Sunday, December 18, 2011

Subtle Advocacy

I'm a Compassion Advocate.  So what, right?  I hesitated to become an Advocate because in spite of the fact that I'm a teacher, I don't like speaking to large groups.  Actually, it's worse than that - I panic.  (Teaching is different. It's sort of like being a singer or actress who is shy but has no problem taking the stage.)

The school where I work is currently moving to a new building (yes, in the midst of the school year).  I now work as technology integrator/tech support, so it's my responsibility to make sure all the technology is set up and ready for the teachers to teach the first day after Christmas break.  Besides computers, we have SMART boards, SMART document cameras, and SMART slates.

I found a Ning network for SMART users.  When I completed my profile for it, I included this blog as my website.  I almost changed it because this is not a technology blog, but I thought maybe I could reach someone on that site.

The next morning, I awoke to a message from another member of that Ning network who is also a Compassion sponsor.  He read my post about letter writing and said that it was a slap in the face for him because his family sponsors two children through Compassion and two more through another organization, and he might have written four letters EVER.  He has decided to write once a month and work up to twice a month by summer and asked me to hold him accountable.  I cried.

I am so excited for those children.

That day when I went to work, I told my partner that story.  She and I share webmaster responsibilities for our school, but only one person can get the stipend, so my plan was to give her cash when I get half the stipend at the end of January.  She said that she had been intending to tell me that she wants her half to go to Compassion because she and her family don't really need anything, but the Compassion children do.  I cried again.

Those are two of the best Christmas gifts I could ever receive.

If you feel that you need to write more often, check the Compassion website where you will find a great letter writing tool with really fun stationery.  You can even upload pictures.

Do you want to sponsor a child?  Click here.  It will change your life.

Cute from Colombia

I received a letter this week from Alberto in Colombia.  The letter is about his family, so he drew a picture of his siblings.
I love the babies, and I love the special features on his sisters.  LOL.
Alberto is only 7, but he's quite good at drawing.  Maybe one day he will be a famous artist.

A Blessing from Mexico

This is Isaac and his mom.  Esta es Isaac y su mamá.

I sent Isaac a family gift a few months.  I feel a special desire to help him since I learned that his family is part of an indigenous Mexican tribe that is discriminated against.  His father has to work in another place because he cannot find work locally.  Isaac always asks me to pray for his father; I thought it was just because he didn't like for his father to be gone.  But I've learned that those from the indigenous tribes who seek work elsewhere are treated badly, so Isaac is actually concerned for his father's safety.  (I guess I feel a special desire to help each child for a reason unique to that child.)

I've also learned that children are not valued in Isaac's culture, so I would like to give Isaac a big, fat hug.  I try to do that through my letters and gifts.

When I received the letter with this picture, I cried.  I have been sponsoring Isaac for two years (he was my first), but it still amazes me to think that my support can help a child and his family so far away from me.  I am astounded to think that I actually purchased those items for them.  And I'm quite impressed that they obviously have electricity in their home.  That makes me happy.

The amount of money I sent would not have purchased all those items, or even half, in this country.  So think about sending family gifts and see how much it blesses you.  It will do so much for the children and their families.
I can imagine the women of the village gathering at Isaac's house for coffee.  :)

Last Minute Gifts?

Gifts of Compassion
So . . . Christmas is in one week.  Don't you get stressed and sometimes even frustrated while trying to find a gift that's "good enough" for people who need nothing?  For instance, I bought a Coach coin purse for my niece.  I shop on Amazon, so I didn't pay full price, but it still wasn't cheap.  Yet it looks like a wimpy gift to me.  I wonder if it will be good enough.  She has so much.

Well, I have a solution - Gifts of Compassion.  For that same niece, and for others on my "list," I also purchased several items from the Gifts of Compassion catalog.  I mean, I purchased the gifts in honor of those people, gifts that will go to those who have no need for a coin purse of any brand because they have no coins.

If you're still looking for gifts, Gifts of Compassion is the perfect choice.  You can print the cards at home that you will give to those you honor with your purchase, and you can help those who really, really are in need.  What better way to celebrate the birth of the Messiah than to give to those who are hungry and thirsty?  In doing so, you are giving to Him.