Friday, June 21, 2013

Mail Call

My heart is overflowing with love.

These days my life has revolved around our three children we are sponsoring. They occupy my thoughts and prayers. In one word, I have become obsessed. It's a strength of mine, and a weakness. On the one hand I am able with God's help to accomplish much; however, I sometimes do it at the expense of other things.

I'm trying to figure out a balance. It's been very difficult to say the least.

Right now I'm waiting. Waiting. Waiting.

I have three children we have agreed to sponsor and correspond with. But it doesn't stop there. I want to keep adding children to the family. I want to send as much mail to them as possible. I want to buy them small gifts. I want to learn about them and their lives. I've got this obsession in me. It's like a red blinking light that yells their names.

Aberu. Yeabsira. Meyli.

I have so much love in me that it's overflowing and spilling out. I can't contain it. I keep seeing all these beautiful faces, and they are calling to me. Begging me for help.

But I am only one person. I am not God. And I do not have His complete power to do whatever I want. I have His power in me to do His will, not mine. I don't know what lies ahead. But I do know that I have been given an order. I am to wait. And wait I have done.

compassion international

This week the wait has been briefly lifted. The letters are coming in.

Saturday we received our first letter from Aberu in Ethiopia.
Hope to meet in our next letter. Until then, May God bless you and keep you safe.
I loved the closing statement in Aberu's letter. We may never meet in person, but we will meet monthly in our letters. I cried when I read her mention of God. I thought I would never be allowed to mention Him, but on further inquiry, I am not allowed to mention "Jesus" or the "salvation message". But I am free to talk about God and tell her that I am praying for her. I was overjoyed to find that I am given at least this liberty.

Thursday we received our first letter from Yeabsira in Ethiopia. I cried and laughed when I read it. Here's a short excerpt.
My family and I are happy that you are willing to be my Sponsor. Thank you. Do you have many chickens? What do they eat?
And today we received an email from Compassion saying our first letter is on its way from Meyli in Peru.

My heart is full. My cup is overflowing. My love has multiplied.

I have spent hours and days scouring the Compassion and World Vision websites. And I have come to this conclusion. Your money means a lot to these children, but your words are a lifeline to them. Letters and packages to these kids are equated with your love. A sponsor who writes and sends words to these children, shares their greatest treasure, themselves. A sponsor who shares their money is of value, but the kids still end up feeling unworthy when the letters don't come.

I have recently been extremely discouraged. I overextend myself, and I feel stretched thin. I have many commitments but not enough of myself to commit. I know something needed to change. I was lost as to what. I pushed all these thoughts aside and made myself available no matter how I felt. I smiled when I felt like crying. I felt underappreciated and overworked. Let's just say, I wasn't happy.

Mothers are good at detecting those things. Mine called me on it. She told me I needed to do some serious praying and asking God what He wanted me to do. And maybe all the other things I would need to let go. She phrased the question like this.
If you had to give up everything you do, and asked God what He wanted you to do. What comes to mind?
I had a hard time answering through the tears. The only thing I could say with complete assurance, "I want to work with kids."

I have never been so certain in my life about anything. God has called me to children. I believe I have found my calling. I'm exactly where I need to be with them. I'm teaching and loving them. I'm trying to pour into their lives.

Compassion and World Vision has added a new dimension to this calling. I firmly believe that I am to invest in these sponsored children's lives. I am fulfilled.

Unfortunately the road to fulfillment is not always easy. There have been several bumps along the way. Anytime you do something to fulfill your calling to follow God with your whole heart, the enemy does not like it. We have had many days over the past few months that I honestly feel like we've been in a battlefield. I have lain there wounded, from the arrows that have touched me. I'm trying to keep up my spiritual armor, but it's difficult. Failure comes. Discouragement creeps in.

"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:29-31

For now, I wait again on God. I have three very precious children that I can write to. Someday I may have more, but for now I wait, and hope in the Lord.

I wanted to share another aspect of Compassion that some of you may not be familiar with. Remember earlier, how I said these letters are a lifeline to these children? You can have the opportunity to be that to as many children as you'd like.

If your first response is, I don't have the money. I have great news for you! Neither do I. If you're like me and your heart is bigger than your wallet, keep reading.

Compassion has a correspondence program that is not heavily advertised. For financial sponsors who do not have the time to put into writing letters and building the personal relationship, they can sign their children up for a correspondent sponsor.

This is the answer you have been waiting for. You can be used by God no matter what your circumstances are. God is looking for willing people to work through. You can be that vessel.

"Let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth." 1 John 3:18 (NIV)

We are correspondent sponsors for Meyli. We do not financially support her. We are responsible for the personal relationship with her. We exchange letters back and forth. And as far as I'm aware, you can choose to correspond with as many children as you would like. The only thing Compassion asks is that you are willing to write 3 letters per year.

Everyone has this unique chance to change a child's life. It's so simple, and money is not a requirement. You need only give time from yourself, and a little bit of your heart. You will be richly rewarded by building a relationship with your sponsored child.

Now if finances are really tight, and you're still thinking, I don't even have the money for a stamp. Don't give up! God can still use your willingness to serve. On Compassion's website you can email your child for free. You can upload photos onto beautifully colored templates and Compassion will print them out and mail them to the country of your child. All you need is internet access, and most libraries have free internet access. I don't want anyone to miss out on this opportunity. It's a chance to change a child's life and it's available to everyone.

Now that I find exciting!
To sign up to be a correspondent for a child you can contact Compassion by phone or email. If you are already a sponsor you can email Compassion with your sponsor number and they will place you on the waiting list to correspond with a child. If you are not a sponsor, include the following information in your email: Name, Address, Phone Number, and Email Address.

I believe Yeabsira is learning English in school!

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