Sunday, September 16, 2012

Great Things Await Me

So . . . ever since I signed up for the trip to Peru, I have face a lot of adversity.  Nothing really, really bad, but enough to wear me down.  It's mostly from work, with people criticizing me even though I take great pride in going beyond what is expected of me, and MORE people compliment me and thank me for my help.

Why is it the negative ones that stick with us?  As tobyMac said recently, I don't want to fall into "Christianese," but I am fighting a spiritual battle at work.

July was my one month off (I am an 11-month school employee), so I was looking forward to resting and being refreshed.  Instead, I spent the month taking care of my 17-year-old nephew who broke his ankle badly on my first day of vacation.  I wouldn't trade that time with him for anything, but it took its toll on me.

Now I have received my travel packet from Compassion and found that my last name is misspelled on  my ticket from Miami to Lima.  Needless to say, it doesn't match the name on my passport.  This does not bode well.  However, the Compassion trip leader has assured me that he can fix it easily on Monday morning.

I feel very discouraged in my life.  I know it's my fault because I have to change my focus and not allow "things" to get me down.  I feel as if I keep getting kicked in the same spot, and it hurts more each time.  One hit on a football player is okay, but when half the team "piles on," bad stuff can happen.  Unless you're Hines Ward and you're made of steel and just get up smiling no matter how much it hurts.

¡Muchas montañas!
What I believe with all that has happened in the last few months is that Satan really doesn't want me to go to Peru.  I have felt like giving up many times.  I feel so inadequate.  I don't think I know enough Spanish (because I'm a perfectionist) even though I've been studying.  I feel like I won't do a good job with the children, even though I'm a teacher, and that's my God-given strength.  I'm afraid I will get sick when we travel over the mountains into the jungle.  I live at sea level, and we will be going 15,000 feet above sea level!
I wish I were in better physical shape so that I wouldn't get tired and I would look better when I meet my sponsored child, but a foot injury, for which I will have surgery and miss three months of work when I return from Peru, has kept me from working out the way I like.  Yet another obstacle.

All this discouragement that I feel and the obstacles I've faced tells me that great things will happen in Peru.  I know it will be a life-changing event, but I believe it will go beyond that.  There are forces trying to keep me out of that country.

Something great from God awaits me.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

If Only I Had Known . . .

Dear God,

When You first spoke to my heart about child sponsorship at that newsboys’ concert a few years ago (You know exactly how many, but I don’t remember), I had no idea at the time that it would be a life changing experience.

Well, You know that I didn’t respond that night.  Something kept me from it.  I think we left right away, and I used that as my “out.”  I was afraid to make a monthly financial commitment because You know how much anxiety I have about finances.  I sometimes wonder if a child suffered because I didn’t listen to You.

If only I had known . . . . . 

But You didn’t let go.  There they were again--newsboys--talking about helping our neighbors in Mexico, and I knew I couldn’t walk away this time.  It’s really amazing to look back at how You design everything to fall into place in my life, so that my life follows the plan You have for it, even if I’m sometimes too thick-headed to respond right away.  How many times have I cried to You out of loneliness because I have no family, because people look down on me for having no children of my own?

But You gave me children.  Lots of them.  They are my family--those sweet Compassion children.  And in them I see You.  They love so freely.  They don’t know me.  They’ve never met me.  Yet they love me.  They send me “besos y abrazos” with every letter, and I accept those as Your love for me.

You have taught me so much through them, to look beyond my own selfish world to see a hurting and devastated world that needs Your love, to see how little these children have when I thought I was the one with very little.  I have so much.

They have changed my life.  They have filled my life.  I needed a reason to live, and You gave me my Compassion children.  Now I know that someone needs me, someone loves me, someone depends on me.  I’m important.  ME.  Important.

I signed on to give to them, to help them, but You have given so much to me through them.

And now . . . as I prepare to meet one of them in person, I am amazed beyond words at what you have done with my life, from a small village in Ohio where I had little, knew very little love, to a week in Peru ministering to your children and fulfilling the dream of one very special one.  I can’t even imagine what You will do with my heart during that week and that one very special day that I will spend with Jack.

I can’t imagine why You have chosen me, but I am grateful that You entrust me with Your very precious children.

Mi niña en Ecuador

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sponsor a Child Today

When you walk into a 7-11 or other convenience store, do you ever think about how you could spend your money more wisely?  $1.69 for a 20 oz. Diet Coke (that's my vice)?  That's more than many villages in Africa average in a month.  An entire month.  Think about that . . . .

Can we even imagine?

When you look at the Big Bites and the Breakfast Bites and . . . to be honest, I don't even know what they sell back there because I stay away.  But what I do know is that we have SO much, and SO many have SO  little.  Why?  Why must wee keep it all to ourselves?

I cringe when I hear how much the people who are in line in front of me are spending on lottery tickets, cigarettes, alcohol, and horribly unhealthy food.  What I could do with that money to help those who can't even afford a $1.25 shot for malaria!

But I help a few.  I help those I sponsor.  I help those to whom I send money to Compassion for mosquito nets.  I help those who are sponsored because of my testimony.

So why not jump on board?  Why do we keep living in our small worlds, wishing, drooling over, hoping for the latest tech gadget (all Apple for me) when someone like my Francis finds it a treat just to have a glass of milk for breakfast?

I'm Marilu, and I'm 3 years old.
I waited for about seven years between the time I first heard about Compassion at a newsboys' concert to the time I sponsored my first child when I heard Michael Tait (now with newsboys) talk about how we should help our neighbors in Mexico.  How many children needed me in those seven years that I thought I couldn't sacrifice just $38 a month to help them go to school, get medical care for them, sometimes even save their lives?

Don't wait any longer.  Sponsor a child today by clicking here.

It will enrich your life beyond what you could ever imagine.