Love is an Action

One of the things I love about social media is meeting people all over the world who share the same passion as you. Before our Mexico trip, a young lady contacted me to see if I could take a couple of gifts with us to deliver to Compassion children that she corresponds with. I was very happy to do this for her! I also learned that she has a blog and makes bracelets for sponsors. I told her I would love to interview her for my blog and she agreed! So let me introduce you to Lizzie...

1. Tell me a little bit about yourself

My name is Lizzie, and I am a sophomore in high school.  I love helping out with Sunday school at my church in the four-year-old room and just being around little kids in general.  I also enjoy writing letters and e-mails, biking, learning Spanish, and trying new dessert recipes.

2. How did you first learn about Compassion?

I've known about Compassion for a very long time.  I remember that when I was really little my church supported two Compassion children.  I think one of the children was a teen boy from Guatemala whose name was Bear.  When my family would leave church, I remember asking my mom to go and see their photos on the bulletin board.  At one point, my family wrote letters to them.  I remember my sister and I making drawings for them with pastels.

3. Why did you decide to sponsor with Compassion?

Even though I had heard of Compassion when I was very young, I forgot about it for a long time because we started going to a different church.  In 2011, I was re-introduced to Compassion.  I received an e-mail from them about sponsoring a child.  I couldn't sponsor a child at that time, but I learned about the correspondence program - within six months, I had three correspondent children.  I really loved getting to write and know my correspondent children.  Through different blogs, I learned what Compassion does and the importance of it.  I decided that I really wanted to financially sponsor a child because I could see that it changed lives.  In February 2012, I sponsored my first child!

4. Tell me about your sponsorship bracelets

A sponsor bracelet is a bracelet with a bead (it could be wood, stone, etc!) from each country you sponsor in.  The hope with sponsor bracelets is that others will comment on the unique bracelet which will give the sponsor an opportunity to share about their kiddos and Compassion (or whatever organization they sponsor through).  

5. Is there a country where Compassion works that you would really like to visit one day?

Yes.  Actually I would love to visit all the countries that Compassion works in!  Probably though if I had to choose one country to visit, I would go to Indonesia.  My first correspondent child Aprila lives in Indonesia and I would love to meet her and see her home, project, and community!  Honestly, though, I would be thrilled to see Compassion in the field in any of the countries they work in.

Doesn't she sound like a neat young lady? Right now, Lizzie is making plans to go to Mexico herself! Her trip is not a Compassion trip, but I would still love to support her and spread the word about the bracelets she is making to help her earn money for her trip. So stop by her blog, and purchase a couple of bracelets from her today!

Knitting, sewing, and canning my way to Mexico

Wow, a lot has happened since I first announced I will be traveling with Compassion in January to visit Eduardo.

me and Matthew
me and Matthew

My son is going to Mexico with me!!!


My very first passport arrived!!

So, those were the two big announcements I wanted to share with you, but I wanted to update you on what I have been doing to raise money for the trip.

jam making
jam making

I have been making a lot of jam, like over 20 batches!! Cranberry-Strawberry, Strawberry, Blueberry, and Apricot. Jam making is something I usually do during this time of the year, sometimes just for us, but a lot of times, I will make enough to give jars of jam as gifts during Christmas. I have been able to sell half-pint jars for $5 each. I hope nobody is expecting jam for Christmas this year!

knitting dishcloths
knitting dishcloths

For bridal showers, I love to give the new bride a couple of hand knitted dish cloths along with an apron. When the trip came about, I had about 10 dish cloths already completed and ready for bridal showers in my closet. After checking prices on Etsy, I decided to sell some of these in sets of 3 for $10. I picked up a huge cone of cotton yarn at Hobby Lobby using a 40% off coupon. So far, I have made 11 dish cloths from this one cone and there is more yarn on the cone!

baby blankets and wash cloths
baby blankets and wash cloths

For baby showers, I love to sew up a flannel blanket and a couple of terry cloth/flannel wash cloths. I had 15 of these in my closet done already because I usually go to JoAnn’s the day after Thanksgiving and purchase flannel for $1.59/yard. I did purchase more flannel last month to make a few more sets, and I have been selling these sets for $15 each.

So, as you can see, I have been knitting, sewing, and canning my way to Mexico! God has allowed me to use things that I enjoy doing to raise money for my trip. I am amazed at how everything is coming together to make it possible for me and my son to go on this trip!

Stay tuned for upcoming posts on how I am preparing for this trip!

Questions for you: Have you ever raised money to go on a Compassion trip or mission trip? What ways have you fundraised that have worked for you?

Please pass the kleenex!

So, last week, I shared with you about the invitation I received to visit my sponsored child, Eduardo, in Mexico. God has been moving mountains over the past week and I did make a deposit on the trip! I have shed so many happy tears over the past week! I still have quite a bit of money to earn, but so many people shared some wonderful ideas that I can put into place to earn the money to go. Here is what I have done so far:

1. I have sold a couple of furniture items (2 unused desks) and some tupperware. I figure this is a great time to go through my home and sell some items we are not using. No point of it sitting around collecting dust. Over the next few weeks, I will be going through the rooms in our home to see what else can be sold.

2. One sweet blogger sent me money to use for my trip! (insert happy tears!!)

gift tag with jam

3. I revised my ‘public’ Facebook page (Gifts from Our Little Corner) and have begun posting some homemade items to sell. Three batches of cranberry-strawberry jam sold to some of my friends in just a couple of days, so I made 2 batches of strawberry jam yesterday. You can also find some homemade flannel baby blanket and wash cloth sets. See something you like on the page? Be sure to ‘like’ the page and we can negotiate shipping/handling costs if you live out of my area.

4. To keep track of what I am earning toward the trip, I printed out a check register and at the top of the paper I wrote, “The Lord will provide” – Genesis 22:14. This will be a good reminder for me in case any moments of discouragement come up over the next few months as I continue earning money for this trip. If it is His will for me to go on this trip, I believe He will provide the funds in His timing and I need to trust in Him through this whole process.

Over the next few months, I hope to keep you posted on how things are coming along as I prepare for this Compassion trip to Mexico to visit Eduardo. I am so excited about this opportunity!

Just received ‘An invitation to meet Eduardo’

Compassion invitation

So yesterday in my inbox, I received an e-mail from Compassion with ‘An invitation to meet Eduardo’. Having the chance to visit one of your Compassion sponsored children has got to be the dream of a lot of Compassion sponsors.

About a year and a half ago, we started sponsoring Eduardo and we picked Mexico, hoping that it would be more affordable for me to have the ability to take a trip with Compassion. Do we have the money in the bank to pay for a trip right now? Of course not! But I have already started thinking of ways that I can earn the money necessary to pay for this trip. God knows if I will be going on this trip or not.

Given the chance though, I know this trip will be a life changing experience. I have read many blog posts about bloggers who have visited their sponsored kids (and shed many tears reading those posts!) You can read posts from some of the past trips at the Compassion Bloggers web site.

My pray and hope, that given the chance to go on this trip, or one in the future, that It would give me a better awareness of the effectiveness of Compassion programs so that I can be a better advocate for these kids. This trip wouldn’t be for me, it would be for the millions of children who are growing up, living in extreme poverty, that I could be a voice for them.

If you have any suggestions on ways you have been able to earn about $2500 in a five month period, I would love to hear them! Please leave your ideas in the comments section, and I would love your prayers too!

Update 5/1/13: I am beyond excited! This morning I made a deposit on this trip and picked up my first passport application! Praying for God to direct my efforts for earning the rest of the money over the next few months. Yay!!!