This blog has been difficult to write. I wanted to write it but I didn't want to sound prideful, congratulate myself, or make you say "way to go Brent and Julie"... so please know that this is not my intention. My intention is that the name of Christ would be made known to the world. And my hope is that through this blog and this adventure that Julie and I have begun...that the name of Christ would be glorified and that the hurt and oppressed in the world would be encouraged, loves, and supported.
Have you ever heard of Compassion International?
...If you have ever been to a Christian concert or conference; there is a good chance that you have heard of them.
Compassion International is an international ministry that stands in the gap and works to love, encourage, and share the good news of Christ with children in some of the most difficult and poverty-stricken areas of the world. Their passion is to see children loved and brought out of poverty because Christians around the world sponsor a child for $39 a month. They were founded in 1952 and today support over a million children in 25 countries...WOW!
Well, I have known about Compassion for a very long time. I grew up going to all the concerts, camps, and conferences and saw their tables but I never truly understood the importance of what they were doing. My family even supported a child when I was in High School for awhile...but it was just something we did; there was never any thought or passion behind it. So, I went off to college and never really thought about it. I was consumed with studies (...well, sorta), church, BYX, and much more but never considered the fact that Christ has made it very clear that we as followers of Christ are to love the orphans, widows, and the oppressed in the world.
How could I have missed it? It's pretty clear...
Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this:to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. - James 1.27
In the past few months, my friend Todd Engstrom has really challenged me in regards to Christ's call on believers to love the orphans in the world. I saw very clearly that Julie and I needed to do something...but we can't support adopting a child right now? What can we do?
Enter Compassion International. This is where we can start. This is what we can do. So, we started supporting a child named Naole from Ethiopia. It has already been an incredible blessing and we have only been doing it for 3 weeks or so. We are honored to be a part of his life...I already want to go visit him.
$39 a month to change a child's life...that's well worth it. That's 7 less Starbuck's drinks a month...that's 1 less dinner out...that's not very much.
However, I still never realized the true impact that this program has until I watched this video from the recent Catalyst conference. (...I almost started crying in the DTS library...seriously)
Mark had been sponsoring Jimmy Wambua for 19 years....and this is the 1st time that they had met. Because of Mark's support, Jimmy is not only alive but he is studying at Moody Bible Institute and is planning on being a pastor...he also sponsors a child in Haiti on his own. It is an incredible story.
(Jimmy starts sharing his story at the 3:45 mark in the video)
You won't regret it.