Fiesta of Fabulous Forty-ness Day Five: Have a Little Compassion

This is Tekalign. He lives in Ethiopia. I am Tekalign’s sponsor through Compassion International, a Christian child advocacy  ministry.  Our family “adopted” Tekalign five years ago during a Mercy Me/Amy Grant/Bebo Norman concert. We were able to choose the child we wanted to sponsor from the packets of available children they had at the Compassion table. I wanted a child from Africa because while I was in college I took a mission trip to South Africa that changed my life and my worldview forever. Africa will always be special to me. When I saw this precious face (Well, a five-year-old version of this precious face) and saw that he and I share a birthday, I knew we’d found a match. We may share a birthday, but our lifestyles are drastically different. I’m embarrassed to say that for what my husband spent on the celebratory meal with friends at a very nice restaurant tonight,we could have paid Tekalign’s father’s salary for  a year. The average worker where Tekalign lives makes $13 a month.

Sometimes I look around my house and I’m disgusted by the amount of stuff I’ve accumulated that means nothing to me, especially when people all over this world are doing without the very basic essentials of life. They are desperate for things that I take for granted: clean water, a soft bed, food to eat whenever I want to eat it…but ministries like Compassion and Samaritan’s Purse are about so much more than providing people with the things they need. Besides water to drink and medical care, these ministries offer people living water and the cure for their broken hearts. They bring Jesus.

More than ever before, I’m not impressed with accumulating stuff for my birthday or for Christmas. More than ever before, I know that life isn’t about stuff. If I sold everything I owned or even if I had all the money in the world, I couldn’t bring my daddy back to be with us for Christmas, but because of my faith, I know that I’ll see my dad again. More than ever before, I know that knowing where you’re going to spend forever is more important than how much you spend on gifts for birthdays and Christmas.

I want to do more with the resources God has given me. I want to help meet people’s physical needs so that they are able to think past those to see their spiritual needs. I want to be used to bring Jesus to a world that desperately needs to know Him. So today’s gift is a little different. I would like to make a $10 donation to Compassion International in the name of whomever wins today’s birthday gift. I’ll let you choose the specific project you’d like to support. If you look at Compassion’s website you can find a list of specific ways that your money could be donated. While you’re at Compassion’s website, why don’t you take a minute to look at all of the children who are waiting for a sponsor and prayerfully consider if you can help? Or if you are unable to make a monthly commitment, maybe you’d consider making a one-time gift or you might volunteer to write letters to a Compassion child. Compassion has plenty of opportunities for you to get involved.

And so that you won’t leave this giveaway day empty-handed, I’ll send today’s winner a copy of one of my favorite books, Same Kind of Different As Me. This book greatly impacted my life and has forever changed the way I view homelessness in this country.

So what are you waiting for? Start commenting! Need a conversation starter? I’ll give you a couple of choices. Why don’t you either tell me about the most favorite gift you’ve ever given OR tell me about a book you’ve read that changed your life….P.S. Let’s just assume that most of you consider the Bible a life-changing book and pick your second favorite life-changing book, okay? 😉

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15 Comments

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15 responses to “Fiesta of Fabulous Forty-ness Day Five: Have a Little Compassion

  1. Oooh, I’m commenting, I’m commenting. See what a pleaser I am? 😉 Which brings me to a life changing book: The Search for Significance, by Robert McGee. Our amazing friend, LVCG recommended it to me this past summer when I was trying to figure some things out, not only for me, but for my children. I’m so into this book that a friend and I are doing it as a Bible study, and I’m praying about how to bring it to more folks. I think it’s amazing because it looks at truth vs. the common (evil) lies that we all fall into believing at one time or another.

    And I must win this one, Whimz, because Same Kind of Different as Me is on my Christmas list. Why? Well, because I want to preserve our friendship, and I know I have to read it. 🙂 🙂 🙂

    P.S. and totally unrelated: I need a judges ruling on searcy. Is it pronounced sEARcy or SIRcy? I blame my non Southern roots for the lack of knowledge in this area. It’s been bugging me for quite a while.

  2. I do apologize for vomiting emoticons on your post this morning.

  3. Our youth group sponsers a compassion child. Ours is a little girl from South America. It is always beautiful to see teenagers bring their offering on Wed. nights for this little girl.

    My favorite Christmas gift, was just last year when my hubby surprised me with the camera of my dreams. I love my pictures! And it was a total surprise. the fact that he had spent his bonus to get it for me, meant alot.

    As for books that have inspired me and changed my way of thinking, there are too many to count, for I love to read. There have been a few Bible studies by Beth Moore that left me feeling like God had written them just for me.

    Happy weekend!

  4. Sandy M.

    Gift: a “diamond” wedding band that I KNEW on our budget wasn’t “real diamonds”, but SO impressed my mom who was easily “wowed” by material things. I loved that my DH didn’t spend a fortune on it, & it served the purpose for many years. He gave it to me in the bottom drawer of a new jewelry box. It was such a surprise! My mom, several years later, came to Christ just 2 months before He suddenly took her Home, & I don’t think she ever knew about my CZ.
    Book: too many to choose one, but Search For Sig. also really impacted me.
    We “adopted” a child from India several years ago & sponsored him from 1st grade thru high school. What a blessing!

  5. Oh how I love my little Compassion boy, Thomas, who is in Kenya. I am so proud of this gift you are sending.
    I’ve always wanted to read the book you have in your giveaway, so I do hope I win… but if I don’t I might just go out and get one myself.

    As far as books that have changed me? I don’t know where to start. Jon Courson’s study of Ruth made me realize that I actually CAN read non-fiction and love love love it.

    I

  6. Angie

    We sponser a child too!
    The book that has changed the way I look at things and what I am trying to instill into my children: Beyond Belief to Convictions by Josh McDowell. This should be a must read for all parents or anyone involved with youth!

  7. We sponsor Maria in Mexico. Hope to sponsor more kiddos some day!

    Safely Home by Randy Alcorn. Opened my eyes to those in foreign lands who are dirt poor, persecuted for the gospel, yet love Jesus and His Word with a passion I’ve never known.

    LOVE Same Kind of Different as Me, but don’t own it. (wink)

  8. Erin King

    A book that has changed my life is The Rhythm of Life by Matthew Kelly.

  9. I think it would be obvious to most people that we sponsor a baby in China, where my heart came from! We started the day after we came back from China and saw all the children that could benefit so much from so little. I have forever been changed and appreciate life’s little things so much more.

    I have already read the book and that is why you still call me your friend after all these years!

    Melody

  10. What a great gift! Boundaries, I can’t remember who wrote it and am honestly too lazy to get it off my bathroom counter to see. It was a book I desperately needed to read.

  11. It’s wonderful that so many of your readers are also sponsoring a child somewhere in the world. I have always wanted to do that; definitely someday, maybe when we get out of college!

    So many books have changed my perspective on life. I hope to just keep finding more that will help my mind expand and become more aware of all around us. Even if I don’t win this book, I’m going to the public library and checking it out. I’m sure it’ll make me cry. 🙂

  12. We sponsor a little Compassion boy, Jenish, from India and I was brought to tears in his last letter to us when he told us that he used the money we sent for his birthday to buy 2 chairs to sit in to do his school work. CHAIRS. Sigh. We are so spoiled here in America….. Oh and he calls me “Aunt” in his letters and says “greetings in the sweet name of our Lord”. Oh how I want to just squeeze him!

    So…I guess you could say that’s the best gift I’ve ever GIVEN too!!

    Book: Not sure about this one….but I’ve read Calm My Anxious Heart over and over and over again. Good stuff.

  13. Life changing book….Families Where Grace Is In Place. Also, Hold Onto Your Kids. Forgive me for not adding the authors….I’m too tired to spell correctly.

  14. The pressure!! I can’t think of a favorite gift or life-changing book. They’re out there, I just can’t bring them to mind. Okay, I’m gonna go with Jan Karon’s Mitford series. I know it’s not your typical ‘changed-my-life’ fodder, but this series taught me so much about friendship and being a part of a community. So there. That’s my humble submission.

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