These past few days, I have been writing out the verses from John, chapter 6, in my journal, and have been pondering how God can take what we consider to be a small contribution, and He can turn it into so much more than we could even imagine. In fact, I feel like I need to pinch myself, because at this moment, I am overwhelmed at His plan and His timing and His provision!
Four and a half years ago when we first became Compassion sponsors, and even three years ago when I became a Compassion Advocate, I never thought it would be possible for me to ever (and I mean never, ever!) travel to see one of our Compassion children. Our one income family just doesn't have wiggle room in the budget for us to travel internationally. But I know God knew what He was doing when He provided me with the opportunity to use my gifts and talents to earn money for the Compassion trip my son and I were able to take to Mexico in January of this year. And now, here I am, a week away from the deadline to make the final payment to go on my second Compassion trip!
Just this morning, I was able to make that final payment thanks (huge, huge thank yous!!) to many, many people who purchased pizzas, and cupcakes, and jam, and dishcloths, and baby blankets, and hope ornaments, and many who were generous to donate money for this trip. In just over 100 days, just over a year from my first trip, I will be traveling to Colombia to visit Lina. Lina is the child we have been sponsoring the longest. She is a 15 year old young lady who has dreams of becoming a veterinarian. I believe this is God's way of turning pizzas and cupcakes into an opportunity for Him to show me and Lina what can happen when we trust in Him.
But this is not all that has happened this week!
As a Compassion Advocate, I love to work events. And in our area, I have many, many opportunities to work at events. Church events, conferences, concerts, and the Compassion Mobile Experience are just some of the ways my family and I have worked together to help connect many new sponsors with children that are being released from poverty in Jesus' name. Encouraging new sponsors and answering their questions is one way that I can multiply my excitement about Compassion with other people.
Just a couple of days ago, I was talking with my Advocate Manager, and she mentioned an opening for a volunteer position on Compassion's Volunteer Coordinator Team. At that moment, I almost can't even explain it, but it felt like God already knew that this would be my next step...as the new Northern California Event Volunteer Coordinator!! This is just one more way for God to use me, one person to multiply His efforts to connect more people to sponsoring children.
So when I think about that young boy who provided those loaves and fishes, I remember that I am just one person. But I am excited about the amazing opportunities that God is providing for me to help in a small way to make a difference for children that have dreams to do more, and to be more, and to have a chance to learn about the hope they have in Jesus.