Psalm 143:8

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
Psalm 143:8

Thursday, October 24, 2013

31 Days - Joy in Compassion

In the last few years, I have been sponsoring children through Compassion.  (If you look down the right side of my page here, you will find a link to the Compassion website.)  It is something I wanted to do for a long time because of my love for children and my wish to give.  I can't tell you the number of times God has provided people in my life who have financially assisted me and my family.  I have this great desire in me to give to those in need as well - not only because of God's command to love others, but because of the gratitude I have for the help and love that has been given to me over the years.

I started with one child - her name is Grelty and she shares her birthday with my mother.  This sweet young girl has asked if she can call me "Mama Kelly."  I can't even tell you the joy that brings to my heart.  I receive the sweetest letters from her, penned in her own hand and translated.  That I get to participate in this small way in her life is such a blessing to me!  And I feel that I am answering God's call to reach out with compassion to those in need.

Colossians 3:12
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

I couldn't really afford it when I chose my darling little Godless in Tanzania to also sponsor.  I looked at his picture day after day.  My heart longing to help take care of him...my wallet telling me that there was no way.  One morning, I checked to see if he was still there in the list of children waiting to be sponsored...I had told myself that if he was still there on Valentine's day, I would click that button to claim him.  This was January...and that morning, it seemed...he was gone.  Claimed.  My heart broke...and rejoiced for him at the same time.  But I checked one more time and found him....those sad eyes in that dark black face, no smile, thin little limbs wearing clothes that hung on his frame.  I immediately clicked that button and prayed that God would give me the means to pay for one more child.  

And He has.  The letters from Godless often come with drawings he has done for me.  Each one makes me smile as my finger traces the lines he has drawn - often an airplane or a house.  This sweet boy is learning that Jesus loves him...and I get to tell him that.


Isaiah 58:6-8
6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
and break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you,
and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.

Several months ago, I felt God telling me it was time to step out in greater faith for one more child.  I was at a Beth Moore conference and Compassion was a partner that weekend...they brought packets to find sponsors for more children in need.  As I was walking out I happened to look at the face and the name on the packet a Compassion volunteer held up...and I couldn't get it in my hands fast enough.  So now, I get to share the love, compassion and joy of the Lord with little Carlos.  

The money I give provides food, clothing, medical attention, and help with school for these children.  They get to attend activities at their local Compassion project where they learn about God and receive help they need.  The money I give stretches my own budget - but also stretches my faith as I trust that God will provide it each month.  

I have received...so do I give.  Might you also take a look at some of the children at Compassion?  Might there be some children in your own community that you could provide for?  There is joy in giving; there is joy in compassion.

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