May 30, 2011

Experiencing Compassion

As I read the latest post this morning from the Compassion bloggers in the Philippines, I recalled what stirred my heart when I first became involved with this ministry and the joy of taking a step of faith on behalf of just one.


This experience began during a season of brokenness… a time of nothingness in every sense of the word.  Not only was life not turning out the way my husband and I had hoped, it had imploded unexpectedly all around us and there seemed to be nothing left but ashes.  Ever been there?

I sat in front of my computer looking at the beautiful faces of impoverished children a world away from me.  So much need. I wanted to sponsor them all!  How could I even sponsor one?  I felt overwhelmed...  small...  and absolutely lacking.

I could not deny the burden God had placed on my heart for these children, and yet the reality of my personal limitations loomed larger than my heart.  Practical wisdom seemed to be saying there's no way;  you simply cannot do this.  Maybe you shouldn’t do this.  But as I prayed I heard, “Will you trust Me?”  It did not make sense.

Fast forward a few prayerful weeks . . . 

I can't tell you it made any more sense, but we were sure this was the right step.  My heart smiled at the faces peering back at me from the Compassion International website.   The five children who shared our daughter's birthday looked back at me, all of them smiling except one. 

She stood hands on hips, frowning, posed defiantly as if to say, "What are you looking at?!"  There was something in that look that I identified with during this time, and I knew she was the one.

When I clicked the button and filled out the form to become Estefani's sponsor, my heart overflowed with an indescribable love for a ten-year old girl I had never met! 

God infused me with His love for this child who lives on a different continent, in a country and culture that, at the time, I knew nothing about; in conditions I will never fully comprehend.
 As I wrote letters telling her how much God loves her and that He has a good plan for her life, these truths resonated in my own heart. When I told her what a beautiful treasure she is to God’s heart, I heard Him reminding me of the same.  

The ashes began to shift.   

I started this sponsorship journey thinking I would be a help to someone else.  In the process, God brought healing to my wounded spirit and bruised heart as I began to pour out His love to someone else during a time when I needed His love the most.   I am amazed at the reciprocity of His mercy and compassion. 

The more I love the way He loves, the more I am loved, and can love.


Estefani was our sponsored child for 8 months.  Her project in Peru closed and she departed the program.  I only had a short window of opportunity to sow God's love in her heart through prayer, sharing scripture and writing words of encouragement.  I still pray for her and her family.


  1. De, this brought tears to my eyes. I love reading your testimony!

  2. Michelle, God is so amazing the way He receives us in our brokenness and uses our obedience and willingness for His work and purpose. ~De



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