I am advocating for sponsors to write more to their children. Why are letters so important? Our letters are a lifeline to these kids. Poverty tells them they are worthless, they will never amount to anything, to give up. When a child gives up, it is heartbreaking. I have seen the faces of precious, beautiful children who have given up their dreams.
For example, in India, a girl as young as five can be married off to a man old enough to be her father or grandfather! Girls are viewed as much lower than men. It's even worse with the caste system. Dalits are among the poorest. The higher castes look down upon these people. The teachers beat the children of Dalits. The Dalits have no chance to get out of poverty. And the children grow up believing they are nothing, that there is no way out.
In Thailand, children can be bought for sex. Parents, who are poor with no way to provide for their family, often sell their daughters to a brothel. Also as young as five. These girls grow up (if they survive to their 18th birthday) believing they are only good for sex. The hope slowly dies.
In many countries in Africa, drought and famine bring many families to their breaking point. They cannot afford to send their children to school. Instead, the children are sent to work. Their hope is gone. Even though the children work (many in mines and dangerous situations), their meager salary gets them nowhere.
Compassion brings the love of Jesus to these children. They provide the families with a way out. They do change the lives of the families, starting with the children. But, Compassion can not do everything.
Over and over the children hear they are worthless and nothing will change. Even though they go to the Compassion project where they are loved and accepted, the positive words do not always penetrate. They may not even hear the words I love you. Or for someone to praise them and encourage them. This is where the letters come in. Imagine how much encouragement and praise means to you. A kind word, an email of thanks, etc. Your heart swells, and your day seems more hopeful. Imagine reading the words,
"You are so special to me."
"I love you so very much, just because God created you."
"Keep going. I know you can do it."
"School is very hard, and I am so proud of you for doing your best."
For someone who has never heard these words, imagine the hope and the joy residing in that person. This is what you do every time you write a letter to your child or children. You provide a visible lifeline to him or her. I sometimes read my children's letters over again. I am sure my children read my letters over and over and over, until they have memorized every one. Children treasure letters. They deserve to know who they are in Christ. And you are the one to tell them. Don't leave it to Compassion. You, as a sponsor, have become a part of the child's life. He/she needs to hear how you really feel about them. Children love to hear why they are special. You are the only one who can tell them that.
Please, become their lifeline, and write a precious, loving letter to them.
If you need any letter writing ideas, please let me know. I will be more than glad to help. Some ages are harder to write to, while others seem so easy.
Sunday, October 14, 2012
I AM UNFAITHFUL
James 4:4 and 5
Adulterers! Don't you know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? So whoever wants to be the world's friend becomes God's enemy. Or do you think it's without reason the Scripture says that the Spirit who lives in us yearns jealously?
I am a spiritual adulteress. Sometimes, I just can't help it. I live in this world. This is my home. Why can't I do what the rest are doing? This life is all I know.
Because God calls me His bride, I am spiritually His wife. And so are any who love Him. The church herself is the bride of Christ. We are married to Him, upon our moment of faith.
What does a spouse desire? To please the other. We should long to please our Husband, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Once we become saved, our home is no longer here on earth. Our laws are not from here. We belong in God's eternal home and kingdom.
Why do I constantly forget my home is not on earth? I catch myself longing for the things of this world instead of desiring the things of my future home.
This worldly longing is adultery in God's eyes. He wants us to be committed to Him, just like those who are married should be committed to their spouse. He is our Spouse. May we remain committed to Him, and not seek a separation from Him, who has loved us enough to die for us.
How can you be more committed to the Lord Jesus? Let's guard our hearts and minds. Keep our eyes fixed on our first love.
Lord, I repent of my sin of adultery. Forgive me, and help me to remain even more committed to You. I love You, Lord. In Your precious name, Amen.
Saturday, October 6, 2012
I admit, at one time, this would have tempted me to go out and buy the hugest ice cream cone ever. I loved ice cream. Raspberry, chocolate, peanut butter, mint chocolate chip, etc. I was addicted to this cold and
I have to be honest. I am addicted to food. No, I WAS addicted to food. Junk food in particular. Since I have made my weight struggles a prayer priority, I have found that certain, unhealthy foods have no appeal anymore. Take ice cream for instance. If I had a craving for it, I bought it and ate it until it was gone. Granted, I didn't eat a half gallon (or 1.75 pint nowadays or maybe it's down to 1.5 pint?) in one sitting, or one day. I ate it every day. Sometimes, two or three times a day.
I am now determined to gain control of my food addiction and use my cravings as a prayer prompt. Since then, I have lost two sizes. It's definitely not without its ups and downs. Sometimes, I gain weight. Other times, I continue to lose. It is not weight loss that I am after. It is simply knowing that I am pleasing the Lord with what I am eating. Whether I lose weight or not is no longer my goal, though it is a blessing to find I am down a size. I don't check my weight very often. I simply go by how my pants fit. If they're tight, then I'm gaining. If they're loose, I'm losing. I recently had to donate my favorite belts, for they were way too big.
Oh, I still fight with junk food. And I still find myself munching away on tortilla chips or pretzels. Yet, the cravings for these foods have almost disappeared, as long as I stay away from them. In its place I am finding I am craving healthier options. Instead of ice cream, I am craving yogurt with granola or fruit. Instead of cookies, I am craving nuts. Instead of tortilla chips, I am craving wheat crackers with cheese. Instead of fries, I am craving apples or another fruit.
Just today, I woke up with a sore throat. I went grocery shopping and stopped at a fast food place for a grilled chicken sandwich (I was hungry for chicken and fried just didn't have an appeal). I was also craving something creamy and cold. They didn't have yogurt. I ordered an ice cream. Even though it felt so good in my throat, it didn't feel so great on my tongue. I could taste all the sugar, and it tasted disgusting. Ice cream has lost its appeal. Give me yogurt, please.