line!  Thanks everyone.

Compassion International: Christmas Giving


Last week, I attended a monthly Bible study led by Carol Prosser, the woman who runs my kids preschool and my second mom growing up.  Her daughter, Lindsey and I were joined at the hip as teenagers so I spent as much time at Carol’s house as I did at my own.  Lindsey and I had many adventures together (galavanting through Ukraine, crashing my car, crashing her car, pulling middle of the night pranks, all around acting spastic…) and she remains one of my dearest and sweetest friends.

Outside of my own mother and mother-in-law, I believe Carol has had the greatest impact on me as a young mom.  In addition to pouring into my kids, she also pours into me (and all the other moms at the preschool).  She offers encouragement and support and is a wealth of knowledge on how to raise and train children who love the Lord.  I am truly grateful for her influence in my life.

At last week’s study, Carol encouraged us to find ways to serve others with our kids this holiday season.  One nugget she placed in my heart was donating to a worthy cause with the kids.  Several wonderful organization were listed as places where you could purchase a well for a needy family, or formula for hungry babies, or goats or chickens for families living in poverty.  This got my wheels turning and I began to search for a way for us to donate as a family.

As I looked, I found myself wishing that Compassion International had a place where such donations could be made.  Not that the other organization’s listed aren’t fantastic, but I have a heart for Compassion and what they are doing and wanted to be able to donate through them.

And lo and behold, one day later I received an email about Compassion’s Gift Guide offering people the chance to help release a child from poverty/sickness/despair in Jesus’ name.  It was an immediate answer to an inner prayer and I was thrilled to jump on board.

We’re making this fun and a little bit unique.  I don’t want to give all the details because it will spoil the surprise, but we will be purchasing a goat or two tonight.  We’re going to let the kids choose exactly what they would like to purchase.  I’ll post an update in a couple of weeks with all the fun details but I can tell you this – when we told the kids we were thinking about buying a goat for Christmas they were stoked.  I believe Sloan’s exact words were “Oh my GOSH – that. is. rockin’.” 

They were slightly disappointed when we told them the goat wasn’t for us.

But they loved the idea of helping out those who are in need.  I’ve already told you about my sweet boy’s tender heart here and here.  He truly has a heart for others and I love to see how it manifests itself in his giving.  And I’m beginning to notice the seeds of compassion take root in Tia’s heart.  In general she is less aware of others than her brother.  I think it’s partly the nature of her personality, partly the result of being a second child and partly caused by being constantly overshadowed by her older brother.

But recently there has been a bit of tenderness that has seeped through her rough and tumble little heart.  Sloan is so much like his dad – so willing to give, so conscious of others.  Tia is more like me – she’s introspective and guarded and she has a tendency to guard her emotions. I love watching her process the plight and need of others.  It’s very sweet to see the way she quietly lets all the information soak in.  That is when it’s not floating in one ear and out the other, of course… 


Giving is very easy to do.  Simply click this link to send a gift to a family that needs your…well…compassion.  There are several different gifts you can choose – from a mosquito net, which will protect a child from the spread of malaria, to a small business start up, to a water well and so on.  Make it fun for everyone! 

This is a new holiday tradition that we want to start with the kids each year.  And I’m excited to see how it affects the way they view the holidays, especially as they grow older.

So what about you?  What do you do during the holidays to make them fun and special and memorable?

Image credit

How to go from reverent to irreverent without even really trying…


If ever you ask my seven year old to pray before a meal, I suggest you make sure you’re not starving.  Because Sloan?  He brings it when he prays.  All I need is a tent and a white hanky and Glory, Hallelujah we’ve got a revival.

Landon and Tia, try as they might, have a very difficult time making it through one of Sloan’s prayers without sneaking a bite or four.  Sloan has been known to pray up to five minutes or more.  He thanks God for everything from his toys to the military.  He prays for poor people and for everyone he can think of by name.  He prays for his own attitude and, on any given day, could likely be heard praying that his sister’s attitude would change too.

Last night’s dinnertime prayer went something like this:

Dear Lord.  You are the Creator.  You created.  Everything.  God.  You are our Lord.  Thanks for being our Lord.  And for being our Savior.  Thank you for, um, the veterens (which he pronounces vechrins).  Thank you that they protect us and keep us safe.  Thank you for Mr. Nevil that he fought to protect our country.  We are very glad for them.  Thank you for the Army vechrins and the Navy and…um…the Air Force.  And all of the people that serve.  It’s just awesome that they do that for us.  Give them glory, Lord. 

We thank you for Jonri (our Compassion child), God.  He is poor.  But he’s not poor anymore because we can help him to not be poor.  And thank you that he will get Christmas presents.  We pray for all the poor people, God.  We pray that they will have food.  And toys.

Lord you are very great.  God.  Thank you for our family (lists everyone from grandparents to aunts and uncles and cousins). Thank you for all my friends (lists as many as he can think of by name).   And, God.  I pray that I would have a good attitude.  Thank you that I had a good day today and was nice and happy.  And thank you that Tia was nice to me today and we could have a little fun.

*It’s at this point that Lee and I are trying not to crack up as Landon, with his head down and his eyes squinted open begins grabbing food and putting it in his mouth, then clasping his hands together again while he prays and chews.  My grandmother would have told him he was going to choke for sneaking food during prayer.

We just thank you for everything you give us, Lord.  And it is in your Holy, Powerful Name we pray…In Jesus Name.


It’s not hard to understand why Jesus commanded us to let the little children come to him.  There is no holding back in the sincere prayers of a child.  I am always blessed by Sloan’s prayers, no matter how lengthy they may be. 

As soon as Sloan finished his prayer, we all echoed the Amen and picked up our forks to eat.  But wait!  Tia wanted to pray.  So we bowed again.  Her prayers are generally short, sweet and to the point.

Dear Wowrd.  Fank you dat we have a gweat famiwy.  And fank you dat you dive us dis food.  And…well…amen.


Ah the reverence.  I was momentarily tempted to pat myself on the back for raising such wonderful, thoughtful children. 

Then I was humbled.

After the beautiful prayers, the meal took a slight downhill turn.  We picked up our forks again and Lee thanked the kids for being willing to pray.  Half of Landon’s plate was, of course, clean.  Everything was gone  except his meat…naturally.  I made beef stew.  It was delicious but I will admit…it didn’t look appealing.  Tia put it a…different way.

She looked down at the pile of meat on her plate and wrinkled her nose.

Is dis poop?!”

And thus, the reverence of the moment was totally gone.  Sloan cracked up and Landon looked with great disdain at his plate.  It took several minutes to convince him that I did not, indeed, prepare poop for dinner.

We started off grand, though, didn’t we?

Compassion International: Tell Us Your Story

It is no secret that I love Compassion International.  Sponsoring a child has been such a great experience for our family.  Our kids love to talk about our sponsored child, Jonri, and what he’s doing.  We love to receive letters in the mail with a picture he’s drawn.  And there is no sweeter prayer than that of our four year old daughter: “Deaw Dod.  Pwease be wif Jonwi an helwp him know about You.”

Let’s all say it together…Awwwwwww.

So when I received an email today from the Compassion team asking if I would join with others to tell my own story of how I was impacted as a youth and how the praise and love poured into me by an adult has shaped me into who I am, I quickly jumped at the chance.  First the premise:

Wess Stafford, President of Compassion, shares the “Tell Us Your Story” idea here.  You can read his words and his encouragement, or you can watch the video.  The basic idea of it is that all of us have been impacted in some way or another by someone in our past.  Whether positive or negative, we are all a product of our youth.  So what or who shaped you?  Who are you today and what led you to that point?

In thinking back to the many adults who have poured into my life in the past, I realized how deeply blessed I have been and how much encouragement I received in my formative years.  But when I thought about who I am today and what weighs most heavily on my heart, one specific incident came to mind that forever altered and shaped who I have become.  Here is my story:

“You have a real knack for languages,” he told me as I sipped my cup of hot tea.  I was freezing….the kind of cold where you can no longer feel your extremeties.  We were in a pizza parlor in Red Square, right in the heart of Moscow.  I was fifteen.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“I mean you hear the sounds really well and you repeat them perfectly.  You should study russian.  You could come live with Helen and I.”

Five years later, I did just that.

Sergei Petrochenko was the interpreter for the squirrley group that made up our missions team on my first trip to the former USSR.  I shared with you how I wound up taking that trip and the man responsible for it here.  Gary Varner is another person I can quickly point to who spoke wisdom and grace into my life as a youth and drastically shaped who I am today.

Sergei and his wife Helen were young and adorable and I shared an immediate connection with them.  Maybe it was because I took such an interest in their language.  Perhaps it was because the moment I stepped off the plane I fell in love with their country.  It’s likely because when God Himself knit me together He placed a special place in my heart for that area of the world.  It was ordained from the beginning of time.

As Sergei and I stood and ate pizza, a dirty, wild looking man approached our table.  He held out dirt encrusted hands and mumbled something in russian.  I looked at Sergei who studied him closely then gestured his hands toward our unfinished pizza.  The man mumbled Spaseeba, grabbed two slices and quickly exited the building.  I looked curiously back at Sergei who for a solid week had engrained in all of our heads never to feed someone who came begging.

“Why did you give him food?” I asked.

“Because he needed it,” Sergei replied matter of factly, taking another sip of his tea.

“How did you know?”

“He had russian eyes,” Sergei replied.  And that was the end of the conversation.  It is a brief moment in my life that I have never forgotten. 

Fast forward five years.  I am twenty years old and I am spending a semester in Kiev, Ukraine with Helen and Sergei studying russian.  It turns out Sergei was right.  I did have a knack for languages and I had fallen in love with the nuances of russian.  It was during my four month stint in Kiev that I experienced another defining moment…and this moment was a direct result of the pizza parlor conversation with Sergei five years earlier.

I was on a taxi bus when I noticed an old man laying in a busy street.  He was close to the sidewalk, but fully on the road and he looked injured.  I tossed money at the cab driver and jumped out of the van, dodging cars as I dashed across the street.  I knelt down in front of the man, who smelled of liquor and had a deep gash on his forehead.

Pomogeetya, Podjalusta, he wept.  Help me.

I pulled off my scarf and pressed it to his head and began yelling for help.  And people just passed me by.  They looked right at me as they walked by on the sidewalk.  Two younger men laughed at me as they passed.  I heard one of them say to the other, “Stupid American.  He’s drunk.”

But as I looked into his eyes, I knew there was more to the story.  This wasn’t a man who stumbled in a drunken stupor into the road.  He had the “russian eyes” that Sergei had mentioned.  Eyes that conveyed a true sense of need, of pain, of desperation.  Yes, by the smell I could tell he had been drinking, butsomehow I knew that wasn’t what caused his fall.

Finally, after what seemed an eternity, someone stopped and offered help.  In my broken russian I told the story as an ambulance drove up to us.  They loaded the man into the back of the truck and whisked him away…I never even knew his name.  The man who helped me shook my hand and introduced himself.  Pavel.  He spoke english.

“The man was robbed.  He said he was in the street for much time.  Why did you stop?”

I shrugged and offered the only explanation I had – “He had russian eyes.”

He looked at me for a moment, nodded, then turned and walked away.

I have the distinct blessing of having been poured into by many, many people over my lifetime.  A few names of the people who have impacted me: Gary Varner, Robert Burkhart, Mrs. Baumbach, my high school Liturature teacher who told me I had a gift with words, Richard and Candy Martin, the list could go on and on…

But Sergei Petrochenko’s words when I was fifteen set me on a path that God created me for from time’s inception.  Because of Sergei’s words my children are learning russian, my husband and I are praying about how we can have an impact in Russia as a family, how we can minister to orphans, if we should even adopt an orphan.  The last time I heard from Sergei was December 30, 1998.  After I came back to the States he and Helen divorced and I lost track of him.  How my heart longs to see him again.  How I yearn to show him the impact he had in my life…to introduce him to my children and let them show off their language.  I hold out hope in my heart that God has that reunion planned for someday…

Words have a powerful and life altering effect.  They can change a life for the worse…but, as in my case, also for the better.

How were you impacted as a youth by the words of an adult?  If you feel so inclined, please share your story.  I would really love to hear it.

Makes me laugh every time

Generally I try to avoid letting the kids watch too much television.  They watch the most TV in the mornings as our afternoons are usually filled with russian lessons, cleaning up, playing outside, etc…

When I do let them watch morning TV, I try to limit it to cartoons as it’s so much easier to turn it off after 25 or 30 minutes.  However, Landon has recently decided he enjoys watching TV with one particular movie being his very favorite.  And because he’s so dang cute and I really, really have a hard time saying no to him when he scrunches up his face and says, “Pweas?” then flashes his huge grin that dissolves me into a puddle of goo, I decided I couldn’t say no again.

So Tia and Landon are currently sitting on the couch watching Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.  Or “Cwoudy with da chance of da meatball” as Tia calls it.

When I pushed play Landon jumped up and down and clapped his hands yelling “Beatball, beatball, beatball” then hugged my leg and said “I Yub You” before settling on the couch to watch.  Uuummm…so I’ll give him anything he wants for the rest of his life if he keeps doing that.

He’s gonna be rotten.

The thing is, I actually really love this movie myself.  I think it’s hysterical.  Everytime I watch it I laugh out loud, particularly when the kids quote the lines along with the movie. Fuh-hu-nny.

So that’s it…that’s all I’ve got today.  I give in to nearly every one of Landon’s requests, I would give him my heart just to hear him say “I yub you,” and I love the movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.

Bet you’re glad you stopped by here today, eh?

Well, so I don’t completely waste your time, I will send you here where you can read up on the bloggers who are currently on a Compassion International trip in Kenya.  I’ve already been challenged and encouraged by a couple of the posts I’ve read this morning and it’s only their first day there.  If you’re not already sponsoring a child, I would encourage you to consider Compassion.  What they are doing for children and families suffering in poverty is nothing short of a miracle.  For 37 dollars a month, you can completely alter the course of a child’s life.  Just think about it.  And read their posts.

Also, my first post for STL Family Life will be up and running shortly is now up and running!  So check it out this afternoon.  Thanks everyone and enjoy what is shaping up to be a beautiful day.

Spring is almost here, yeah!

Haiti Relief: How You Can Help

The pictures and projected death toll numbers coming out of Haiti are staggering.  As many as 50,000 feared dead and more than 3 million stranded or injured on an island that was known for poverty before the earthquake hit.  But relief and aid is on the way and for that I am grateful.


You’ve no doubt heard or seen of the numerous trustworthy and reliable organizations that you can donate to and know without doubt that your funds will be used well and fair.


Organizations like the Red Cross have already sent in teams to help with medical needs and to distribute much needed water and supplies to the survivors.


You can also give to Compassion International and World Vision, both of whom already have teams set up in Haiti and are quickly assessing the needs and distributing care and funds where needed.  Both of these organizations are stellar, are prepared and will effectively use the funds they raise for the relief of the island of Haiti.


There is one other organization I’d like to make you aware of if you’re still undecided.  I’ve written about IsleGo Missions before as they are an organization founded and run by my aunt and uncle out of Orlando, Florida.  For a detailed description of who they are and what they do, read my previous post or visit their website.  My aunt and I communicated tonight about what IsleGo is doing to respond to the tragedy and rather than try to reexplain what she told me, I’ll just paste her email here:


 “As to Haiti, yes IsleGO is taking donations, people are already sending them. Dusty has a huge network base and we also have a partner in Haiti, a hospital that is about 30 miles outside of Port au Prince. This afternoon we sent 40,000 baggies of rice. Each bag has enough to feed one person, in the bag there is rice, spices and nutrients and all they have to do is boil water for have food. We are working on another 100,000 bags to get ready for delivery within the next few days. Dusty is already getting info on putting teams together by February. Anyway, to answer your question, yes we are taking donations. Thanks for asking. Checks can be made payable to IsleGO Missions.”


There is a link on the IsleGo site that leads you directly to PayPal if you would like to donate that way.  If you would rather send in a check, leave me a comment and let me know and I will get you the address, or you can contact Dusty and Corinne Cooper personally through the IsleGo site.


No matter what organization you choose to donate through, I urge you all to give something.  This is a massive devastation and it is within our power to help those who are suffering desperately.  So I implore you to click on any one of the above links and take a few minutes to give out of the abundance with which you have received!


May you all have a blessed weekend.

Compassion International

Sponsor a child online through Compassion's Christian child sponsorship ministry. Search for a child by age, gender, country, birthday, special needs and more.

I’ve written about Compassion International before, and they are a large organization, so what I’m going to tell you may not be new information, but it is information that bears repeating.

I love this organization.  They are well run, well led and are really making a huge impact worldwide in children’s lives.

I’ve been to areas of the world where poverty runs rampant.  I’ve seen children living in conditions that are heart-wrenching, filthy and, seemingly, destitute.  I’ve looked into the eyes of children who have nothing and I’ve listened to their sweet voices, all inflected with the same innocence that my own children possess.  Here or there, rich or poor, children are still children and they need love, care and…well, compassion

So what exactly does Compassion International do?  I’m so glad you asked!  Because that’s why I’m writing up this little feature.  To tell you what they do

The better question to ask, though, is probably what doesn’t Compassion International do?  From their Child Survival Program, where they provide prenatal care to pregnant mothers and offer preventative medications to children to give them the healthiest life possible, to their Child Sponsorship Program, where they offer children the funds to receive educational, spiritual and vocational training so that those same children can grow into self-sustaining adults, to the Leadership Development Program, which allows those excelling in high school who have a desire to pursue post-secondary education the opportunity to do so through help in funding – through all of these amazing programs, Compassion is changing the world.

Have any of you ever looked into the eyes of someone who has lost hope?  Have you ever seen the hollow chasm of a lost future?  It’s so easy to forget that there is a world of desperation out there.  But, through organizations like Compassion International (and another group that I’ll tell you about in a couple of days…oh, I can’t wait!) there are simple and easy ways that you and I can help be a part of this global impact. 

Do you realize what I’m saying?  With minimal effort, you can restore hope to a child who’s lost the spark?  It takes a few short minutes to sign up and requires a fraction of a fraction of your monthly income.  And just like that, a life is changed. 

The Stuart family have been a child sponsor for a couple of months now and I will testify to the fact that it is immensely fulfilling to know that 6-year-old Jonri in Indonesia now has opportunity that he did not have before.  I love hearing our kids pray for him at dinner time.  I don’t love them fighting over who gets to sit “next” to him (his picture is on the fridge) but I’ll take it because it means they’ve embraced the concept.  It’s very sweet to watch them get the idea of blessing others out of the abundance with which we ourselves have been blessed. 

Another thing about Compassion that has impressed me is their spectacular use of social media.  The internet is used to bring so much pain, so much destruction, so much hurt to the world.  But Compassion is using the internet to the glory of God.

Through their Compassion International Bloggers, Compassion is reaching a whole new world and generation with their mission for changing children’s lives.  They are using new media brilliantly and with great intention.  And, by doing so, they have expanded their message tenfold.  And I believe God is blessing the ministry because of their faithful obedience to Him.

To get more information about Compassion International and child sponsorship, visit their website.  You can also follow them on Twitter at @compassion or follow Shaun Groves (@theshaungroves), who is their Blogger Relationship Manager and fields the blogger trips to compassion sponsored areas.  The next trip they will take is to El Salvador and two of the bloggers going on that trip are Kelly and Dana, two fantastic bloggy ladies who will do a spectacular job of spreading Compassion’s message even further. 

(Incidentally, Shaun and I are both graduates of Baylor where we both participated in Baylor Religious Hour Choir.  Shaun graduated a few years before me, so we never met, but this practically makes us related, so I feel like I can write about him as though he’s my BFF – even though he doesn’t know me from Adam.  Is that kind of creepy? No?  It’s fine you say?  Great – so go visit my BFF, Shaun’s site, and learn more about him and about Compassion!)

Compassion International is a great organization to be involved in, if you are looking for a way to live out your faith tangibly.  If you’re still not sure, jump over to their site (I’ve left you about a thousand links in this post so you should be able to find your way over there for more information).  

Or you can keep checking back all week this week to find other people and organizations that you can be involved in.  But, no matter what, may you all leave your computers encouraged to know that there are ways that you, too, can make an impact on the kingdom of heaven – both great and small! 

May you have a blessed day…