This week’s chapter in Balancing It All by Candace Cameron Bure really hit home with me. We’re talking about serving, and one of the ways Candace serves that she chose to highlight in this chapter is through Compassion International. If you’re unfamiliar with Compassion, I encourage you to check out their website. The reason Candace’s story about visiting a Compassion Center resonated with me so much is that my husband and I sponsor two adorable children that we look forward to visiting one day. Since Candace shared her Compassion story with us, I’d like to share mine as well.
I started my sponsorship almost two years ago now, and it’s truly amazing to me how God has not only used me to help change their lives, but He has also used them to bless my life more than I can adequately explain. I started sponsoring Selvin on September 14, 2013 (my little sister’s birthday if you’re wondering why I know the exact date). I saw his picture on his sponsorship packet at a Beth Moore event and I instantly fell in love. Less than three months later, God pulled on my heartstrings and I started looking at kids that were in Selvin’s center in Guatemala so that I could visit them together one day. There were three little girls in his center that needed a sponsor, and I’d like to tell you that I instantly knew which one was destined for me, but that wasn’t the case this time. I looked through each of their bios a couple of times before finally deciding to sponsor Aidee, and I have to say that God was definitely at work when I chose her.
In the first letter that I received from Aidee, who was five years old at the time, she asked me to pray that her dad would receive Christ in his heart. I actually had to reread that request several times before it fully sunk in that this precious little girl thousands of miles away from me had the same hope for her daddy that I still have for mine. In that instant I knew that God had put the two of us together so that we could support each other through that journey. I’ve written briefly before about my dad in a previous post and I’m sure one day I’ll go into more details, but for now I’ll just say that he is not living his life as a Christian and it hurts me to watch him walk around so lost.
I was so inspired by the fact that a five year old was already concerned for her father’s eternal life, that I decided to take some action with my own father. We’ve never really been the type to have very serious conversations. In fact, I can only remember one truly meaningful conversation the two of us have ever had. I knew calling him up and having a “come to Jesus” talk with him just wasn’t going to work, so I decided to write him a letter. In the letter, I truly believe that God was speaking through me because I was moved to write about things that happened before I was even born.
I know that my dad hasn’t completely surrendered his life to Christ, but I can honestly say that there has been a change in him and in our relationship ever since I sent that letter to him. I lived with the burden of worrying about my dad’s eternity for nearly a decade, and a large part of that has been lifted. God has given me the comfort of knowing that it’s no longer in my hands, but in the hands of the One who can do anything. I give all the credit of my finally being able to “talk” to my dad about his salvation to a brave little girl who knows the struggle of worrying about her daddy. I don’t think that I’ll ever fully be able to thank her appropriately this side of heaven.
This week I want to encourage you all to step out of your comfort zone and serve God in a new way, or maybe get back to serving Him in a way that you haven’t in a while. I know that the story I’ve shared with you is just one of many that shows that when you do something for someone else, you can be blessed as well. I’ll leave you today with some words of wisdom from Candace on this subject. “You may not have the financial resources to give much money. But what you do have is time, skills, and talents. We all have equal amounts of those, and it is up to us to figure out how and where to use them.”