Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Colorado Springs Here We Come!!!

Well tomorrow is the big day! Karen and I head to Colorado Springs for Compassion's National Advocate Conference. To say we are excited is probably an understatement. This will be our first time at an event like this. From what we hear these are "not to be missed meetings". A gathering of like minded Christians coming together for worship, teaching, learning and fellowship. _____________ We are actually heading out a day early to get settled in. We will be staying at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort which looks awesome. On Friday we will get to tour Compassion International's headquarters before the conference starts. We are looking forward to seeing some old friends and some new!!! We will also be attending a reunion of our Honduras tour so it will be great to reconnect with those friends as well. I will be taking a special Leadership Track seminar which I am looking forward to. So we are heading next post will be pictures (on both blogs) and a full report! Blessings <><

Monday, September 21, 2009

Frustration to Realization

As an advocate we have our ups and downs and our highs and our lows. Having a ministry such as Compassion can have so many rewards. However we are aligining ourselves with God's wishes and as a result we often become a thorn in the enemies side. He loves to poke at us and attack us in many different ways. As long as we can remember what a mighty God we serve we can stay on course. This came home to me this weekend. Let me tell you my journey from frustration to realization. ___________________________ Friday night I was to work a table for 1oth Avenue North. The venue was quite a drive from my house but I was looking forward to hearing their presentation and encouraging some sponsorships. Karen has her own ministry at church on Friday nights so I was on my own. I do know that one of my team members was going to be there also. Anyway I got to the site and found our contact. Bad News! They were not going to be presenting Compassion. It appears that the church they were performing at was doing this concert as a fundraiser for a similar type mission. They did not want to detract from that and as a result- no table. Needless to say I was frustrated and headed home. _________________________ Move forward to Saturday. I had a table at a church yard sale. I had child packets, child survival packets and was asking for donations for Bite Back. I went there knowing that more than likely not a lot was going to happen. This was your typical yard sale that is hosted by a church as an outreach. Very secular and people looking for bargains. However I have said I will go anywhere and try anything to further the ministry. I did start the day in prayer asking God to be glorified through my actions. As expected no one really wanted to sponsor a child but I did engage in some interesting conversations and did some networking. Amazingly enough through donations of a dollar here and a dollar there we raised $32 for Bite Back. Not a great amount but better than nothing. My morning was worth wile from my viewpoint. _____________ Sunday morning- (remember my last post about the door opening?) after the first service I was in the Children's Ministry area when I was approached by my pastor. He told me he wanted to get together after the first of the year and discuss doing a Compassion Sunday! Woot! Right now we have the new building campaign and then we will have Operation Christmas Child as a church. However in the new year I will have the opportunity to sit down, discuss and do a Compassion Sunday at my home church (God willing)- Realization! No matter how bleak or frustrated we can be ( and this goes for both my efforts to present Compassion at my church and how the weekend started ) God is in control and has a plan. No matter how we are attacked and frustrated by the enemy He will be glorified through our action.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Did the door just open a bit?

As an advocate for Compassion we look for those opportunities to share our message. We have that fire that burns within us to tell others about sponsorship and to encourage them to make a difference in a child's life. Compassion has an annual event that is called Compassion Sunday. Usually this is held in April on a set date and churches throughout the United States on this date present the message of Compassion. This year over 18,000 children were sponsored through this event and the number keeps growing. A Compassion Sunday can actually be held anytime throughout the year.
I have spoken at several churches but never my own. Part of that is my fault as I have not really pushed the matter as hard as I could or should. Let's face it we don't want to make waves in our own home. But is that being true to our ministry? Everyone at my church knows I am the Compassion guy. I have told my story at a Men's Breakfast, I have shared my testimony with my small group ( yes I did get a sponsorship there ) and I have this blog which I know is , by some of my church friends. However I have not done a Compassion Sunday there. Recently I have started to reach out more. I still do not have a go but my Pastor did say before church one day to keep after it- Compassion is important. Perhaps the door just unlocked a little.
Yesterday we started a new building campaign and our topic of study is the book of Nehemiah. Our pastor mentioned that all great causes start with a Holy Discontent as told by Bill Hybels (pastor of Willow Creek). Something stirs within us and calls us to action. This is where it gets interesting. He mentioned World Vision. How the founder of that organization saw children in poverty and felt the need to do something. Now do not get me wrong World Vision is a great organization but I am sitting there thinking...."Hello? Did I do something wrong", I mean I represent Compassion and you know that is my passion. You are going to tell me about World Vision??? He did mention a couple of other things that began with a Holy Discontent and I sat there stunned. Almost thought it was going to be time to find a new church. :) Then he wrapped up that part of the message with the story of Compassion. He even went as far as to mention me as an Area Coordinator and that sponsorship was important to me. Redemption!!! We laughed about it after the service but perhaps the door has opened even more.
This topic of study would be perfect for a Compassion Sunday but the church's focus is on a new building campaign. That is important right now as we break ground for a new building and more members. I can understand the church not wanting to impead that funding at this point. However I think that perhaps God is giving me an opening down the road for an event and in the meantime there are other opportunities to explore such as discussing the ministry with small groups and maybe even Mops. All I can ask is for your prayers. God Bless!