Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Unexpected Treasure


As you might have guessed from the widgets on the right side of my blog, I support the work of Compassion International. Although I love that they are a Christian organization, I believe that their universal language speaks for all of us... HOPE and LOVE in action transcends all barriers.

As a Compassion sponsor of two little girls in Honduras, I couldn’t wait to “see” Compassion through the eyes of some of my favorite bloggers. I knew I would never be the same, but yet how do you prepare yourself for what you’ll learn, what you’ll see, and what you’ll hear…? You simply can’t. The images burn into your mind, the stories break your heart, and you know you’ll never see the world through the same eyes, ever again. There is hope, though, hope in a God that calls for us all to do what we can “for the least of these”, to serve the widows and orphans, to help the poor. Hope in the Body of Christ who responds to that call, and sponsors these precious children.

God’s timing was incredible this week. As I read through the blogs daily to witness the Compassion Bloggers’, a letter came from one of the little girls we sponsor. Her name is Emily, she lives on the northern coast of Honduras, and since she is only 4 years old, her mother writes to us on her behalf. What I absolutely love is that her mother tells us through these letters about the changes that our sponsorship has made in their lives, she tells us how much Emily loves to go to school, and that her health has improved because of our sponsorship. She tells us that she prays for our family, and that she is so thankful for our sponsorship. She sounds like such a wonderful mom, I really love her too, this isn’t just about Emily, this is about Emily’s family and their well being.

For those of you who sponsor a child, you are likely familiar with the standard Compassion photos that we get with our initial package, and then again every year or two. I cherish those photos, they are treasured and loved. I have even laminated them, along with the matching prayer cards, because I am so afraid that they will become torn and tattered over time. Along with the letter I received this week, was a piece of orange construction paper stapled to the back of the Compassion stationary. The children usually send artwork along with their letters, so I didn’t remove it right away, but later on, when I did, I got the shock of my life. Tucked away inside the folded construction paper, was one of the most precious photographs in my entire collection. A photograph of Emily and her little sister. I was moved to tears. A bawling mess. I can’t even begin to fathom the lengths that someone, somewhere, had to go through to bless me with this precious gift. There are no words. I can’t help but wonder if Emily’s mom even has a picture of her precious babies. Just knowing that God has led me to make a difference in their lives is enough for me, to hear the joy in their voices is enough for me… this picture, this most unexpected treasure… How do I thank them for this honor? How do I find the words?

I wanted Emily's family to “see” how much we treasure and appreciate this photograph, and I wanted to send them more pictures as well. When we decided to go hiking at the nature park this afternoon, I got an idea, and took the camera, and the precious photo of Emily and her little sister with us. Once we were there, I got pictures of the kids holding the photo. I wanted it to symbolize that they are with us, in our hearts, in our prayers, everywhere we go. It will be the first few photos in a long tradition of photos… our own version of “Flat Stanley”!

Why take my word for it when you can discover the joys of sponsorship for yourself? I encourage you to go to Compassion's website, and find out how you can make a change in a child's life... and in YOUR life... TODAY.

If you live in Canada, click HERE
If you are in the U.S., click HERE