Monday, November 17, 2008

What are you thinking???

So many things are running around in my head but I wanted to try to answer some of the frequent questions I have been getting in regards to my trip, just to assure you that I haven't completely thrown reason into the wind -

So what makes a mother of three, self-employed speech therapist slash full time housewife decide to run away to Africa for a week and a half??
Simple - God. When I first approached T with the idea of me going on a trip with Compassion, his response was "absolutely not". When I approached him the second time it was "forget about it, you're not going". When I approached him the third time, I told him that I really felt like God wanted me to go. I was waking up numerous times a night thinking about it, thinking about it in the shower, on the road, all day / every day. So he said - "well, if God really wants you to go, I guess you had better go." (To which my jaw hit the floor).

Why do you want to go?
In doing my presentations for Compassion I started out with friends and family groups from churches. That way I always had a familiar face to focus on and to ask later what I should change or expand upon. In my first several presentations, my knees knocked and my hands trembled but I made it through, hopefully pretty coherently. My first small group presentation - no sponsorships. My first large group presentation - no sponsorships. Now I know that I didn't do that badly and I had prayed that God would help me to just release the work to him, I was just there to present the need, not grow the harvest. But what I began to realize was the distrust that we, as Americans, have for sponsorship programs. For international charities. "It all sounded well and good but do you REALLY know your money is going where it is suppose to. It can't." So that is why I am going. So I can go and see, smell, and touch. So that I can learn more about Compassion's affect on real children and real families. So that I can then bring that knowledge back to share with others. THIS is what I saw. THIS is what I learned. THIS is what God needs us to do about it.

Just to show you how God's hand is on Compassion - they have been awarded four out of four stars from Charity Navigator for seven straight years. Only 45 charities in the U.S. can claim such status. Charities are rated on how well they use your money. In addition, with the failing economy and world situation, a recent Compassion blog celebrated that in this time of trouble - Compassion continues to grow! From the post: "Outside of supernatural forces and divine intervention, there is little explanation as to how or why Compassion is defying probability and odds. I would venture to say that at this particular time God has chosen to bless Compassion to do His work."

Be a part of that intervention by sponsoring a child - My Compassion site.

How is T going to handle the kids??
My wonderful husband is an even better father. He already takes a very active role in caring for the kids and will make sure their teeth are brushed and that they bathe daily. They may eat 10 meals at McDee's, but they will be fed. His work is also flexible enough that I am sure that the children will not be abandoned at school after hours.

How is T going to handle you being gone?
That is the hard one so please continue to pray for him while I am gone. T continues to work with his spiritual mentors to learn to give everything to God vs. trying to control the situation. He is really worried about having to raise the kids on his own if something would happen to me in a foreign country where he can't be there to protect me. But I have been assured from others who have taken this trip before that Compassion is VERY safety focused and avoids all areas of even slight danger. I have been told that even in the marketplace, we will have staff on each side of us as "bodyguards".

What are you going to do??
We will be visiting around 2 Compassion projects a day where we will be doing art projects, games, and playing with the children. We will also be visiting children's homes and the Child Survival Program for infants and pregnant mothers. And one of the days - we will be spending with our sponsored child! I've been told they keep you busy from morning until night and it is very intensive, and tiring!

What about your sponsored child?
Amanuel will be 6 years old as I am visiting during his birthday week. He shares his exact birthday with my middle son, Braeden. Braeden choose Amanuel from the Compassion website to be his buddy. He stared at him a minute before saying, "that's a real little boy isn't it??" About 9 months into sponsoring Amanuel, and writing him monthly - we hadn't heard any news from him for about 6 months. We had sent a family gift after sponsoring him but hadn't heard what they had purchased with the money. Compassion children are to write 3 times a year so we were getting very nervous, knowing that Ethiopia had a famine going on and many children were dying of famine related illness. Amanuel's mother is a widow and he has one sister. So one night, Seth prayed "God, please take care of all our Compassion children. But please, especially Amanuel. We are very worried about him and could you please let us know that he is o.k." The NEXT DAY we received a letter with this picture:

Our small gift provided this amount of food to help Amanuel and his small family survive the summer drought months. As I opened the letter I started to cry. God had once again answered one of my children's prayers. And he had allowed us to take part in his saving of an entire family.

So that's why I am going - so that I can bring back the smiles, the needs, and the cries of Ethiopia and hopefully help others to be blessed by Compassion's ministry in the same way we have been.

1 comment:

Abbie H. said...

I love the picture of your sponsored child with all the grain especially in a time right now!

I can't wait to hear more about your trip!!