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?


What's In The Mail? - Compassion Alumni

Volunteering at many Compassion event over the past five years has given me the opportunity to meet quite a few Compassion alumni and hear their stories in person. Just last month, while at the Compassion Experience in Texas, I was able to meet Keewani from the Philippines. Her story is on the Compassion Experience trailer that my son and his team are with.

Matthew, Keith, Keewani, Elsie, and Evan (from left to right)

Matthew, Keith, Keewani, Elsie, and Evan (from left to right)

I thought my own Compassion sponsored children might like to read about Keewani's story. So I copied Kiwi's story from the Compassion website, and added it to a page with a photo from the day we met her:

Compassion Experience with Kiwi

My hope is that this is encouraging to my sponsored children who will see that Kiwi was able to escape the poverty that she was born into.

Even if you have never met any of the Compassion alumni, you can still share their stories with your own sponsored children. Currently, there are stories of 17 Compassion alumni on the Compassion website.

Since I did my letters online this month, I also included this page which I created using the Canva website:

Click on the image above to download and share this with your own Compassion kids

Click on the image above to download and share this with your own Compassion kids

I want my sponsored children to remember that God is good at all times and He is always watching over them. He loves them and He will always give them peace.

So, what's in the mail this month to your own Compassion sponsored children?

Watching God Work

Many of you know that I love volunteering at Compassion events. I love being able to answer questions people have, and help them start their journey of sponsoring a child. 

But at many of these events, I have had the opportunity to be part of watching God work in some pretty amazing ways!

This past weekend, I spotted little Abreham from Ethiopia...

Compassion child waiting for a sponsor

I usually try to find a child who has a birthday the same day as someone in my family, and little Abreham's was as close as I could find. His birthday is on December 7th, which is right between my daughter's birthday and mine.

So I sent his picture to my daughter so she could be praying that someone would come along and sponsor Abreham.

Well then, on Sunday afternoon, a family came through and saw little Abreham. One of the daughter's said, "Look mom, he has the same birthday as me!" The daughter took down Abreham's packet as the family looked around at other children waiting to be sponsored.

That is when I heard the mom say her daughter's name. I thought I heard what she said, but I asked her again what her daughter's name is...her daughter's name is Kelsey.

My daughter's name is Kelsey!

What are the chances that a little girl with the same name as my own daughter, whose birthday is the same day as Abreham's, who is the little boy my daughter has been praying for, and that little girl would come through the Compassion Experience event that day??

This one family decided to sponsor five (yes, FIVE!) children that day!

God is an awesome God!! He knew this would happen and He allowed me to be a part of it. 

What ways have you been able to watch God work lately?

This Made Me Cry

For the past four years, I have been part of a very special team at Compassion. One of my volunteer roles has been to manage the Compassion Pinterest account and write some of the blog posts for Compassion's Second Friday Letter Writing Club. As part of this team, I have had the opportunity to work with some great people at Compassion! 

Chris, Jacquie, Sam, Eryn, Susan, Emily, and Sarah have included me in conference calls, Google Hangouts, and numerous emails over the years, listening to my ideas and truly making me feel like part of the team.

But as new volunteer opportunities have come along for me, I have felt that my time in this role needed to come to an end. I sent an email to the team a couple of weeks ago to let them know about my decision. They graciously accepted my 'resignation' and wished me the best of luck in whatever the future holds. In fact, they almost made me rethink my decision!

So Friday, when I arrived home, there was a package on the table from Compassion. Now this isn't usually a strange thing. I had just placed an order to have child packets delivered for an upcoming conference where I will have a Compassion table. But the strange thing about this particular box, it was really light and a bit larger than the usual boxes that arrive.

When I opened the box, there was a card with my name on it taped to something wrapped in tissue paper. I opened the card and started reading it, that is when I started to cry. The card was signed by all the members of the social media team at Compassion that I have had a chance to 'work' with. Their very kind words truly made me feel loved!

And then I opened the tissue wrapped package and found this:

Compassion Skippy Blog post images

This very special team of people had a canvas created for me of Skippy (the official, or is it unofficial, mascot of Compassion) with images from many of the Second Friday Letter Writing Club board posts I wrote for the Compassion blog!

The past four years has been filled with creating new boards, deleting boards, following people, adding new pins, putting together letter writing posts, and most importantly, helping to share about the children who are still waiting for sponsors.

Just because my time helping with the Compassion Pinterest account is coming to a close, does not mean that my volunteer time with Compassion is done. This ministry is one that I love and will continue to serve with, even if they do make me cry!

Thank you Chris, Jacquie, Sam, Eryn, Susan, Emily, and Sarah for allowing me to be a part of the team!