Friday, March 28, 2014

What a Puppy Taught Me about Compassion

This is Bucco.  Today is his first birthday.

Bucco came to live with me ten months ago, and no I do not have a cool rescue story.  He is a West Highland White Terrier, and not many of that breed are surrendered, so I could not find one to rescue.  I have always loved dogs, but I have very bad allergies and only recently discovered that I am not allergic to terriers.  However, I like big dogs.  My dog when I was a teenager was a very sweet Saint Bernard, so yeah . . . I like big dogs.

Because my niece has a Westie, I learned that Westies act more like big dogs than small ones, that they are very intelligent and very loyal.  So I found a Westie.  I paid much less than one would normally pay for a pure bred, so because of that and his one droopy ear, I call him my discount Westie.

But he is worth so much.

One of the first things that struck me about him was his acceptance of and reliance on me.  He immediately loved being with me and playing with me even though he didn't know me.  It reminded me of the children I met on the Compassion Sponsor Tour to Peru.  When we entered a project, the children were really excited to see us and loved us without even knowing us.  They all called me "Madrina," even though I don't sponsor any of the children in the projects we visited.  

Bucco loves the beach and has no fear of jumping into the ocean.  When I first started taking him, he kept stopping on the way to investigate other interesting things.  I kept telling him there was something even better waiting over the dunes.  Now he knows what's on the other side of the dunes and eagerly heads toward the ocean without stopping as soon as I say the word "beach."  I thought of the many times in our walks with Jesus that we think we have found something good, but He's really trying to lead us over the dunes to something even better.  

Those of you who are pet owners understand how important a dog can be.  Since I am alone, except for Bucco, mine is pretty much all I have.  I will sacrifice for my dog because I want what's best for him. Bucco often makes me think of my Compassion children and how important they are to me, but even more so, how important I am to them.  I remember that I need to sacrifice my time and energy to write to them and let them know they are loved by me, but more importantly, by Jesus.

I have the best dog in the Universe.  God has used him to enrich my life beyond what I ever expected.  What a lesson there is in that!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Waiting . . .

This is four-year-old Wilfredo in Nicaragua.  Don't you just want to squeeze those cute cheeks?

Wilfredo has been waiting 515 days for a sponsor.

Five hundred fifteen.

I don't even start counting down to something that far ahead!  Wilfredo needs a sponsor.

But he's not the only one.  You can go here to view all the children who have been waiting more than six months for a sponsor.  Please consider sponsoring one today.  You will change the child's life.

And the child will change yours.

Friday, January 10, 2014

These Sweet Children Need Sponsors Now

> Fahim is 11 years old and lives in Indonesia.  He has been waiting seven months for a sponsor.  He lives in a country with high risk for child rights violations.  He really needs a sponsor.

Yeabtega lives in Ethiopia and has been waiting THIRTEEN months for a sponsor!  She lives in an AIDS affected area.  She lives with her grandparents, which often means the parents are victims of AIDS.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


I'm not one to make New Year's resolutions because I think if I need to make a change, I'm not going to wait until January 1 to decide to do that.  Furthermore, I don't like doing what everyone else is doing.

However, I began choosing a word to guide me each year, and I'm okay with the fact that lots of other people do that.  

Even before I begin thinking about choosing a word, it comes to me, and I realize, "Hey!  That's my word!"

For 2014, it's "believe."

This year will bring some major changes for me, and frankly, I'm afraid.  It's much easier to just stay docked in the harbor.  That open sea can be a bit scary at times.  I've been docked long enough, though.  This ship's gotta move.

Because of certain events in my life, especially in my childhood, I have a difficult time believing that good things will happen for me.  I'm quite good at encouraging others, but not good at all in believing in myself.  

Before Christmas, I kept thinking about the fact that Jesus' coming to Earth as an infant and delivering me from all my sins is the greatest miracle ever.  If He is capable of doing that and wants to do that for me, can't He and won't He do even smaller miracles for me?  And for all of us?

Of course, I have my idea of how I would like this year to play out, but for now I'm working on believing.  Believing in the power of God to work miracles in my life, but even more so, believeing in His incomparable love for me.  For ME.

My verse is Isaiah 43:18--Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.

Whenever I've considered that verse previously, I've always thought of it as forgetting unfortunate things that happened, not letting what other people told me about myself determine who I am today.  I'm working on those things.  But this year the verse takes a new meaning for me--forgetting the things I haven't done that I wish I had.  I could go on and on listing those, but I'm forgetting them because God can and will save me, even from myself. 

And that's what I believe.