Thursday, August 20, 2015

Quick Announcement


Hey everyone! I just wanted to let you know that there is a new way to follow my blog. It now has its own Facebook page! I will post on the page whenever I write a new post and will probably post links to older posts as well. If you want to "like" the page and stay up to date, just click on this link:



Have a great day! :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Inside EC-472

This month Compassion Bloggers are being challenged to tell a story using pictures. I decided that for my story, I want to show you EC-472, a Compassion project in the Andes region of Ecuador. It is the very first Compassion project I ever visited! I won't be including any descriptions with the pictures--just look at them and try to imagine what we saw, smelled, felt, etc.















Tuesday, August 11, 2015

All About Emanuel: Part 2!

I received another letter from my correspondent child in Bolivia today:


Emanuel is 7 years old. His tutor writes his letters on his behalf. Today's letter included more information that you usually find in the "all about me"-style first letters, so now I have some more information to share with you!

I now know even more of his favourite foods: fried eggs with rice, and french fries!
His favourite thing about school is gym class.
Three of his friends are named Simar, Isac and Mandi.
His favourite animal is dogs, and he likes to play with them.

His tutor also said "He is happy to have you as his sponsor and hope you become good friends." Awww!

Here is the picture he drew with his letter:


I'm looking forward to getting to know him better in the years to come!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Reflections

Ok guys. I’m going to try something a little different today. This is not directly Compassion-related, but does mention some Compassion-related events in my life in the past four years:


“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair” –Charles Dickens, “A Tale of Two Cities”


I remember during one of my first days of college, I sat in a classroom in an orientation-type meeting where we got to know the RD of my dorm. Everything was so exciting: a new school, living in a new province, making new friends, and so far all of it was going much better than I had ever expected. What could possibly go wrong in an amazing place like this?

Then my RD said something I found really strange at the time. She said that college would be both the best years and worst years of my life. Huh? How did that make any sense? She explained it using some things she struggled with in college, but I still didn’t get it. I had no idea that, four years later, that explanation would be very applicable to my time there. Having had a few months to look back, these are some of my memories from my time in college, and how they have shaped me into the person I am today. 

First Year:


I attended a wonderful weekend of prayer and fasting that was focused on providing relief for those suffering from a famine in Eastern Africa. The events of this weekend led my roommate and I to sponsor a Compassion Child in Ethiopia (Misgana), who we still sponsor today. She is almost 16 now, and is growing up to be a beautiful young woman. This was the beginning of my journey as a Compassion sponsor.




I made many amazing friends who loved me for who I was, which was a relatively new concept for me coming from the high school and summer camp situations that I did. It was a huge relief to not have to scream, jump up and down or perform some kind of crazy stunt to get people to notice me. They loved me just the way I was, and that really helped me gain a better understanding of God’s love for me.

Second Year:

My happy, almost-perfect world collapsed. I faced challenges I had never had to deal with before. Just having recently turned 19 years old, I was faced with emotional manipulation, rejection by those I considered friends, being lonely and feeling abandoned, extreme episodes of depression and anxiety, never feeling safe anywhere, an overly stressful academic load, and lots of sickness that was never diagnosed. I lost friendships that I thought would last forever. I even asked people to pray that I would not lose my faith in God during that time. I didn’t know if I would ever be happy—if I would ever be able to smile or laugh again. Everything just seemed so hopeless. 


In the midst of this year, I had the incredible opportunity to travel to Ecuador with Compassion Canada and learn about their work there. It was here that I decided, two days before meeting her, to sponsor Blanca and got to spend a whole afternoon with her at her project. Those moments are treasured memories that I will keep forever.

While my second year was mostly extremely miserable, and I would not want to re-live any of those events ever again, it did help me to be able to empathize more with my favourite character in the Bible: Job. I began to understand that following Jesus will not always be peaceful and happy, but that in the midst of all the trials He is still there.

Third Year:

Due to events from the previous year, I moved to a different dorm. I chose a room by myself that was isolated at the end of the hallway, because I was not quite ready to trust new people again and/or have a stranger as a roommate. Over time, I got to know some of the “new people” on my hall and found out that they were, in fact, pretty cool. Building blanket forts, dressing up for Halloween, and having fun at the Christmas Party were just some of the highlights (news flash: college students don’t act like adults most of the time and we are totally fine with that!) I was slowly learning to trust new people again, and spending more time with God.This was also the year that Rosalie joined my Compassion Family.

Fourth Year:

Wow. Fourth Year. What a rollercoaster. I’m still trying to process everything that happened during it! My roommate was a good friend of mine from the year before, so that was pretty awesome. I moved to the main part of the hall in my dorm so I could interact with people more often. Excitement over the possible teaching jobs I could have faded when I didn’t get accepted for them, and then would rise again when I found out about another possible opportunity. I was crushed every time I heard that I was not the most qualified for the job.

I had the privilege to spend an entire semester taking a class studying the book of Job. It really helped to solidify my understanding of the book, and discover new things about it that I had never previously considered. Putting my past in perspective, I could see how God was still there and still good even when I felt that He wasn’t. I learned lots of other things but that alone could be an entirely different blog post.

Slowly, very slowly, I began to be brave enough to open up to some of the other girls on the hall about things I was struggling with in my life. The encouraging responses I got blew me away. They did not think I was crazy or stupid, and they let me cry and vent about things when I needed to. That was a huge blessing. Even to this day I am awed at the amazing things God did through that, and I can’t thank Him enough! Because of their kindness, despite the dark days I had in college, my final year ended with happy memories.

So yeah. I’m not really sure how to conclude this, but that’s a quick summary of what has happened in the past four years of my life.

As for where I’m going next? I have no idea. I know what I want to do, but am still not sure if that is what God wants me to do. I guess this next season of life is going to be a lot of watching and waiting. 


“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?...No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8: 35 and 37).

Sunday, August 2, 2015

A Tale of Two Rosalies


Some of you know that I have a dear sponsored child in the Philippines named Rosalie (left). She is 12 years old now, almost 13. When I first saw her picture and information, I was captivated by her beautiful smile. Now there is another Rosalie with a beautiful smile (right) who is waiting for a sponsor! Her name is Rosalie Bamogo.


Here's what I know about this sweet little girl:

  • She is 5 years old (estimate) and her birthday is in December
  • She lives in Burkina Faso
  • Her mom and dad both work at the church
  • She has 4 siblings
  • She lives in an AIDS-affected area and an area where there is a higher risk of exploitation and abuse
  • Her chores include caring for children and helping in the kitchen
  • For fun she likes to sing, play with dolls and play group games
  • She is not attending school yet
  • Her favourite food is pasta
  • She goes to church activities and Bible classes regularly
  • She wants to be a teacher when she grows up
  • She has been waiting 182 days for a sponsor!
  • There is a video on her profile on Compassion.com!
Rosalie and her family live in extreme poverty. She needs the encouragement and financial support of a sponsor so that her local church can better provide for her--so she can get a holistic education and grow up strong and healthy, to be a leader in her community!

If you would like to sponsor Rosalie, or find out more information about her, click on the picture below to watch her video and see her other information on Compassion.com.



Saturday, August 1, 2015

Family Picture

Hi everyone! Since I have a lot of free time today, I decided to make an updated "Family Picture" of my Compassion Family, since some of them have sent me extra pictures in the mail recently. So here it is: my Compassion kids and teens from oldest to youngest :)


I am so grateful that all of them are part of my life!

The Church's Impact: Edison

I got another letter from Edison, my Compassion correspondent in Ecuador, this week. I was especially excited to see that it came with a picture!


These are some clothes he was able to buy with some gift money. He said in his letter that he was very grateful for the gift! He also said some other really profound things, including this: "Together with my family we are very thankful with the church because through it we share our thoughts and we can know that Christ is real and nothing in this world is better than live with the glory and the blessing of God."

Edison's local church has helped him and his family so much. He is one of the oldest children out of 12, and he and his family live in extreme poverty. He has two brothers who are also sponsored through Compassion. They go to the church every week to receive healthy meals, learn how to stay healthy and learn how to follow Jesus. Someone from the church visits his family often. These are just a few of the reasons why Edison's local church plays a very important role in ending poverty in his life!





If you want to partner with a local church in the developing world to help children, and young adults like Edison and their families, check out Compassion.com (or Compassion.ca if you are in Canada)! It's a life-changing experience that you won't regret :)