Sunday, March 20, 2011

I originally wrote this article in September of 2009 for a friend's site. Figured I would reshare!
"Every child you encounter is a divine appointment."
Wess Stafford, President, Compassion International
For those of you that do not know Dr. Wess Stafford is the CEO of Compassion International. I have not met the man but consider him one of my heroes. I look forward to meeting and hearing him speak in person when I attend the National Advocates Conference in Colorado next week. He is a humble man that is more comfortable sitting on the floor with some sponsored children rather than in a boardroom. His quote above I believe should be burned on our hearts.
Obviously as an Area Coordinator for Compassion I look at every child packet as an opportunity to change two lives. The first is obviously the child's. Sponsorship will give them a chance that they might not have had before. However a sponsor's life will also be changed as they begin to build that relationship. Those that know my testimony know how true this is. Sponsorship changes everyone involved. What more of a divine appointment could there be from God?
But what about our roles as parents? Are not our children also divine appointments? Of course they are. They are a blessing given to us from Him. It is our calling to make a difference in our child's life. It is our calling to teach, nurture, love and care for them as He cares for us. We should raise them in a way that would glorify our maker. It is our words and actions that grow to be part of our children. If we honestly do not look at our role as parents as a divine appointment then we are missing the boat. We are actually short changing our roles as parents. How much better it is to take that approach ( that our children are divine appointments) and make everything we do reflect that adage.
Every ministry of the church is important but I cannot begin to stress the importance of Children's Ministry. They are our future and lifeblood of the church. Without the next generation there will be no church. Obviously this ministry is not for everyone but if this is your calling again I beseech you to approach your work with children as a divine appointment. Look at those precious children and realize that you areMaking A Difference in their lives. You have the opportunity to mold them to be great Christian men and women. 
Even in the secular world this adage works. Non-Christians may not accept the "divine appointment" part but if they realize that children are a gift and not a burden and approach their relationships with kids with an attitude similar to this we could go so far in making the difference in children's lives. Things such as abuse, self-esteem issues, depression and all of the other things that seem to be the norm in society now would be diminished.
In closing I encourage you to spread the thought that children are a divine appointment. I encourage you to pray that this will become a view that is spread by many. I encourage you to hold this thought close to your heart and to make a difference in each child's life that you touch.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Returning to Honduras 2011 Version

    Those of you that know me understand that my journey with Compassion began in 2007 when I met my first sponsored child Linda. (See: Original Story ) I looked into her eyes and my heart was broken. I understood we could make a difference! I became an advocate and the focus of my life changed because of this one little girl. Back then she made a special request of me. She told me that she had no father and she thought of me as "her father". Talk about an honor. She asked me to attend her Quinceanera when she turned fifteen. For those that are not familiar with this occasion it is similar to our "Sweet Sixteen. It marks the transition from childhood to young womanhood. I promised I would do my best to be there. 

     We returned to Honduras in 2009 to visit then our 3 sponsored children Linda, Jeyelly, and Jorge. Number four was to come shortly after the return from that trip. We knew Jeyelly's sister (Sofia) was available for sponsorship but we would not be able to sponsor her until the end of May. I debated having Compassion bring her to the meeting day but did not want to get either of our hopes up. Therefore we kept it a secret until it could actually happen. I took the time to sit down with Linda and tried to tell her (through a translator) how important she was in my life and how she had changed my focus. She was just as responsible as me for getting other children sponsored. I promised I would be back for the Quinceanera.

      So here we are in 2011. Linda's birthday is June 6th. We have begun the process with Compassion to make an individual trip back to Honduras. As of right now our plans are to go down June 12 - June 17th. Courtney and Stephanie will be going with us. Our hope is that each day we can visit one of our sponsored children's home, project and spend a fun day with them. On the final day we will host and have the Quinceanera for Linda. We are waiting on the approval and details from the Compassion office in Honduras. In the meantime we are checking airfares and hotels. American Airlines seems to have a good package. Please keep us in prayer that all is approved and that things begin to come together. I will continue to update this site with all the details and of course the journey! Blessings....