Speaking of global...

Taking a slight detour on my current series on The ABCs of Compassion to share about another non-profit that has taken things global.

Sometime after we started sponsoring with Compassion, I started reading blog posts from people who had opportunities to travel with Compassion. One blogger that I have continued to follow for the past nine years is Kristen Welch who blogs over at We Are That Family. This post about one day she spent in Kenya is probably one of the most powerfully written posts about how hope can be found in the middle of unspeakable living conditions.

“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know” - William Wilberforce

I believe one of the reasons I have continued to follow Kristen’s journey is that she came home completely changed and did something.

Mercy House Global was started to give hope and provide sustainable jobs to women living in poverty around the world.

Currently, I subscribe to the Fair Trade Friday monthly original box which includes 3-4 Fair Trade items each month. The items in this latest box have to be some of my favorites!

Fair Trade Friday monthly subscription box

I was able to paint this batik print with the colors provided and now have a beautiful piece of art that was created by people in Malaysia.

Over the last nine years, I have read many books and watched many documentaries that have made me really think about how life is so different and challenging outside of our country.

Want to be part of changing lives? Be sure to explore the Mercy House Global web site and learn more about this wonderful ministry.

The ABC's of Compassion - Global

One definition for the word global is “relating to or embracing the whole of something, or of a group of things”.

Compassion has made it their mission to “release children from poverty in Jesus’ name”.

This is a big mission and goal, especially since there are approximately one billion children living in poverty around the world.

This Colorado non-profit is not working alone though. Back in the 1960s, Canada became Compassion’s first global partner. Now, there are fourteen countries who have come alongside the United States headquarters to work toward their global mission.

Compassion’s most pivotal work takes place in 25 countries where millions of children are growing up in extreme poverty. Through the local churches in these 25 countries, children are known, loved, and protected, and given a chance to dream and to have hope for their futures.

You can read a lot on Compassion’s web site about their amazing work around the world, but the thing I want to share about the topic of ‘global’ in this post is the headquarters of Compassion in Colorado Springs.

Lobby of Compassion International

If you are a Compassion sponsor, and you ever find yourself in Colorado Springs, I highly recommend you take the time to take a tour of the GMC.

The GMC is Compassion’s Global Ministry Center, basically their headquarters. On the tour you will learn more about the beginnings of Compassion and the important work that is happening around the world to “release children from poverty in Jesus’ name”.

The tours are free and are well worth your time!

I have had a chance to visit here a few times and I always learn something new about Compassion while I am there.

Have you had a chance to visit the GMC yet?

Spreading a Little Neighborly Love

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to share with my church family about my most recent Compassion Sponsor Trip to Colombia last month. Here is what I shared:

“Many of you know that I went to Colombia last month on a trip with Compassion International. Many of you prayed for me and our team of travelers. I want to thank you all for your prayers!

 So today, I want to share three things that stood out to me on this trip.

Playing with Snapchat filters at a Compassion project in Colombia



1.    The first church we visited in Bogota is a church that has been a Compassion partner church for some time. They are now at a point that they only have sponsored children that are ages 16 to 22. The day that we visited this church though, the church was filled with children of all ages. Because Compassion provided resources and training to the local church, they have become equipped to serve the children and their families in their community on a daily basis. Eventually, there will be no more Compassion sponsored children at this church and that is a good thing!

 

On the day we were there, I loved watching the kids that were taking some music theory classes and learning how to play the drums. This little guy in the video even played the drums during the worship service we attended the next day.



Reunited with Lina in Colombia on a Compassion trip



2.    On a sponsor trip, we have a day set aside that we spend the day with the child we sponsor. On this trip, we went to a park south of Bogota. This park is nothing like Disneyland, but most of these kids have never been outside their community. Since I met Lina on my last trip to Colombia four years ago, I was really looking forward to seeing her again! We had a really great day together, but at the end of the trip, while we were walking out of the park, she was prompted to talk to me. She told me she wants to study early child development, but her family does not have the money to put her through the schooling. After some time talking with her (through my translator) and encouraging her, I was able to talk with my trip leader and they are going to see if there are any funds available for Lina to be part of the Youth Development Program. This is a program set up to provide additional training and education past secondary school for Compassion sponsored children who qualify. I would love for you all to be praying that Lina is accepted into this program!

Before I share the third thing from my trip, there is another short video for you all to watch:



3.    The conductor of this orchestra is Juan. Juan grew up as a Compassion sponsored child in Colombia. He was able to go to school, he was able to have enough food to eat, he was able to learn about Jesus. Now he is a worship leader at his church, he gives music lessons, he was a translator on our trip, and he has been leading this group of musicians, who at the time of this video, had only been practicing together for a month. He was given hope and an opportunity.

Spreading a Little Neighborly Love


These Compassion children all are just looking for one person to give them the hope to escape the poverty they were born into. The opposite of poverty is not wealth. The opposite of poverty is enough.

 

If you have ever thought about sponsoring a child through Compassion, I would be happy to answer any questions for you and help you release a child from poverty in Jesus’ name. Thank you!!”

So what does all of this have to do with spreading a little neighborly love?

These brothers and sisters in Christ who I met on this trip are being the hands and feet of Jesus and helping more children know about the gospel and God’s love for them.

Sponsors around the world are being the hands and feet of Jesus by encouraging and praying for their Compassion sponsored children.

Some of you will read this and not be ready to sponsor a Compassion child.

Can I ask that you consider doing one thing this month?

Do you have $18 that you can donate right now?

Make a donation to Compassion’s Malaria Intervention Fund.

Over 50 years ago, your neighbor, here in the United States, might have contracted malaria and died.

Today, children in many parts of our world die from malaria.

A simple insecticide treated net can help provide protection from this deadly disease.

Will you spread a little neighborly love and make a donation today?

My 3 Favorite Travel Apps

Over the past five years, I have had the opportunity to travel to quite a few locations. Most of my travels have been here in the United States. But I have also traveled internationally, adding Italy, Colombia, and El Salvador to my list of countries I have visited for the first time.

I am obviously not an expert on travel, but I thought I would share with you a couple of my favorite travel apps.

Mobile Passport

On my way home from Colombia, I knew I was going to have to go through immigration at the San Francisco Airport. While on the plane, I quickly answered the few questions, scanned my passport, and took a photo. Once our plane landed, I submitted my form and made my way off the plane.

After I got off the plane and headed over to immigration, you should have seen the line! There were probably over 200 people waiting to go through immigration.

I found the line for the Mobile Passport, stood for a few minutes behind three other people, and was quickly in front of an agent.

I almost hesitate to share this with you, because it is a great little secret that I don’t believe most people are taking advantage of! The app is free and is advertised at most of the larger entry points for foreign travel back into the United States.

Google Translate

The thing I love about this app is the ability to have a language downloaded and available offline. This is especially helpful if you are not using your data while traveling.

The app lets you type in text in English, and then it will translate it into the language of your choice. You can also use your camera to translate typed or handwritten text, and record conversations to translate.

I have used this app in Mexico, El Salvador, Italy, and Colombia.

Since I am not proficient in Italian or Spanish, this app has helped me to have conversations with people who are not proficient in English. The translation is not always completely accurate, but it sure has come in handy!

My Currency Converter

Can’t figure out how to convert US dollars to Colombian Pesos? Or any other form of currency?

This app makes it super simple to figure out how far your US dollars with go while purchasing items in a foreign country.

Just type in the price of an item in the foreign currency and the app immediately lets you know what the price is in US dollars. You can also do a reverse of the currency also.

What are your favorite travel apps?

My 3 Favorite Travel Apps



The ABC's of Compassion - Family

Who is a part of your family?

Photo credit:    Jessica Gardner

Photo credit: Jessica Gardner

My family consists of me, my husband, my son, and my daughter.

But really, my family consists of my brothers and sisters in Christ all over the world.

14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good[a] is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” - James 2:14-18

Most of my family lives in places I will never visit and I may never meet them here on earth.

Our family sponsors Compassion children, and we consider those children and their families to be a part of our family.

We pray for them.

We write letters to them.

We encourage them to read their Bible.

We want them to know who Jesus is.

Kelsey with her sponsored child and mom

These kids who are growing up in areas that most of the world doesn’t even think about, they have an opportunity to be a light in their family and in their community.

Who is a part of your family?