Sunday, May 8, 2011

Time gets Gone

Just looking at the blog that I started some time ago. I needed the link for a friend and was surprised at how long it's been since the last post. They say that when you are young that the days are short and the years are long, but when you get older that the days are long and the years are short. You know, that has more truth than I'd like to admit. In a few months I will turn 61. To some that's still a young person and to a lot that's getting on up in years. I guess that I am getting or have gotten to the autumn of my life and may not have many more years left. God has told us to number our days and He is the only one that knows just when this old body will stop working. Time has gone by so fast lately and I have not worked with Compassion as much as I should. There has been other Compassion Sundays with some of them not producing any fruit. I really need to work more and maybe since I'm putting it to "paper" it will spur me on to do what God has called me to do.
Until next time

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Young Worries

Not long ago I received a letter from one of the children that I sponsor through Compassion International. I have gotten many letters, but this one had words that tugged at my heart strings.
Penina lives in Kenya with her mother and father. As we here in the US face some hard times with food prices, fuel and almost everything, what we face is nothing compared to the hardships that are everyday life for so very many families in developing countries.
Penina wrote to tell me what she had bought with the birthday money that I sent to her. The thing that hit me was that this nine year old child was buying groceries for her family. How many kids in the US would be willing to take any birthday money, that maybe a grandparent sent to them, and buy food for their family? I think that there would not be many, and if they did how would the grandparent react? Even the poorest of families finds a way to let a small child have the smallest of gifts just for them, especially when it is a gift for "them personally". I know without a doubt, anyone reading these would by no means expect a nine year old to help with groceries.
Another thing that my little one wrote was about her Mother. In every letter I always tell her that I am praying for her and her family. I always encourage her to ask God to watch over her and to guide her throughout all that she does. Many times Penina has asked me to pray for a family member that may be sick or have gotten hurt. She has asked me to pray for her father who was away from home working.
This prayer request by Penina really got me to thinking. In her own words, "I want to pray for my mother to have a long life."
A lot of things went through my mind as I read her request.

"Has Penina watched some of her friends mothers die?"

" Why is a nine year old worrying about her mother dieing?"

" I know she has not written anything about her mother being sick."

As I think about her words the only thing that comes to mind is that, This little girl, who has nothing compared to western standards, is worried about losing one of the most loved person in her young life. Growing up in the west, I do not ever remember the thought of not having my mother with me. I'm older now and still have my mother living close by. At the age of 75 she is getting into the twilight of her time here on earth. "NOW" I worry about her sometimes, but thanks to God she is still going strong. There will come a day when her time on earth is no more.
Without a doubt we will meet again in heaven. I think about the way I feel now and just can not imagine how this little one feels when she ask me to "pray that her mother has a long life."

My heart goes out to this little angle who has worries beyond her years.
The only comfort that I can give is to encourage her to put her trust in the One who loves her more than we can even imagine, and to seek His will in her life and her mothers life. Knowing that all things work together for good for those who love Him and live according to His will.
Jesus Christ

Saturday, August 23, 2008

July Compassion Sunday

Had another Compassion Event on July the 20th at Flatwoods FWB where I attend. I had been thinking about this for some time and really felt going in that there would be no response. Maybe two or three years ago I had a chance to speak for a little bit about Compassion one Sunday morning. It was spur of the moment kinda of thing and there was little to no response. Since answering the call to become an advocate in the fall of 07 I had thought of my church many times but always would remember the lack of response I had before. But I just could not keep from thinking that I needed to go before "my own church" with the case for Compassion. I kept thinking about the verse in the Bible where Jesus is talking about one having no honor in his own home or town.
We had Vacation Bible School coming up and the Sunday before that seemed to be the time, if ever there was going to be a time.
I had the table set up a week in advance to let everyone get a look at all the child packets and maybe pick up some material. Just so happens our church hosted the quarterly meeting for our association that week on Saturday. That was another reason the thought of the table being up would benefit this children who have nothing and are just trying to live. During the meeting there was an opportunity for the pastors present to announce anything that was coming up at their own Churches. Not being a pastor I didn't know how it would be if I asked to speak, but after things seemed to slow down a little I asked. Of course there was no opposition, so I just let everyone know what we had coming up and invited them to go by the table and pick up any material they would like. To my surprise, the gentleman giving a lecture on the way the Bible tells us to teach our children endorsed Compassion and told of a close friend who worked in Colorado Springs at Compassion headquarters. With just his endorsement I was thinking, "this just can not get any better." I was so wrong. Larry Hampton, a leader with Free Will Baptist Family Ministries, also stood and told everyone what good work Compassion did and that was one way that we can serve God by supporting a ministry that puts Jesus first and foremost in the helping of the poor. As I sat there in almost in unbelief with how God had worked all this out, Larry put the icing on the cake when he told all that he knew Wess Staford personally. If you don't know, Wess is the president of Compassion International. Talking about being excited, I was. Here I was worrying about making a presentation in my own church and the endorsements just kept coming. I should have known that God had a plan and that I need to keep my fears on the side line and let Him work. After all, all I can ever do is plant the seeds, I can not make anyone sponsor a child, just ask.
Sunday morning came and I was really nervous. I don't know why, I have gone to this church all my life and know everyone there. They are all family. Somehow I got through my presentation and was so thankful that there were two children sponsored. That may not sound like much, but with only about 25 adults there, I think it was great. Even if just one child was sponsored, that's one life that will be changed, and more times than not, through that one child, God only knows how many will come to know Jesus as their personal savior. Maybe even a whole village. All Compassion Advocates will never know what kind of impact they may be having until we walk through Heaven's Gates. I suspect there will be untold numbers that will be there because of what these workers for Compassion have done here on earth. It gives me great comfort to know what Jesus tells us in Matthew.
That to welcome a little one in His name, is the same as welcoming Him

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Compassion Sunday April 13

Just wound up a Compassion Sunday event at Loyal Chapel FWB Church on April the 13th. Had a great time in presenting to a Sunday School class and during the worship service. The pastor and the music minister did a fantastic job in focusing on children. The whole congregation greeted me with a spirit of love and acceptance, and for that I am extremely grateful.
This was my first event since I became an Advocate. To say I was nervous would have been an understatement, but since I believe with all my heart that God has called me to speak up for children in poverty, I trusted in Him to help me get Compassion's message across.
I am so grateful that so far there has been 6 children sponsored and maybe more in the future. The church pastor and his wife have said they were going to sponsor a child also. With the pastor a sponsor, there will be a lot of his messages tailored toward Compassion. He even talked about getting the whole church behind a child in the Leadership program. I think that God has got some GREAT plans for this church.
I know through experience that each new sponsor will be blessed greatly through their sponsorship. It is hard to relay how one feels when you get a letter from your child and he or she tells you they have been praying for "you". Over the years the sponsor gets to know their child like one knows their natural children even though they are worlds apart. But most of all, the child is exposed to Jesus and how he loves them. Most all reading this post has no idea what absolute poverty feels like. The poverty these children feel is not the lack of money, shelter or even food. Their poverty is the lack of HOPE. They have the mindset that they do not matter, that no one cares, and to make it worse, they have no voice to speak up to try and make changes in their lives. We in the western world have so very much. Why, just in my county alone there are about 2000 self storage units for people to store "stuff" they don't need and sometimes things they just do not want, and this county is among the small ones. I find it hard to think that we pay money to store things when there are children who go to bed hungry, if they have a bed. The US has found it suiting to abort thousands of babies each year when in developing countries 30,000 children under the age of five will die TODAY. That's no a type-o on the number, it's 30,000 each day due to disease's that are preventable. 37% of these children die of hunger.
If God has given you much, it may be that you have so much so that you can give much.
Sponsor a Child Today

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Compassion "Next Step"
Just about every year Compassion sent me a letter urging me to become an Advocate. That was something that I thought I could not do, so I never thought about again. The latter part of 07 I received another invite to become an Advocate. OK! This year was a little different, something told me that I had the time, since I have retired, and this charity was one that I truly believed in.
I prayed to the Lord about getting more involved with Compassion by working as a Advocate. I had made up my mind that I would ask God 7 times what His will was for my life. On the third day I had to go to the drug store for a refill. I remember that I was hurting really bad as I walked into the store and headed for the counter. I'm the type of person that when I'm hurting, from back problems, I don't want to talk to anyone. I just want to be left alone and hurt in silence, and pity my self. When I dropped off the prescription the lady told me it would be about 2o minutes before it would be ready. No Problem, I'll just walk around the store since there were about eight people in the waiting area and only six chairs. Walking down one isle I found jelly beans, and since I'm jelly bean lover, I picked up three packs. After about 15 minutes I headed for the counter. Everyone had cleared out except a young couple with two little kids. As I made my way to a chair and sat down, the jelly beans acted like a magnet to the two little ones. Within a minute I had a little girl with blond hair, that needed brushing really bad, about 2 foot nothing, leaning on my knees asking about the jellies. The first thing that went through my mind, I DON'T FEEL LIKE TALKING TO YOU, GO AWAY. And you guessed it, she wanted some jelly beans. I thought about opening a bag, but since I had not paid for them, I tried something else. I started naming colors for her. At first, I could not hear what she was saying, she talked like a child that had been punished for misbehaving, really quite. Within a nano second of talking to me, there were "TWO" just a like. "IDENTICAL TWINS"
As both of these little girls leaned on my knees, we talked about the colors in the bags of jellies, and after a little while, both were telling me the colors in a voice that was much more like a three or four year old talking about candy. Through all this I was thinking that these little girls needed their hair brushed and maybe faces washed off a little. I don't know how long I sat there going over the colors in all the bags, but I heard one of the parents tell then it was time to go. As I watched them go I knew that these two little girls really needed more attention than was being given. I would have picked them both up and gave them a BIG hug, and carried them home for my wife and I to spoil, with all kinds of toys and love.
Just then, off in the distance, I heard a name called for medicine pickup. I turned to the counter and asked if that was for me, but I should have known, I was the only one left. As I paid for my medicine, the lady asked if I was a school teacher. I told her that I was just about as far from being a teacher as anyone could be. She said that I sure had those little girls attention while we waited. I explained to her that my wife and I had raised two girls, that have families of their own now, and I was partial to little girls, you know, sugar and spice and everything nice, "most of the time."
As I walked out the door I realized, I'm not hurting very much any more. Then it hit all through my being. I had been placed at the store at the right time, with the right little ones, and my mind had been moved from pity for myself and from the pain to those precious little ones for one reason. Answered Prayer. Thank You Lord. I knew without a doubt, the Lord was asking me to get more involved in Compassion by signing up as as Advocate, to stand up for the little ones who can not speak for themselves, the little ones that God loves more than we can explain or know.
To any that read this, remember; Proverbs says, "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy." AND "If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered." Go to the web site below and find out what YOU can do.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Think Small

For about five years I have been a sponsor for Compassion International. I have sponsored two little ones in India, both of which have moved out of Com passions reach. Both of these little ones life changed for the better, by God's Grace, and they could be cared for without the help of Compassion. For the last couple of years I have sponsored Kimberly (9 years old), who lives in Guatemala, and for about a year, Penina (8 years old) who lives in Kenya. What a felling of joy and love I get when they send me letters and tell me that they are praying for me, and also tell me about what they are learning in the Compassion program. They also ask me to pray for family members that are ill or have to be away for one reason or another. Penina's father had to be away during Christmas and she told me that it really made her sad. I pray for these little girls every day and hope to met them in person some day.
There are so many more children that are waiting for sponsors to give them a chance to learn, get health checkups, and to learn about God's love for them. Thousands of this children die every day from preventable disease, (30,000). And more than a million are homeless. But a big part of Americans have to have storage buildings just to store the "stuff" they have, that's why the storage business is booming. Most Americans spend more on coffee or soft drinks than it takes to sponsor one of these little ones who doesn't even have a place to lay their head at night. What would you do if suddenly you had NOTHING. No house, no food, only the clothes on our back. I know, there are people right here in the US in that shape. BUT, There are places that they can go to get help, food, and sometimes a place to stay at night. Our government has so many, "handouts" that if ANYONE that has a need, they can tap into these programs help.
But for the children in under developed countries there are no programs, why the young ones do not even have a voice to speak up with. How can a 10 year old expect to be heard if he lives in a dump and has to eat the garbage that others throw out.
In the Bible, in Mark 9;37,it says; Whoever welcomes one of these little ones in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.