Saturday, November 1, 2008

I Bought a Cow

I never thought I would say those words. You see, I dream of living on a farm... but my dream farm has no crops and no animals. ;)

I'm not an animal person. Cute small fuzzy animals are okay, although as of right now, I have not chosen to invite even the most darling little kitten into my home. (But boy, those Holland lop bunnies are enticing, and I may give in yet.) But anything larger than a cat is simply not for me.

So why, you may ask, did I buy a COW?

First, let me show you the cow:

I bought the cow not for me, but for Rebecca, my sponsored child in Uganda. (She's the smaller of the two girls shown.) She is the dearest little thing, by the way... her letters are so sweet.

For Rebecca's family, the cow means milk, not only for Rebecca and her siblings to drink, but to sell. For a family that only makes a dollar a day, when they can find work at all, a cow means more money than they've ever had. Not a lot of money still, but more than they have now.

What astounds me most is when I take into account the price of the cow, and Rebecca's family income. They would never, ever, have been able to purchase a cow. It costs more money than they earn just to keep their family fed. They have no opportunity to make their lives better, because it takes money to make money.

And yet, the money I sent for this cow equates to the amount I'm paid for an hour and a half of work.

Yes, that's an hour and a half of sitting on the floor with a two-year-old and teaching them how to play with toys, how to say sounds or words, how to match pictures or sort colors. Some sacrifice, eh? Such a little bit on my end becomes so much on theirs. It sort of reminds me of Jesus with the little boy's lunch, feeding thousands of people. Such a small gift, but it went so far.

This cow is the perfect example of what I love best about Compassion. I get to see the impact my dollars have. I see how they're spent, and what difference is made. I have given to other ministries that do similar things, and I have nothing bad to say about any of those ministries nor do I discourage supporting them in any way, they too are making differences like these. But I sent off my check and hoped it made a difference in someone's life and never really knew what happened as a result. With Compassion, I know. I know whose life it impacts, and I see the long-term results, as I get to keep Rebecca for another 15 years or so.

You can't change the world -- but you can change the world for one child.

I sponsored Rebecca as part of the Compassion Bloggers' trip to Uganda in February. I'm thrilled to announce that tomorrow, a new group of Compassion Bloggers is going to the Dominican Republic. I encourage you to follow their trip, and to pray to see if God is leading you to sponsor a child through Compassion. Click "Compassion" in the list of labels in the sidebar to read my other posts about my Compassion kids.

And while you're at it... sponsor a child. ;)

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