Monday, August 22, 2011

Too Small to Ignore - Chapter 9


There really isn't much to say about Chapter 9. It's a continuation of Wess' story that began in Chapter 8. Sarah's thoughts on Chapter 8 include Chapter 9 as well.

As heartbreaking as his story is, Wess, with God's help and guidance, turned this experience into a wonderful thing. In Chapter 9 Wess tells us about the candle incident. I love his closing remarks to this chapter and this first part of the book.

"More than 40 years have come and gone since the candle incident. It was a defining moment for me. It turned me in the direction of my life's work as a passionate advocate for the hurting children of the world. I refuse to be defeated. I refuse to give in to the powerful forces that would violate the downtrodden and oppressed among us.....I'm not saying it was God's plan for the abuse to occur. But I do believe he can redeem anything and bring good out of evil. He was shaping me for an epic fight on behalf of abused children. When I address that issue these days, it is not just and academic topic for me, the subject of a doctoral dissertation. I've lived it. I have experienced firsthand that when children are not deemed important in our world, some very ugly things can happen." ~ pages 158-159

I don't know about you, but I am thankful that God brought this man into the leadership position for Compassion International.

Although not nearly as dramatic, I have had defining moments in my life. When it comes to Compassion, I can think of three defining moments that have brought me to where I am today.

After sponsoring my first child 17 years ago, I quickly saw the impact sponsorship had on Judith's life. Here is an excerpt from one of the first letters I received from her...

May the living God be with you this time of Christmas. I am thanking you very much for the money you sent to me as a Christmas gift. I was filled with joy. I have bought a blanket. Right now I am sleeping well without any problem. I used to sleep for a short time because of disturbances of mosquitoes and coldness at night.

After sending another monetary gift I received this...

When I got word that you sent me shillings I was very delighted and I praised God and thanked him very much. My parents told me to buy three chickens. I bought them and the balance that remained I decided to buy my family half a sack of beans because they wanted to plant maize. The remained ksh 20 went to give thanks to God. Because he is my creator and guides me everywhere I go

These letters were defining moments for me. As a college student, I was not able to sponsor more children - the finances just weren't there. And so I became an advocate.

For many years, being a Compassion sponsor and advocate was something I did (and often times not very well). But there was another defining moment for me....I met another advocate who didn't "do" Compassion, she was Compassion. Being a sponsor and advocate was part of who she was. God used her to change me, and I'm so thankful that even though I no longer live near her, she is still dear friend to me and weekly she inspires and encourages me on this journey.

My most recent defining moment came exactly one year ago today. I woke up in Peru and had the wonderful opportunity to attend my very first worship service in a church that also hosts a Compassion project. God used this trip to refocus and redefine my advocacy. I'll be talking a bit more about that tomorrow. : )

What are your defining moments?

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