Friday, January 25, 2008

When God Makes Me Laugh...

I know there are times that I must make God laugh, but there are times when God makes me laugh too, and this is one of them.

Since making the decision that I'm going to sponsor a new African child, I've been so eager to just jump in and do it, but God has not yet provided clear direction on which child He has chosen especially for me. Waiting is so hard for me!!! And yet I wait... but not patiently, I must admit.

First, there was Moses. An adorable 6 year old in overalls -- I am overly fond of children in overalls, I just think they are so adorable -- and I definitely knew Moses was the child for me. Of course, I hadn't yet asked God His opinion on the matter, so I set forth to do that very thing. I asked Him specifically to show me whether or not I should sponsor Moses, and then I proceeded with my Bible study for the day. Not a word in there to answer my question. I was startled. He always answers one way or the other, but not to even mention it?? I headed back to the Compassion site to look at Moses once more... and Moses was gone. Out of the subset of children I had searched under, Moses was the only one that someone else had in that hour I was gone decided to sponsor... Okay, God, so that was a definite no on Moses.

I wait. A couple of days pass with no clear direction, I've studied the profiles of the children in the subset multiple times and none seems to jump out at me, and then one day two new children are added. One was named Polycarp. Polycarp!! Who trained under the disciple John and then led the church at Smyrna!? Yes, yes, this little Polycarp must be the child for me!! But of course I have to pray about it first. Again no clear answer at all. Frustrating. I went back that evening to have another look, and what do you know, Polycarp was gone. None of those other children on the list, just Polycarp. Sigh. Another no.

And then another child drew my attention. Adam. Yes, Adam could be the right child for me, couldn't he? And boom, five minutes later, Adam is gone. I'm not kidding!!

Next my attentions were drawn to a child named Timothy. I had seen him several times and not thought he was the one, but now I was beginning to wonder. I was already composing letters to him in my head -- To Timothy, my true son in the faith... :o) So last night, I sit down to ask about Timothy, and this time I specifically said, PLEASE don't just NOT answer my question this time. Whether it's yes or no or whatever the answer is, PLEASE ANSWER!!!! And He did. I proceed to my Scripture reading to see His answer emblazoned on the page before me: "wait for the promise of the Father..." and "it is not for you to know the time or the season..."

I noticed this morning that Timothy -- and only Timothy -- is missing from the subset of children.

And I just had to laugh.


And so I continue to wait....

Saturday, January 19, 2008


My heart has become burdened for Africa lately. I can't explain why. I've never thought much about Africa before, I'll admit. I remember the images of little starving Ethiopian children on the tv screen constantly when I was a little girl, and of course we've all probably heard at some point during our childhood when refusing to eat something we didn't like about the poor little starving children in Africa who would love to have that to eat. But other than a casual "hmm, those poor kids in Africa" thought here and there, I never really thought much more about it.

I blogged about Compassion International a year ago, and introduced you to my three sponsored children, Staurin, Angie, and Marsabi. (You can read that post here.) It wasn't intentional that they're all from Central and South America, but it's not really surprising either. After all, those countries somehow seem a much closer need... it's on our land mass, after all, and I've heard so many missionary stories from places like Haiti, Costa Rica, etc., and my own sister-in-law is from Argentina. Having three sponsored children in Colombia, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico just brings Central and South American poverty to the forefront of my mind.

However, just in the last few weeks, Africa has weighed heavily on my mind. I'm sure that is in great part due to Life Today, an amazing ministry that I've only recently discovered. I'm very impressed with the integrity I see in this ministry and have begun supporting their efforts in mission feeding and drilling water wells. Since I've been watching a lot of their programming, the images of starving little children and their grieving parents, and of the nasty sewage-filled water these families drink from, have really been burned into my mind.

And now, the bloggers, including one of my favorites, BooMama, are going to Uganda with Compassion, to blog about what that ministry is doing in that country. I'm really excited about this. I'm always so eager to see what's going on for myself, to watch the changes that are made in children's lives, to hear their stories. I'm hoping for LOTS of details from these bloggers!!

I received a DVD in the mail from Compassion the other day, full of short features. I watched most of them, but the one that really left the most impact on me was Michael W. Smith's visit to the Kibera slum in Kenya. I was appalled at the living conditions of these people; I've seen poverty and really wretched living conditions many times before, but never have I seen anything this bad. My heart was suddenly burdened for Kibera and I decided it was time to sponsor another child, this time from Africa. I've been searching through the photos and praying regarding the particular child God has chosen for me to sponsor this time, but so far, I don't believe the child is there. I waited and prayed six months for Marsabi before God showed me that she was the one, so I hope I don't have to wait THAT long this time! :o)

I think this child is a boy, around 7-10 years of age. I can't explain that, it's just what I feel like God is telling me. I am really looking forward to "meeting" him, and watching God perform a miracle in his life. I am wondering if the blogger's Uganda reports will lead me to my sponsored child there, or if he is in Kenya, perhaps even in Kibera itself, or perhaps a different African country. I'll keep you posted when I find him.

In the meantime, I encourage you to check out this awesome ministry for yourself -- where else do you have the opportunity to make such a vast impact and investment in an impoverished child's life, and actually get to see the results over the years? It's a blessing I know you won't want to miss.