Better Than We Expected

When you make big plans to go on a Compassion sponsor trip, you expect to be able to meet and visit with the child you sponsor. This is, after all, the main reason that most people go on a trip like this in the first place. You want to see that the child you have been communicating with and investing in is a real person, receiving the benefits of the program you have trusted in.

But on this last trip, there was a very real possibility that I would not be able to see Felix again.

Now, if this had been my first Compassion trip, I most certainly would have been devastated!

But this was my second trip to Mexico with Compassion.

On my first trip, not only did I meet Felix, I met his mom, his big sister, his little brother, and I spent time in his home and at the project he attends. This was a really big deal!

I have to tell you though, the thought of not being able to see Felix on this second trip never crossed my mind until the middle of this last trip when our trip leader said they needed to talk with me the night before the child fun day.

We had plans, Kelsey and I. We were going to play with both boys on the child fun day. That was what we expected, that was what we had planned.

But the way this all played out was better than we expected, even with the unfortunate set of circumstances that surrounded the change of plans.

Very early on Friday morning of our last full day in Mexico, Kelsey and I, along with Gloria from Compassion Mexico, boarded a plane in Veracruz on our way to Mexico City for the day. While the rest of our group spent the day touring historical sites in Veracruz, we were on our way to spend the day with Felix. We really didn't even know all of the details when we boarded that early morning flight, the only thing I was sure of was that we were on our way to see Felix.

Our time with Felix was precious! 

Me and Felix

We shared a meal together.

first time on an escalator

He experienced an escalator for the first time.

playing together

We played together at a trampoline place.

sharing frozen yogurt

We had frozen yogurt together.

good conversation

We had time to ask questions, answer questions, and laugh together.

Special gift for Felix

And I was able to give him a backpack full of gifts and a Bible with his name on it.

There are no words to explain how special this day was. God had a better plan and the day was much better than we expected.

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts."

- Isaiah 55:8-9

We Had a Plan

Almost three years ago, when we started sponsoring Alfredo for Kelsey, we started dreaming and planning for a trip together to visit both of our Compassion sponsored boys in Mexico. We talked about how fun it would be to play with both boys together, spend the day with them, and maybe they would even become friends.

We had a plan...

But God had another plan...

And as always, His plans are better than our plans...

On the scheduled child fun day, I was able to spend the day with Kelsey and Alfredo, his mom and the project director. I was able to ask questions, take photos, and just enjoy watching Kelsey and Alfredo play together. I was in awe as I watched her love him just by spending time with him. I believe I would have missed so much if our plan had played out.

Kelsey and Alfredo

For this Type A personality of mine, it has been quite a journey to be content in His plans. Believe me, I still struggle in this area. But the older I get, and the closer I cling to Him, He continues to show me how His plans are better than mine.

"And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:7

Act for Compassion with Black Friday Bibles

You may be thinking, "What does Black Friday and Bibles have in common?"

Nothing really.

But a couple of weeks ago, I started an Act for Compassion fundraising campaign to raise money to provide children's Bibles for Compassion kids around the world.

The Black Friday part of the campaign was to encourage people to use some of their Black Friday savings to purchase Bibles.

Now that Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday have past, I wanted to take the time to have you and your family think about making even a $10 donation to this fundraiser.

Photo credit: Compassion International

Photo credit: Compassion International

Have you ever counted how many Bibles you have in your home?

Give your kids a fun activity today!

Send them around your home counting how many Bibles you have. For every Bible you own, put one dollar in a jar.

Have 5 Bibles? Donate $5 to my fundraiser.

Have 10 Bibles? Donate $10 to my fundraiser.

Every $10 donation provides a children's Bible for a Compassion child.

Will you and your family help today?

Help Haiti on Giving Tuesday

Every morning, I wake up in a comfortable bed. My home is more than large enough for my family. We all have plenty of clothes and there is always enough food to eat. Our home needs a new roof, but it still protects us from the elements.

There are a few things I want: new lenses for my camera, a gas stove for my kitchen, and enough money to replace the roof on our home.

Honestly though, there is nothing I need.

Photo credit: Compassion International

Photo credit: Compassion International

I have never had to go without shoes.

I have never had to go without clothes.

I have never had to go without food.

I have never had to go without a home.

When Hurricane Matthew stuck Haiti almost two months ago, families lost all of these things and more.

On this Giving Tuesday, you can help provide simple things that we take for granted.

You can provide temporary housing...

You can provide medical care...

You can provide food...

You can provide love to children and families in Haiti by making a donation today.


Using Snapchat for Compassion Letters

I have to admit, I was a little hesitant to add one more social media channel to my online presence. But when Compassion took a couple of young men to Bolivia this summer, I wanted to be able to follow along. So I reluctantly started a Snapchat account. I did enjoy seeing a small glimpse of Compassion in Bolivia, but I wasn't really sure if I would continue using Snapchat once the trip was over.

Then, I learned this really neat thing about Snapchat that would make sending photos with letters to our sponsored children a bit more special. Compassion recently updated their list of things that can be sent with letters, so I want to make good use of my time and resources but still be creative with what I can send.

Last month, I was in St. Louis and saw the Gateway Arch for the first time. Now, I could just send a photo of the arch along with my next letter...

Gateway Arch in St. Louis

...but by applying a Snapchat filter to the photo, I can send them this photo instead...

Gateway Arch in St. Louis

I love that this looks just like a postcard!

And instead of sending a small postcard, I can attach this photo to a letter as a full 8 1/2 x 11-inch photo! The easiest way to do this is by using the Compassion app or writing a letter online.  It will be fun to visit other locations and share more fun Snapchat photos with our sponsored children.

What creative things have you been mailing to your Compassion sponsored children lately?