Sunday, May 15, 2011

Meet Fadima: Why we started sponsoring a child through Compassion International

Brandon and I went to the Newsboys concert last night at Overlake Christian Church. Jumping around and singing with my husband made for an awesome date night!

Anyway, as incredible as the concert was... there were several parts of the night that had greater eternal import and immediacy than jumping around to the Newsboys.

Brandon and I have been thinking about and praying about where God is leading us in our marriage and in our ministry. We know that he has blessed us with many things to use for his kingdom. Namely, time, money, passion, education... Our hearts break for children, especially those impacted by human trafficking, poverty, oppression, abuse, disability...

There are many ideas that we are praying toward in these veins. But when I saw Compassion's booth at the concert I felt the leaning of the Spirit. A speaker named Bob Lentz gave a message and an appeal for Compassion International. He spoke about his brother who was impacted by a severe disability and how our job as Christians is to stand for and fight for those who are weaker than us. It reminded me of what I was called to at a young age.

Brandon and I whispered together about our budget and how we could cut our personal allotment to sponsor a child. After all, we can't outgive God. We raised our hand for a packet.

The packet said AFRICA at the top with a little girl named Fadima looking at us. If we needed any further convincing, we just needed to look at her birthday. December 7th. The same as Brandon. This was our girl.

She lives in a country that I was only vaguely aware of in western Africa. Reading about her life was humbling.

She is raised by her mom with 3 siblings. Her mom makes, maybe, $60 a year.

Brandon and I were raised by both of our parents. Brandon and I, together, make $60 in about 2 hours at our jobs.

Fadima lives in a poor country where 90% of income comes from farming which is dependent on a good rainy season.

Brandon and I live in a rich country where we have a variety of opportunities for income and we complain about too much rain.

Fadima is not presently attending school. Her school opportunities depend on sponsorship.

Brandon and I hold college degrees. I am almost finished with my master's degree.

So humbling. Earlier that day I pondered buying a workout shirt for $45. A workout shirt. When $45/month gives the premium level of sponsorship for a child with AIDS care for children and parents in addition to education, food, and clothing (basic is $38/month).

We're so excited to be Fadima's sponsors!

**Update 3/21/2016**
Sponsoring Fadima has been such a joy these past 5 years! And now we've added 2 more kids! We've grown together and now there's a bond between us that defies the distance and language barriers. She recently asked if we could meet. I hope one day!

I highly encourage you to think about sponsoring a child. I love showing my son photos and look forward to teaching him more as he gets older. The magazine they send for kids is an excellent resource!

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Friday, May 6, 2011

Spring Refresh

The promise of spring is needed after coming through a hard season of winter.

Brandon and I went to Leavenworth in mid-March to commemorate the completion of my graduate coursework and the wrestling season. It was an exhausting grind that we just had to get on the other side of so we celebrated with a weekend in a cozy VRBO cabin together.

A few weeks later, we went to the WA tulip festival. What a breathtaking juxtaposition!

Sometimes it can be hard to transition into a new season of life, and we can miss out on enjoying the gifts and celebrating what is before us. For instance, I see this photo and I remember having a really hard time with Brandon that day. Even though our season of hard work and tension had passed and we were young newlyweds out enjoying a gorgeous spring daytrip, I was allowing lies about who I am get between the two of us. Those are the transition bumps that must be recognized immediately. We can't move forward if we are still dragging around and going through old baggage.

While I love the vibrant beauty of the tulips, (And really it's a must-see in WA) I can find beauty in the stark, quiet cold of winter as well as the bright, joyful thrill of spring. Each season has its purpose, just like the season of hardship, toil, or loneliness in a marriage can give way to a season of seeing the fruit of growth and celebrating together.

Whatever the season, remember:
"If God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and gone tomorrow, won't he more surely care for you?"
 Matthew 6:30

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