It's been a great Christmas so far, and it's not even Christmas Eve yet!
My best Christmas present is a girl named Mariamu. I recently heard about this 14 year old from Tanzania who was waiting for a sponsor through Compassion International -- Australia. I don't live in Australia, so I couldn't sponsor her -- or could I?
I very much wanted to sponsor Mariamu. There are hundreds of kids waiting on the Compassion USA site, but Mariamu needed me. You see, she's been waiting six and a half years for a sponsor. Six and a half years.
That is mind-boggling. I can't even imagine how much she has hurt over the years, watching every other child receive letters and gifts and love from their sponsors, and month after month, year after year, nobody ever sends her anything. Nobody cares about her.
To make matters worse, Mariamu was recently orphaned. So not only has she had to sit more than six years waiting for someone to care about her enough to sponsor her, but she has watched both of her parents die -- and she has no siblings. She's all alone in the world now.
Or at least she was. I was able to obtain permission to have Mariamu transferred to the Compassion USA site so that I could sponsor her. Merry Christmas to me!!! I am so excited about adding this new sweet girl to my Compassion family, and only hope that I am up to the challenge of pouring enough love out to her to make up for the six and a half years of nothing.
There are many children like Mariamu waiting for a sponsor. Do you have some extra love to share with a child who desperately needs it this Christmas? I highly encourage you to sponsor a child. Compassion's programming is so successful at releasing children from poverty -- at truly making a difference. There are lots of good ministries out there feeding the hungry, putting shoes on bare feet, digging water wells, etc., and those are wonderful things to support. But Compassion takes a different approach. Rather than changing the child's circumstances and hoping for a change in the child, they believe if you change the child, then the child will change their circumstances. They use a child development model, to help children learn and grow and be loved and achieve their fullest potential, in spite of their circumstances.
There are children of all ages and countries waiting for you to change their world today, for a mere $38 a month and the time invested in your correspondence. Go now, and bring "home" a child for Christmas this year.
Besides Mariamu, my Christmas has been fun so far due to getting the opportunity to play Santa Claus -- and seeing God's hand work in that situation.
I asked my preschoolers at church to bring in birthday presents for Jesus. Some brought money, which I had not wanted them to do as I wanted it to be meaningful for the kids, and I don't think preschoolers really get the point when Mom or Dad forks over money, instead of them wrapping up a toy they'd really like to have themselves and giving it away. But what can you do?
As it turns out, God had a plan for that money. I learned of a 7 year old boy who wanted nothing for Christmas except a bicycle. His name went on a Salvation Army tree and was chosen... by a person who bought him a shirt, a hat and gloves, some Matchbox cars... and a bicycle helmet.
What a slap in the face, to give a child who wants nothing but a bike, a HELMET with no bike. I don't know what on earth they were thinking.
Well, as it turns out, my kids brought in $50. A boys' bicycle cost $49 at Walmart. Is that God or what? That little boy is getting his bicycle for Christmas, courtesy of my preschoolers. :o) I just had the fun of dropping it off, and was his grandmother ever grateful.
I also had the pleasure of dropping off all the toys the kids brought in to a family I just met last week -- after having asked the kids to bring in presents with no idea who I was going to give them to. I knew God would show me who needed them, and He did. This poor little boy had absolutely nothing for Christmas, and his parents are too concerned about saving up money to get the water turned back on to be able to spend anything on gifts. There's no stockings hanging up in that house, no tree of any kind. You wouldn't even know it's Christmas. At least, you wouldn't a couple of days ago. With the pile of brightly wrapped gifts I just dropped off to them this afternoon, chosen by my preschoolers as gifts they themselves would like to receive at Christmas, I think this little boy's Christmas is looking a lot merrier. :o)
And then a gift for me -- I unexpectedly received in the mail -- unexpectedly because after thinking things had finally fallen into place so that I could begin fostering, more red tape intervened and I thought right now I was just on hold again -- my certificate of approval for fostering/adopting. FINALLY!!
Now I just wait on a phone call to go pick me up some kids! :o) Hallelujah!