23 May

Starts and Ends in the Heart

A picture on the mantle.

A few letters in a notebook/scrapbook.



These are the only traces of him here.

And, yet, as I pray for him today tears stream down my cheeks.

Over 4000 miles between us. Worlds really.

And yet, our William…our Compassion child is part of our family…part of my heart.

In my most recent (and last letter) I wrote, “Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Isn’t that so exciting!?! That even before you were born God knew the amazing adventure you would go on with Him — your family, your school, your soccer team, your Compassion programs, your sponsors, and the new adventures that await you.”

How exciting it is for him to be graduating…to be growing up.

And I wonder what I would say if I could hug him and say goodbye. What wise, loving words could I end our season of life with?

Life isn’t fair and it can be tough. But grace isn’t fair and it is Love.

Pray. Read your Bible. Remember, no matter what, God loves you.

Look for Jesus…everywhere.

In the end, the words I left him with were how proud we are of him and how much we love him. Something I hope he knows, he feels and he’ll remember.

As I look back on my childhood and the people who changed my world, I am keenly aware that very few of them ever had that one Pinterest worthy quote or a life changing piece of advice. No, instead, they loved me. In real, tangible, reliable ways the people who affected my life most lavished me with love.

When we signed up to be Compassion sponsors we had so many reasons — to teach our children about God’s love, to connect our kids with kids around the world, to give — even a little — of what God has blessed us with. I had no idea that sponsorship would change my life…my heart.

I had no idea the joy a simple envelope would bring. Or how my heart would skip a beat as I looked at pictures and handwriting — seeing evidence of how much “our” children were growing. Or the overwhelming privilege of being entrusted with prayers of “little” ones. Or the love and concern we would develop for the families of these sweet children God allows us to get know.

But mostly, I never realized how much being a sponsor would show me about God. That in these envelopes filled with translated words and crayon drawings I would find a reminder of what is important. That whispers of truth and prayers said in love change the world. That while I sit here struggling with first world problems, God blesses us — not so that we can get more but so that we can give more.

Our sweet friend will start a new chapter of his life, and I am so happy for him and yet so sad to be saying goodbye.

Many of us think that sponsoring a child begins in the checkbook. Finding the money. Writing the check. But the truth is, sponsorship starts and ends in the heart. It is a Jesus filled journey that brings us face to face with the “least of these”.

And it is there…in this relationship that we find glimpses of God. Echoes of truth in crayon decorated letters. Loaves and fishes miracles as Compassion takes our little and turns into food and clean water; education; medical care; life skills training; and Jesus in love, deed and Word!



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