Our Philippines experience comes to a close today. It is a bittersweet moment, for I have truly seen the love of Christ in action and don’t want to forget the beauty of this work. Since the age of sixteen, I have dreamed of coming to the Philippines after reading my first missionary account of a nineteen year old girl who served here. One door opened after graduation only to be quickly shut. And now, this week, that dream was fulfilled and I got to witness firsthand the dreams of others being fulfilled.
I have witnessed extreme poverty, simple faith, joyful worship and abundant laughter.
I have seen children given hope, the love of Jesus, and the ability to grow, flourish, and make a difference in their nation.
I have seen solid national churches partner together with the work of Compassion to bring the hands of Christ to their communities.
I have seen numerous volunteers within the church who tirelessly serve (the majority of which are unpaid) to serve for the benefit of these children. They are passionate for the well-being of these children and willingly give numerous hours per week to their care.
I have seen empowered young people flourish through their youth and into their adulthood who want to love Jesus and in turn pass on the gift to other children. Four beautiful girls that graduated from the sponsorship program and currently students in the Leadership Development Program who are on fire for the Lord partner together to sponsor another and volunteer in the program. It is the gift that keeps on giving.
I have heard the power of the gospel in the life of Maan:
I have seen families come to Christ as their children are helped through Compassion. Mothers, fathers, siblings.
I have experienced impoverished family’s warmly welcome us into their homes and the sharing of their lives.
I have seen Jesus as I’ve entered the homes of Maan…
and Florence and Rosa…
…all of which exhibited a glorious beauty, a peacefulness, a joy amidst their obvious poverty.
I have seen Jesus as I have prayed over these families and have received the blessing of these children’s prayers.
I have seen Jesus as I have danced, played games, sang, and worshiped alongside these precious people.These children are not removed from their poverty situation, but rather given a fresh perspective. They are given the tools to be instruments for change and transformation within their community. Ultimately, it is all Jesus!
I am blessed that this child in my womb was able to come along and be blessed by so many hands.
There is no doubt in my heart that this is a good work. The eternal difference made by sending our resources on ahead to our eternal home by loving on little children. It’s beautiful. The transforming affect of the gospel is taking place through the ministry of Compassion and the power of Jesus’ love.
And to top it all off…I had a orangutan pet my belly as if she knew there was baby there in the most unique third world zoo experience. Yes, I will agree that dressing up a monkey is just not humane…but it was sure funny!
My life is changed. Why? Because I want to make a difference. I want my life to count for something. I want to be a blessing to the nations with my time, money, and resources. I don’t want to waste this precious life that I have been given. I have been entrusted with a gift – the ability to love and be loved. I want to live simply in order that I might give generously.
I will go home tomorrow and look forward to sharing with my own four year old daughter about the precious journey we are embarking on in sponsoring Angel. We will commit to praying for her, loving her, and cheering her own, Lord willing, throughout the duration of her experience in the sponsorship program. I pray for the complete 16 years of her time in the program! She will be our adopted daughter. She will be a part of our family. She will grow up with my daughter. My daughter will have a tangible way to pass on the gift of God’s grace to a child in need even when we are world’s apart.
I will go home tomorrow empowered with fresh vision to pursue our family mission of living simply in order to give generously. I want to add more children to our international family!
Compassion is just one way to make a difference. It does not have to be limited to this. But may we all take a step forward today in going forth in Jesus’ name to the nations.
As much as you’ve done to the least of these…you’ve done it unto me. (Matthew 25:40)
Live simply in order that others might simply live.
Only one life, twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.