I know it has been a few weeks since I posted here, but honestly, I have not been sure how to assign words to what I have been feeling and experiencing. What the Lord has been doing in my heart and ministry literally has me slack-jawed. So, today I want to attempt to tap out my heart.
As you might know from THIS post and THIS post I have the privilege and joy of serving as an Ambassador for Compassion International. In that role I share the mission and vision of Compassion and encourage people like you and me to sponsor children and release them from poverty in the name of our Jesus. My dear friend, Karen, who is employed by Compassion International, invited me to be part of her Ambassador speaker team in December and it took me about a half a second to say “YES” to that invitation.
In December I set a goal of finding 25 sponsors for 25 children in poverty over the course of 6 months. I realized that if I was able to accomplish that goal it would be because the Lord worked in the hearts of people, not because of anything I would say or do. Sometimes, I believe the Lord just looks at a situation and says, “Step back and watch me work.”
I have shared Compassion at five different events over the past two months. Some events had 5 people at them, while others, like Compassion Sunday at my church, had 300 in attendance. At each event I had the privilege to speak and tell about the children I sponsor through Compassion and what a blessing sponsorship is to me, as well as the ins and outs of sponsorship in general. I am so excited to share that over 30 children have been sponsored in two months. Thirty lives changed. Thirty families given new hope. Thank you to each new sponsor!!
When a child is sponsored they gain access to education and medical care that they would not have been privy to otherwise. They are taught a work skill that can help them earn money to support themselves and their families. So many children in poverty are preyed upon by those who bind them up in sex trafficking and child labor. So for a child to have a usable skill with which to make money is HUUUUUGE! A sponsored child is connected with a local evangelical church in their community where they hear about Jesus and are engaged in Christian mentoring. AMAZING!!!!
Y’all, I am nearly face to the floor over the fact that I get to play a small part in changing the life of children who live in hopelessness and poverty….AND, I get to do it by functioning in my ‘sweet spot’ which is public speaking.
It has been quite a while since I spoke publicly in ministry, and honestly, I thought perhaps those days were behind me. I love doing small group ministry via Tasting Grace and would be content if that were where the Lord had me for the rest of my useful days. Yet, He is graciously giving me the opportunity to speak again.
You know what else? I’m in such a good place because for the first time in the 10 years I have been in ministry I have zero desire to strive for a bigger platform for myself. The constant grasping for more friends, followers, comments, tweets, and pins is draining on the soul, and I am done with it. Please know that I’m not casting dispersions at other who do it. I’m just saying it isn’t for me any longer. My heart is so satisfied with mentoring via Tasting Grace and the Come Away Retreat, as well as sharing the message of Compassion children and the opportunity that sponsorship gives them to meet Jesus and be released from poverty. God has truly changed my ‘ministry want-to’, and I couldn’t be happier and more content with the whole thing!
With that said, if God sees fit to plop this Georgia red-neck on a big stage to share about Compassion, I will not say ‘no’, but it has to be His doing, not mine. This whole Compassion gig is His doing, start to finish. So thank you, Lord, for trusting me with your work. I’m humbled. I’m honored, and I’m as excited as a teenager with her first prom invitation from the cutest guy in the school.
It would be the delight of my day to come share Compassion with your church or group. There is no cost to your group for me to come and I provide everything that is needed. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
Are you feeling the nudge from the Lord to sponsor a child? If so, go HERE to see some precious faces who are eagerly waiting for a sponsor.
Is there an area of your life where God has changed your want-to? Tell me about it.
Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them.
This quote by former First Lady of the United State, Lady Bird Johnson, rings with amazing truth and clarity. I know that, in my own life, it has proven to be true, and is one of the reasons that I am so passionate about the Child Sponsorship program of Compassion International.
In 2009 the Lord impressed upon my heart that I could make a difference in the life of a child in poverty by speaking truth and love into their hearts. I’m not talking about a child who doesn’t have a smart-phone or has to wear the same one pair of Jordans all school-year long. That’s not poverty.
I’m talking about a child who owns only one or two sets of clothing.
A child whose household income is less than $50 a month….fifty dollars a MONTH!!!
A child who lives in a house with dirt floors, adobe walls, and a tin roof.
A child whose diet consists of maize, beans, rice, and potatoes.
A child who might live in an area where AIDs is highly prevalent or child prostitution takes many young children and ravages them physically and emotionally.
A child who might rarely hear “I love you”, or “You are beautiful”, or “You are important”.
That is the child whose life I could change through Compassion.
I am not exactly certain how I became aware of Compassion and the work they do. Perhaps it was at a Beth Moore Living Proof Live event or some other women’s event. What I am certain of is the call the Lord issued to my heart to step out and change the life of a child.
Accordingly, I clicked onto the Compassion website and began to search for a child. I knew I wanted a girl, and I decided that I wanted her to share my birth month. I also knew I wanted to make a long-term commitment to this child, so I chose a younger child. After a bit of searching and applying those filters, I found Ruth.
Yep, she was my girl….and she has been since 2009.
Ruth was 6 years old when I became her sponsor. The area of Africa that Ruth lives in is rife with malaria. Most adults in her region are unemployed, but some work as subsistence farmers and can earn the equivalent of $16 per month. This is the life that Ruth could expect to live into adulthood……BUT Compassion stepped in.
My sponsorship of Ruth costs $38 dollars a month and it gives her so much. For a mere $38 a month, Ruth has access to:
education to combat illiteracy,
desperately needed medical care and nutritional supplements,
recreational activities that give a child focus and help them stay out of trouble,
Christian mentoring in a community based church,
and the opportunity to hear about Jesus.
What are the long-term benefits of sponsorship to a child? Sponsored children:
Stay in school 1 – 1.5 years longer than their unsponsored peers
Are 14-18% more likely to have salaried employment in adulthood
Are 35% more likely to find white-collar jobs in adulthood
Are 25-40% more likely to finish secondary education
Are 50-80% more likely to finish college
Are 30-75% more likely to be leaders in their communities as adults
Are 40-70% more likely to grow into church leaders
Over the years that I have been Ruth’s sponsor I have sent letters to her, and received letters back from her. We share our lives with each other and I consistently encourage her to work hard in school. I tell her that she is important to me, and that I love her and Jesus loves her.
Remember, children are likely to live up to what you believe about them. I want Ruth to believe that she is beautiful and important and capable of excelling. I want her to know that Jesus loves her and so do I.
Today, Ruth is 15 years old. She is in Class 7 in school and is doing well. My heart is full when I think that perhaps I have made a difference in Ruth’s life.
Would you consider sponsoring a child through Compassion?
Please click on this link or the one below to see the beautiful faces of some children who are waiting for someone to sponsor them.
Ten years ago when I stepped into ministry I never could have dreamed the path on which that call would take me. There have been amazing highs, and painful lows…but really, isn’t that just how life is?
If I can be completely honest with you I always thought ministry would look like standing on a stage speaking to groups, both large and small. On that stage is where I feel most comfortable, yet pretty early in ministry God made it clear that the stage was only to be a portion of how I would serve in His kingdom.
A few years in, He led me to write….a blog, a book, a Bible study or three. The writing led to some opportunities to speak on stages. I felt complete and excited to be able to serve the Lord in these ways.
Then, something else happened. God began to draw in and draw down my ministry. There was less stage and more face-to-face time with women. Mentoring younger women, and a few older ones, became part of my ministry. Tasting Grace mentoring in the kitchen ministry was born, as was Tasting Grace, the Bible study. Now, surely I was where God desired for me to be!
Ah, but no. God seems to have a penchant for change.
In today’s short video I am sharing with you the latest ministry opportunity the Lord has laid before me. He has flung wide the door to another amazing ministry. Through Compassion International’s Child Sponsorship ministry I can blend my passion for speaking and sharing God’s love with the opportunity to mentor and encourage others. Words cannot begin to express how excited and humbled I am about this opportunity to partner with Compassion. Please click the video link to learn more.
If you are reading this post via email, please click HERE to be taken to my website where you can view the video.
Would your church or group be interested in hearing more about Compassion’s Child Sponsorship program?Would you be interested in hosting a Compassion Sunday in your church? If so, please use the form on my speaking page to contact me and I will happily share more information with you about how we can make this happen. You can also email me at email@example.com.
Click the link below to see the faces of beautiful children who are waiting for sponsors!
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Hi! I am Leah.
Speaker, Author, Mentor. Bible teacher. Jesus-follower. Wife. Mom. Friend. Daughter of the King.
I hope you will come here often, ask questions, interact, and fall more deeply in love with Jesus.