Thursday, July 21, 2011

More Than Just a Picture

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I am sure most of you are familiar with the organization, Compassion International. I've known about it for years. My mom has sponsored a few children over the past decade or so, and I know I have heard about it at church before.

While I have always thought it was an amazing ministry, I felt there just wasn't room in our paycheck-to- paycheck budget for us to participate in such a huge commitment. Raising 3 kids on 1 income can be tough, really tough. It was challenging just feeding our own growing family.

Well, I felt the first real heart prickles when I started following Rocks in my Dryer and participating in her weekly Works for me Wednesday segment. She also posted about Compassion and her own personal experience. Though my heart had been pricked, our family had just moved to AZ and finances were tighter than ever! So, I tucked away all of Shannon's posts about Compassion deep in the recesses of my heart.

When the host, Shannon, passed the Works for Me Wednesday baton to Kristen from We are THAT Family, I began faithfully following her site. I totally wasn't prepared for the work God was going to do in my heart through Kristen's blog during the bleakest financial trial of my husband's and my marriage.

I couldn't help but be glued to We are THAT Family when Kristen chronicled her trip to Africa sponsored by Compassion International. I even shared her journey on my own blog. It was this video that completely severed my heart and left me weeping at my computer screen.

I knew I wanted to be involved in this ministry, but HOW. I didn't even want to bring it up to my husband ~ not after him losing a job, starting another job that didn't provide enough to make ends meet, being on SNAP and WIC for almost 2 years, and facing trial after trial after moving to the desert. I just didn't think it would be a good time, ya know. But, I did anyway. Because one thing I learned during our economic crisis was that even in our own great time of need, we still had more than so many others. We had families who helped us. Our government, even with all its faults, helped us. Our bank worked with us.

We were still so blessed. God opened my eyes. My suffering was minimal compared to some others' sufferings. I still woke up with clean water at my disposal. We still ate food everyday ~ not the most tasty, but we never went hungry. My kids still have no clue what it would be like to starve. We were able to stay in our home, safe from the elements. So many blessings.

So, when I brought up Compassion to my husband about a month or so before Christmas last year, I was surprised when he said to go ahead and pick out a child.

So, here is our Compassion child from Kenya. He is far more than just a picture on our fridge. He has a name ~ Livingstone.

I left the choosing mostly up to my kids.  We decided on a country first (Kenya), and then we all sat on our couch perusing all the kids from Kenya. We knew we were going to pick a boy so my own boys would feel compelled to write and be able to relate somewhat.
For once they all agreed on something.  They were all drawn to this little boy wearing such a forlorn expression.

For over six months now, he's been a part of our family, and he has changed us for the better!

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