Journey

There is an ancient Chinese proverb that says, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”  I’m embarking on a journey that began with a single word…”yes”.  I have written about my involvement with Compassion and how important it has become to me.  I had the opportunity to attend a Compassion Advocate’s conference in Chicago last month.  It was great to talk with other advocates and to hear about their experiences travelling to countries where Compassion works.

I had always viewed a trip with Compassion as something that would be great to do, but practically out of reach because of expense.  We are just a regular middle class family and don’t have wads of spare cash lying around.  The day after the conference during church service our pastor gave the scripture that would be the focus of the sermon.  I opened up my iPad to look up the verses.  My email was open and had pulled in some new messages.  There was one from Compassion and the subject was “An Invitation to Meet Wannaporn!”  Wannaporn is our sponsored child in Thailand.  Suddenly I was struck with this very distinct thought which I believe was a direct message from God.  “You stood before your church family exactly one week ago during Compassion Sunday and told them that God wanted their obedience above all.  That whatever it was, if God was calling someone to do something, he would provide….financial or otherwise.”

After much prayer, discussion with my husband, and counsel from trusted friends I have arrived at this place…”yes”.  Unless God completely shuts the door, next year I plan to meet one of our sponsored children.  I originally thought that would take me to Thailand.  Now it looks as if that journey is going to take me to Tanzania.  I had told Dusty that all things being equal I think I would prefer to go to Tanzania.  Mwajuma has been part of our family for over 5 years now and Tanzania is where my Compassion story began.

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The trip will be in March 2014…ten months away.   It’s a big decision.  It’s a long journey.  It will be life changing.  It’s not set in stone yet, but it’s the direction I am moving toward.  I would appreciate your prayers.

Same…but different

Mother’s Day is coming up in less than a week.  God has seen fit to bless my husband and I with two wonderful children.  They make me laugh, they sometimes frustrate me, and they make me proud.

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There are mothers all over the world with the same joys, frustrations, hopes, and dreams as I have.  We are the same; but we are different.

Women all over the world who will tuck their kids into bed with a kiss and hug tonight just like I will.  They will worry about their children contracting malaria from the mosquitoes that incessantly buzz all night.  I will not.

Women like me who want their kids to grow in knowledge and have the opportunity for education.  I’ll take my kids to their well-equipped schools to learn from trained teachers tomorrow.  They can not.

Women who rely on their husband’s hard work to provide for their children, as I do.  They will hope that their children’s father will find work for the day so there is money for food.  I will not.

Women who want their kids to stay strong and healthy as do I.  If my child is ill, I have many options as to which doctor I will take them to.  They do not.

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Photo: Compassion International

I sometimes wonder why God saw fit to place me in a country with vast resources while countless numbers of mothers have watch their kids go without even the most basic necessities.   There are hard questions to which I don’t think I’ll ever have the answer.  That doesn’t mean that we can’t do something though, but in the face of such big problems, what can we do?

One place to start is Compassion’s Child Survival Program.  The Child Survival Program aids mothers and their children from pregnancy through toddler hood by providing mothers with access to medical check-ups, immunizations, supplemental food and nutrition education, parenting education, and spiritual discipleship.  You can partner with Compassion as a monthly donor or make a one time contribution.  Please visit Compassion’s website today.

We all have the same basic needs.  We all have different problems and difficulties.  We all can battle poverty and injustice….together.